Our red-painted wood cabin by the edge of a forest in Sweden has over the years become a sanctuary to me. While I lived in London I longed to come back to the tranquillity and stillness of this place. Unlike our house in suburban Copenhagen the cabin has a large, wild garden, where we spend most of our time when the weather is up for it or which we look out on from the windows when it’s not.
There is an old apple tree in the garden that brings no fruit but blooms with the most delicate, blushing white flowers in spring and every year wild pink and white foxglove and raspberry bushes, including yellow ones spread over more and more parts of the garden. My parents have planted a small herb garden that includes oregano, thyme and curry and they grow redcurrant and potatoes as well.
In the summer all the wild animals come out, butterflies, frogs and toads, slowworm and lizards and our most cherished, a couple of red squirrels that for years have come out of the woods to eat the nuts we leave for it every spring and summer before retreating back to the forest in the fall. The butterflies never sit still for long, so we don’t know how many different kinds we have; Brimstone, Large White, Peacock and all kinds of Fritillary, not to mention both first and second generation of the beautiful Map butterfly, all flutter about in the garden from flower to flower, all through the summer.
There is nothing better than to sit by a partly shaded part of the green lawn and read a good book while listening to the loud whisper of the tall sycamore maple and pine trees as the leaves are shaken in the wind. It can make London feel very far away but it’s worth it for the quiet calm, I know I can always rely on finding here. *