A Gardener Gets Married: The Honeymoon
Last week, our friend Tara Douglass of Brooklyn Plant Studio shared the story of her wedding-- she made it an event to remember by personally growing and arranging all the flowers for her big day. After cultivating more than 4,000 blooms, Tara and her husband were ready for a much-deserved vacation. In our next installment of "A Gardener Gets Married," she's telling us all about her magical honeymoon, where plants and botanicals reigned supreme on a European adventure!
terrain: Where did you go on your honeymoon, and why did you choose those destinations?
Tara: We went to Sweden and France from the end of July through the beginning of early August. My husband has traveled fairly extensively, so we wanted to go somewhere that neither of us had been before. Also, we didn't go on our honeymoon immediately after our wedding, so it was nice to still have something to look forward to once the festivities were over.
terrain: Tell us a bit about Sweden-- what were some highlights from your time there?
Tara: Sweden is a great country. There’s no pretense, and people don’t expect you to be able to speak Swedish, which is comforting. Many people don’t realize that Sweden is actually a series of islands that are bundled close together. Each island has its own neighborhood feel, its own personality. Sweden has super long days in the summer – it’s light out until midnight and never really becomes fully dark. Because of this, it changes the normal growing patterns of plants and allows for healthy, long blooming, and unseasonably fresh growth. I was surprised to see artichokes growing way before they would normally be ready.
terrain: What are some favorite places that you visited?
Tara: We loved Slottstradgarden Ulriksdal. It's this amazing retail store, garden center, and café, (very terrain) whose grounds also include a park and a castle! They have a huge “pick-your-own” flower and vegetable garden – over two acres! Everything is color coordinated and magical. They provide you with woven baskets and cutting knives to do your shopping. It’s a bit pricey, even for the locals, but it’s unique and fantastic. The facility also runs a school with horticulture classes. We got around Sweden mostly by riding rental bikes, but after Slottstradgarden Ulriksdal we took a ferry to Stockholm. It was a 2 ½ hour ferry ride, but the featured beach destination was the pay off. We enjoyed a 30 minute hike to the beach through a forest of heathers and heaths. It seriously felt like walking through an enchanted fairy forest, and I realized why Sweden produces so many fairy tales-- everything looks like it’s straight out of a story book!
terrain: What were some highlights from your time in France?
Tara: We spent two days in Paris, then took a train to La Rochelle. We went to an island called Ile de Re, which is an amazing place with seven villages, a bird sanctuary, and salt marshes. They still harvest salt there. It’s flat, so we were able to bike everywhere. The town we stayed in had an incredible wine bar with oysters and cheese plates that we ate in practically every night. We also went to an amazing grower and nursery there to see plants native to France, followed by dinner in the middle of a marsh – it was incredible! We had to trek about 12 kilometers out into the marsh, but at the end of the hike we enjoyed amazing, catch-of-the-day sea food. We enjoyed a lot of fish on the honeymoon, in addition to all of our botanical adventures. What more could you ask for?
Images courtesy of Tara Douglass. Stay tuned for our final installment of the Gardener Gets Married series, where we’ll follow catch up with Tara as she and her husband return to their own garden.