Life in Norway Show Episode 26: British expat Paule Miller talks about gardening culture in Norway and shares some tips for getting started year-round.
I live in an apartment so gardening hasn't been on my radar since moving to Norway back in 2011. After my chat with Paule Miller, perhaps that could change!
Originally from Essex in England, Paule moved to Norway in 1994. Three years ago he set up a gardening business to further pursue his lifelong hobby, and it's gone from strength to strength. We talk about gardening culture in Norway, what grows well here, and how people can get started even if they live in an apartment.
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Gardening culture in Norway
Paule believes there is a culture of gardening here but it's more with the older generation. “The younger generation seem to like to build the biggest possible house on the available land, which leaves very modest surroundings that doesn't have the potential for a nice garden.”
“There are some very nice gardens here, and even local growers. It was a very big shock to me when I found out that someone locally had the knowledge and was breeding rhododendrons together.”
Building a business
Paule initially started the business as a way to bring in some extra income to pay for a good family holiday every year. A good start on social media attracted local media coverage, which has given Paule the belief that the business can grow into a full-time venture.
He offers his services as a gardening consultant, working with local landowners and property owners to develop a plan and provide on-demand advice year-round.
Inspiring the next generation
Thanks to Paule's work, Ålesund International School have the first Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) supported school garden in Norway. Founded in 1804 in the UK, the RHS is the world's largest horticultural charity and are very keen to work with schools and schoolchildren to inspire the next generation of gardeners.
Inspiring apartment dwellers
Paule has a ton of helpful hints for those people like me who live in apartments without a garden. He says as long as you have a balcony that gets adequate light, there are a lot of options open to you.
“I wouldn't recommend doing composting as you need at least one square metre of space. There are a lot of options with vertical planting in the last couple of years. Potted plants are amazing, and you could even have a lawn! You can easily maintain a little piece of grass outside with some pots or hanging baskets.”
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