From Creating a Glorious Image to a Green Oasis - a Few Remarks on Garden History in Herttoniemi

21.01.2020 hrs 08:29
The Barock park and the English park next to Herttoniemi Manor form landmarks and a green oasis in an urban environment constantly growing. The parks are open to the public and a popular place to visit and have a stroll. Nowadays the parks are a part of Herttoniemi Manor Museum and the Park Departement in Helsinki City takes care of them. The history of the parks goes back to the 18th Century. Read more below.

The history of Herttoniemi Manor dates back to the turn of the 16th Century. In the 18th Century the founder of the fortress Suomenlinna, Augustin Ehrensvärd, was lord of the manor – among others. One of the officers of Suomenlinna, Bengt von Spången, bought the manor later on and possibly founded the English park next to the former main buildning, which was made of wood.

The Barock park. Picture: EAW 2019.

The idea of the English park was to appear ”natural”, although it was carefully planned. This was fashionable in the 18th Century. The Barock park is probably younger and dates back to the era of Carl Olof Cronstedt in the 1810's. The Barock style was already out of fashion at the time, as the popularity of the Barock garden peaked in the 17th Century. Both decorative and eatable plants were planted in the park. The parks were a part of the image of the manor and that is why buildning them was a long and costly project. The main route was created on the north-south axis: in one end of the axis stands the neoclassisistic manor – in the other end a small squareshaped ”temple”.

The "temple"at the end of the south axis of the Barock garden. Picutre: EAW 2019.

Ponds were built to add a romantique air in the English park. The octagonal house – probably designed by the architect C. L. Engel – reflects beautifully in the water.

There was spaces for eatable plants in the gardens and parks, such as berrybushes and fruittrees. A lonely peartree is left from the former large garden of fruittrees.

Ponds and romantic reflections in the English park. Picture: EAW 2019.

In the 19th Century the manor was bought by the burgher Karl Bergbom. His son John and his wife Helene owned the manor until 1919. Their notebooks reflect curious details around gardenwork aswell as other things.

In 1946 Herttoniemi became part of the city of Helsinki. By this time the manor was a museum managed by Svenska Odlingens Vänner i Helsinge r.f. The society suggested to the city gardener Bengt Schalin that the city could start caring for the garden and the park. Thus a separate deal was made in the 1950's that the Park Departement of the city of Helsinki was to take care of the parks. The Barock garden and the English park in Herttoniemi still form one of Finland's best preserved parks reflecting ideals and memories from a time long gone.

In 2020 our museum will start to sell special tours with focus on garden history. Right now #tarinalyhty 's public work of art is displayed here with its metal sculptures that come to life in an interactive game. The game can be loaded from the QR-code below (but unfortunately only in Swedish and Finnish). More information about the special tours will be provided later on this spring!