In most cities the main attraction is a building, either modern or ancient, that represents some sort of golden age. From the Coliseum, to the Empire State building, to the Eiffel Tower, a tourist can see what a culture values by looking at its most revered structure. In Rome, there is a constant sense of history and a forlorn dominance. In New York, you can see the Art Deco remnants of global finance. In Paris, there is an everpresent tinge of romance and turn of the century intrigue. So what does it say about a country when the most famous landmark is a garden? Such is the case in Denmark.
Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens is one of the most popular theme parks in the world. Since 1843, Tivoli has awed locals and tourists alike with its mixture of horticulture, exotic architecture, and classic amusements. Located in the center of Copenhagen, Tivoli represents the Danish affinity for nature and family.
In Scandinavia spring and summer are in short supply. However, the Danes take advantage of every second of sunshine. When riding the train to Copenhagen’s suburbs, a visitor can see multitudinous lots of wooden shacks just outside the city limits. These outbuildings are the summer dwellings of Copenhagen residents eager to leave the city when the weather permits. In these small lots, you will find gardens, clotheslines, and lush lawns. In Danish culture there is a strong respect for nature, and especially flowers.
In Tivoli, you will find the flowers have the same forum as the surrounding amusements.
In greater Denmark, flowers feature just as prominently.
The national flower is the Marguerite Daisy. The beautifully summery flower is similar to the chrysanthemum. There are also indigenous species of Orchids, Lilies, Daisies, and Roses. The relatively lush climate allows these beautiful flowers to bloom year round. I visited Tivoli in October and was not disappointed by the beauty of the gardens. In the summer, the city buzzes with an outdoor vibe that is hard for any major metropolis to match.
The second most famous garden in Copenhagen is “The King’s Garden” surrounding Rosenborg Castle. Rosenborg houses the Danish crown jewels and the grounds feature a sprawling garden in both Baroque and Renaissance styles. In the spring, the multicolored “flower lawn” is a sight to behold. A short ride from Copenhagen, the small Danish town of Hillerod features the massive Frederiksborg Slot.
The picturesque castle built in the middle of a lake is enveloped by a FrenchBaroque garden. Denmark’s toned down version of Versailles is sure to impress. Danes maintain their history and identity almost as well as their plants.
This Valentine’s season sending flowers may seem like an imperative. In Copenhagen, there is only one florist to visit. Located in central Copenhagen, Bering House of Flowers has been creating perfect bouquets since 1972. In 2003, Bering was appointed as the florist of the Royal Danish Court. Your partner is royalty in your eyes, so why shop anywhere else. Here you can chose from prearranged masterpieces, or create your own custom arrangement to fit seasonal and personal tastes. From large parties to single roses, Bering will treat you like a king or queen.
Denmark is much more than Copenhagen. Copenhagen lies on an island called Zealand. The mainland, Jutland, constitutes most of the landmass of Denmark. However, Jutland is largely agricultural and contains only a slight majority of the Danish population. There has always been a natural rivalry between the two. The largest cities in Jutland are Aarhus and Aalborg. Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark, thanks in part to a massive student population. The seat of Denmark’s largest university, Aarhus is brimming with springy optimism. During the summer the streets bulge with natural vines sprouting gorgeous flowers of all colors.
In Aarhus, pickings are a little different. The agriculture is classically continental. Aarhus lacks the international flare of Copenhagen, but it is typically Danish. Small local florists will carry the best of Jutland, without the pomp and circumstance. As a port city Aarhus can also get fresh flowers from around the world. In between Aarhus and Copenhagen is another island called Funen. Funen is the home of Denmark’s third largest city, Odense. Islands are known for having unique ecosystems. Funen definitely fits the bill. On Funen and Zealand you can find species not seen anywhere else in the world.
Odense is the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson. No fairytale is complete without flowers.
Denmark has all the creature comforts Americans have come to expect. In a pinch, sending flowers to your Danish relatives, and friends has never been easier. Online retailers like euroflorist.com and 1800flowers.com will ship fresh flowers to major cities around Denmark. So this Valentine’s Day sending flowers to Denmark is a few simple clicks away. During the winter months any Dane will appreciate a little taste of spring.
Visiting Denmark’s famous places will almost always involve an encounter with flowers. Tivoli Gardens is like a floral world tour. Frederiksborg Slot features some of Denmark’s best baroque arrangements. For flower lovers, Denmark is a fantastic place to visit. Whether professionally done or lovingly maintained, Danes take care of their outdoor spaces. Public spaces are usually a source of impeccable pride. It’s all done for that sliver of spring that makes the winter worthwhile. A good garden is a treat for all the senses, immerse yourself.