Icelandic Flowers & Plants


Icelandic Flowers & Plants

June 24, 2012
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I was not expecting the Icelandic flowers to be quite so lovely on my recent visit— yet everywhere I looked there were gardens and wildflowers full of bright colors and beautiful scenery. I managed to take so many pictures of them when I was over there that I just had to share on this blog— I just couldn’t believe a country whose average summer temperature is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit could support such an abundance of color! My trip to Iceland was full of inspirational surprises which I will be sharing on Notso Kitty over the next few days. I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

A field of Alaskan Lupine in front of the Myrdalsjokull Glacier

A field of Alaskan Lupine in front of the Myrdalsjokull Glacier

The Alaskan Lupine: The Most Abundant of Icelandic Flowers

The first Icelandic flowers I noticed were everywhere you looked— lining highways and hillsides with pretty purple flowers. I later learned that it was the Alaskan Lupine– a flower that had been imported to deal with the issue of soil erosion. Since the lupine binds the soil and spreads almost anywhere it is put it is a very pretty solution for keeping soil on Iceland’s volcanic surfaces. The Alaskan lupine has made quite the home for itself in Iceland. Not only is it helpful, but it is quite beautiful and awe-inspiring in large quantities.

Other Icelandic Wildflowers

Iceland had plenty of other wildflowers besides the Alaskan lupine. Succulents, buttercups, and other wildflowers dotted every landscape I looked at in the countryside along the south coast. I especially loved how a lot of these flowers could grow in the harshest conditions– next to geothermal springs and some with hardly any soil available.

ReYkjavik flowers

Everywhere you looked in downtown Reykjavik pansies, daisies, and other flowers grew wherever the smallest bit of soil existed. Icelanders really take pride in making public areas both  beautiful and colorful. Window boxes, small flower pots, and terrace gardens were abundant.

The below pictures were all taken in a public garden surrounding the pond in Reykjavik. I had never even seen purple bee balm before (all mine is red or pink) but I thought it was so pretty mixed in with the other bright colors. Icelandic flowers were well-maintained in all public spaces, but this garden was particularly well kept and designed.

Geothermal Greenhouses

When I was in Iceland, I even got to visit a greenhouse run on geothermal energy. Iceland has many of these greenhouses mostly filled with cucumbers and tomatoes. If I ever move to Iceland, that’s what I want to do 🙂

I certainly enjoyed exploring the Icelandic flowers when I visited. I sometimes lament the fact that I live in the Northeast and I can’t grow everything I want to within a season (or have access to year-round cultivation). My visit to Iceland was a reminder to appreciate all that is available under limited circumstances. The Icelanders definitely make the best of their horticultural environment— I should have no problem doing the same!


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