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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 881: II International Conference on Landscape and Urban Horticulture

WOODED MEADOW GARDENING IN SOUTHERN SWEDEN DURING THE PAST CENTURIES

Author:   A. Gunnarsson
Keywords:   apple trees, wooded meadow, fruit tree meadow, garden history, garden handicraft, horticulture
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2010.881.161
Abstract:
The fruit tree meadows in Southern Sweden is a phenomenon interconnecting horticulture and agriculture as well as the garden and the landscape. Wooded hay meadows close to farms and villages were at least in the 18th and 19th centuries, not only a place for winter fodder collection, but also a substitute for formal gardens by houses. Here, the farmers kept their fruit-producing trees. From the end of the 19th century, the role of the wooded meadow was reduced. The exception is some remote areas in the woodland region of Southern Sweden where wooded meadows were transformed into fruit tree meadows. In these areas, the vestages of fruit tree meadows are still to be seen. This article presents a succession model characterising the development and the decline of the fruit tree meadow, and gives an overview of the structure, tree pattern and plant types of the meadows. The results of this study show that the Swedish fruit tree meadow in principle developed from a deciduous forest plant community with the wooded meadow as an intermediate stage. The grafting of wild-growing seedlings of fruit trees gives a very irregular and natural character to the system, distinguishing it from the common type of fruit tree meadow in Central Europe.

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