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Scandi style explored by Viking and Stephen Hall

The Viking Cruises Nordic Lifestyle Garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018

Stephen Hall

Viking, the leader in river and small ship ocean cruising, returns to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018 as headline sponsor for the third year. This year’s show garden is the Viking Cruises Nordic Lifestyle Garden, designed by multi-award winning Stephen Hall. The garden is inspired by the Nordic landscape and the profound relationship between nature and wellbeing. It celebrates traditional Nordic wellbeing rituals and brims with traditional plants and herbs with medicinal benefits that are used in Scandinavian cooking – a sanctuary for both body and mind.This connection is at the heart of the design of Viking’s ships, which are filled with natural light and large al fresco spaces allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the World’s rivers and oceans.

Therefore the Viking Cruises Nordic Lifestyle Garden, explores the various dimensions of wellbeing; eatingwell;  livingwell;  and enjoying the therapeutic effects of interacting with nature. Key features include a sauna hut situated on the edge of a woodland glade and a nearby plunge poolaccessed by traversing boulder stepping-stones. This pays homage to the Nordic tradition of “Sauna Bathing”, practised to find deep inner peace and relaxation. After returning home on a Friday afternoon, chopping logs from surrounding trees and creating a wood burner to heat the sauna, Scandinavian natives alternated between the heat of the sauna and the ice-cold temperature of the pool. This is known to demystify the mind and help ensure a long and healthy life. A stone-paved seating area provides space to relax in the garden on Adirondack chairs, reminiscent of the Viking ship’s “Aquavit Terrace” where travellers are free to lounge and truly be at one with nature.

The garden features highproportions oftraditionalNordicplantsand otherherbaceousspeciesknown for their medicinal benefits and culinary uses in traditional Scandinavian dishes. Edible berries include Wild Strawberries and Elder. Silver Birch creates birch syrup from tree sap and Lemon Balm is one of the key ingredients in traditional Nordic tea. Fever Few, used to treat toothaches and Yew, used to make cough medicines, are one of the many secret natural remedies found throughout the garden. Nordic trees frame the landscape design, providing a sense of enclosure and peace.

Commentingonthedesign, garden designer Stephen Hall, Contour Garden Design says: Finding peace, well-being and balance by interacting with the world around you is at the heart of Viking’s ethos. Therefore I have incorporated ideas that reflect the Scandinavian belief that natural materials and native plants can improve everyday life. “

Impressions of Scandinavia have influenced the design of Viking River and Ocean ships since its launch in 1997, where the themes, colours and textures of nature all contribute to the serene onboard ambience and experience.

The Viking Cruises Nordic Lifestyle Garden will be present at the RHS Royal Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018 from 2 – 8 July 2018. Plot: HC451.

Viking will also be present at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 for the sixth time with the Viking Wellness Garden from 22 – 26 May 2018. Plot: AR560.

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