Rosendals trädgård (the Rosendal Garden. Photo: Ann Johansson.
Rosendal after the mid-19th century
After Karl XIV Johan’s death in 1844, Rosendal continued to be the summer haunt of the royal family. However, the major construction works ceased. Oskar I and Queen Josefina were interested in Rosendal’s parkland and also in the cultivation of ornamental and exotic plants in greenhouses. Technical innovations and inventions had now made it possible to build large glasshouses. In 1850, a magnificent winter garden with a circular central area came into use. Later, it was converted into training grounds for the Swedish Gardening Society’s students. Its present name, the Orangery, recalls its original function.
The year 1861 witnessed the beginning of a new era and new activity at Rosendal. Josefina, then dowager queen, leased out Rosendal terrace and the so-called Stallplan, with a large part of the meadowland in the west, to the Swedish Gardening Association, for a period of 50 years. The Association took over the winter garden, all the greenhouses, and other buildings belonging to the garden. The Association had been formed in 1832 and its first activities were confined to the city, with pioneering cultivation, and a school for apprentice gardeners. It was also responsible for arranging Sweden’s first garden exhibition in 1833. The royal family continued to use the park in the summer, but stayed apart from the gardening activities. The head of the Association, Nils Uno Blomberg, was commissioned by Josefina to increase and rearrange the plantings surrounding the palace. The flowerbeds were formed into colourful garlands and arabesques, while a large area of ornamental planting was established south of the palace, containing two thousand bushes and trees of many different species. This also served as a teaching collection for the apprentice gardeners.
When the Gardening Association’s contract ran out in 1911, the sites were taken over by the Royal Djurgården Administration. At the same time, the royal family decided that Rosendal Palace would become a museum, recording the life of Karl XIV Johan and the history of the Swedish Empire style, which so thoroughly permeated the palace architecture and furnishings.
Since 1983, the Rosendal Garden Foundation has been conducting horticultural activities on the old cultivation plots managed by the former Gardening Association. Rosendal Palace is open to visitors, by guided tour, during the summer months.