Tag Archives: Torblålia

Geir Flatabø’s forest garden: Torblålia, Ulvik, Hordaland

A visit to Geir Flatabø’s forest garden which is located high above the picturesque village of Ulvik at the end of an arm of the Hardangerfjord was an unexpected treat on my recent visit to western Norway! I knew we would meet Geir but I had misunderstood an email from Geir a couple of years ago that the red deer had eaten everything he’d tried to plant…far from it, many of hundreds of trees, bushes and herbaceous perennials that Geir has planted on his plot are thriving. To reach Norway’s largest and most diverse forest garden, we drive high up above the village. Geir’s plot is a narrow strip of land almost 1 km straight up the hill with large spruce tree plantations on either side (felled on Geir’s plot to make way for his garden). Some might call it an arboretum, but Geir is very knowledgeable about the uses of the trees and other plants, most of which are edible or have other uses and he does call it himself his forest garden. We (my host Eirik Lillebøe Wiken​ and I) pass through many climate zones as we climb the hill talking plants with Geir. He has planted according to hardiness and has used various natural techniques to protect young plants against the red deer…permaculture in other words! An amazing place that will only get better as the year’s go by…and we only got half way up the hill….time went quickly and suddenly Geir noticed the time and dashed off to get to the National Fungi Symposium which was being held nearby…he was giving a talk that evening on the fungi of Hardanger!