Stockholm’s dazzling rooftop greenhouses shall now be expanded with a tropical cultivation zone. By using hydroponics as technology, Green Fortune Hötorget offers spiritual replenishment, fresh herbs and tropical allotment gardens to city-folk.
Hans Andersson is the Head Gardener at Green Fortune Hötorget, Stockholm’s oldest Roofgarden, one of the dazzling rooftop greenhouses that after a few years have become a natural part of the downtown Stockholm skyline. On this very day Green Fortune Hötorget is opening Sweden’s first tropical cultivation zone for commercial use.
"If you didn’t know that there were plants inside, you might be lead to think the whole building was covered with ice."
-There has been a great deal of public interest, but there still remain a handful of spaces that are for sale, says Hans Andersson. Then there is also a completely new area of roof allotment gardens, where private individuals can rent spaces to grow their own favourite fruit.
It is an icy cold February afternoon, and below us the snow whirls across the black and white surface of Sergel’s square.
The entire Southwest side of the houses is encased and makes an almost majestic impression. If you didn’t know that there were plants inside, you might be lead to think the whole building was covered with ice.
The lift ride up the outside wall of the building is an odd journey from winter to warm and humid jungle within just a few seconds. The heat increases for every climate zone the lift passes and at the top, cold is nothing but a memory. Here I meet with a true Roofgarden veteran, Johan Svensson. Johan has long used to take the lift to his allotment garden and is a real roof person. He lives in one of the roof terrace-houses nearby that were built at the turn of the century.
We find ourselves on the roof of the Southern-most Hötorget high-rise building, which new heat exchanging and particle absorbing plasma glass spreads an even and intensive light.
-For me, coming here really means spiritual replenishment. And then, of course, it’s great to be able to grab a bunch of basil to take home as well. I have a pretty good idea about what I am going to plant, he says and show me the way to his new tropical garden patch.
The seed incubator is still quite full, but there are already plants on the plot that let off the wonderful scents of passionflower and ginger. In one corner I spot some plants in an old plastic container, quietly streaming away.
-This is one of the original products that I still use, mostly for growing basil and lemon balm, says Johan. A Streamgarden, he explains, seeing the wonderment on my face, adding that hydroponics is still the fundamental technology used in all of Stockholm’s Roofgardens.
"-For me, coming here really means spiritual replenish- ment. And then, of course, it’s great to be able to grab a bunch of basil to take home as well."
Johan shows me around and we pass the commercial greenhouses where there is lots of activity. Fruit, flowers and masses of plants are being packed at high speed.
I end my visit at Green Fortune Hötorget at the Café of Light, a tropical paradise in the middle of the city. I choose the permatropic salad, a Chardonnay from Gotland and a Stockholm Lime Pie. Naturally, with fresh vegetables and fruits, with the falling snow dancing outside the protective encasement.