Filled with inspiration from the famous botanical gardens in Greifswald and Berlin, Captain Henric von Normann returned to Gothenburg with a dream of founding a horticultural society. He wanted to create a place in the city where he could establish a botanical garden and where people interested in gardens could meet.
The year was 1840 and there was a burgeoning interest in flower cultivation and horticultural art. Throughout Europe, garden societies were being founded and in von Normann’s case the Royal Horticultural Society in England served as a model. The people of Gothenburg had for more than a century and a half lived in a city surrounded by solid granite walls. Now they were longing for a haven to which they could retreat. Captain von Normann soon managed to persuade people to listen to his ideas. Pehr Christopher Westring, a senior physician at Sahlgrenska Hospital, acted as spokesman for this band of enthusiasts.
In order to finance the founding of the park, a ‘Share Subscription’ was set up, resulting in the middle classes becoming financially involved in the beautification of their city. The city authority allocated land and Trädgårdsföreningen – Gothenburg Horticultural Society – was founded in 1842.
Architects and landscape gardeners set about transforming what was in effect an area of marshland. The rolling lines of English horticultural art were intertwined with the botanical beauty of the German school.