In our Grow the City exhibit, we invite nature into the city and show some examples of how we can turn gray to green!
In Grow the City there is city garden with four different plant beds and a balcony garden.
The inspiration for the cultivation comes from agroforestry, "forest garden cultivation", where you cultivate with nature and want to imitate how a forest works. A forest is its own functioning cycle, and a forest garden cultivation also strives to be. The goal is a cultivation where you mostly harvest.
All plants have one or more functions in a forest garden. Most are edible, some plants nourish the soil, others are pest control or good for bees and other pollinators.
The soil in a forest garden is covered with, for example, straw, leaves or grass. This is to protect the soil from dehydration, to stop weeds from growing and to provide nutrition and good structure to the soil when the when the plant parts are degraded. The soil is not turned, because you do not want to disturb the interaction between plants and fungi, mycorrhiza, where the fungi form extra roots for the plants and the plants give sugar to the fungi.
In the dino garden you can visit the dinosaur cubs Parre and Sarri, which are our duck-billed dinosaurs of the genus Parasaurolophus.
In the dino garden there are "living fossils", or close relatives of plants that were common during the time of the dinosaurs. Ginkgo, magnolia, mini mountain pines, crawling lilies, calluses and ferns grow here.
During this time, the first flowers, and the first bees and butterflies, evolved, moving pollen between flowers in exchange for sweet nectar. Many, many flowering plants developed thanks to the cooperation with insects. Today, almost all plants have flowers!
Watch as honey bees work in the hive.
Dance the bee dance
Honey bees, communicating with each other through dance. They tell the other bees in the community were they found good flowers to fetch nectar and pollen. The angle of the dance in relation to the sun shows in what direction the flowers are.
If the bee dances quickly, the flowers are close and if the dance goes slowly they are far away. Are they really close dancing the bee in a circle instead of an eight. The longer the bee dances, the more beautiful flowers it has found. Come and dance
In the city, it can be difficult for insects to find places to live, lay eggs, take refuge, or hibernate. Therefore, we have built an Insect hotel - and we hope some little guests will choose to creep inside.
We also want to attract insects to our urban garden, because they help to improve the harvest by pollinating plants and by combating pests such as aphids.
Can you see if anyone has moved in?
Feel free to take off your shoes and discover different natural materials with your feet. How does it feel? What’s your favorite material to walk on?
Did you know that we feel better and become less stressed when we have trees around us? You don’t have to be in the middle of a wild, primeval forest to enjoy this effect.
Even a garden or just a strip of forest behind the schoolyard can affect us. This is the Swedish Museum of Natural History’s
Did you know that dead wood is full of life? Many organisms, such as fungi and insects, live inside old trees and logs. A dead spruce lying on the forest floor can be home to up to 350 species of beetles and 200 species of fungi!
Unfortunately, these days there is too little dead wood. This means that many species that depend on it are becoming rarer.
Needless to say, there isn’t much dead wood in the urban environment. What if the city had more logs? For bugs and fungi? For curious little humans who like to climb?