Norway is small country overflowing with natural beauty, like gorgeous mountains, fjords and rugged coastlines. So it makes sense that Norwegians love nature and consider time outdoors the essential part of the day, a friluftsliv experience. The term “friluftsliv” can be roughly translated as “free air life,” and it incorporates this zest for nature philosophy. If you’ve never heard the term and you are intrigued, read on. We’ll suggest ways to incorporate the friluftsliv philosophy into your garden.
Private fields and public countryside, Norwegians can access it all. In Norway, it is considered every person’s right to enjoy outside activities freely on open land, as long as they are considerate of others. Citizens can hike, ski, camp and boat almost anywhere as long as they are considerate of others.
Friluftsliv was coined by the Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen, who used it in a poem in 1859. Since that time, it has come to represent a philosophy and a way of life in Norway, encompassing both an enchantment with nature and the desire to test one’s own personal limits.
Any activity in the untamed outdoors classifies as a friluftsliv experience. Perhaps the most common one in Norway is the practice of taking long hikes in the countryside, either alone or with others. While friluftsliv hikes are good exercise, the dominant concern is taking the time to connect and reconnect with nature, direct experience with the outdoors.
Since gardeners often share these interests, it only makes sense to incorporate the friluftsliv philosophy into your garden.
Opening the Garden Gates
Even if you live in a city and have only a small backyard, you can take steps to make it more user-friendly. The right accents open the garden gates in a sense, inviting family and friends to spend time outdoors.
While the sun lights up the backyard during the day, you can light it up yourself after dark by selecting outdoor garden lights. Starry lights twinkling in the trees summon kids of all ages outside of an evening. The company Festive Lights offers some lighting products that create the magic illumination you have in mind. And many of them are solar powered, using the energy of the sun itself to light up the night.
Festive Lights makes a string of warm white LED lights (Solar Copper Firefly Wire Lights), for instance, that look magical wrapped around a small tree or shrub. They glow softly and can be intertwined with floral displays. Or how about a connectable curtain of 300 soft white LED bulbs to brighten up a dark garden wall or corner. You can even pick from between eight different functions like sequential, flash, slow fade or twinkling. The company also offers a Solar Bluebell Flower Garden Stake Light that will fit right into your garden. It works well for illuminating borders or for pointing out pathways. Plus, it looks attractive during the day as well.
Remember that friluftsliv is not about conquering nature but getting into nature and getting nature into you. Sitting happily with friends in the garden during evening hours is a clear step in the right direction.