The garden was founded 1989 by Dr. Olof Rune. It is owned by Storumans Kommun, and is taken care of by the association Friends of the Alpine Botanical Garden Dr. Olof Rune worked as a tutor and a scientist in botany at the Umeå University during the time 1967-1984. During his many visits in botanical gardens in the European alps, the idea of creating a similar garden in the Swedish mountains took form. After his retirement in 1989, the dream could be fulfilled as the building of the botanical garden in Hemavan.
Dr. Olof Rune,
the founder of the botanical garden.
The garden is situated on a steep ridge on the slope above the Tärna Fjällpark-building. The side of the ridge that faces the valley forms a very steep and sunny mountainside with a view over the Swedish and Norvegian mountains in the west. The eastern side of the ridge is more shaded and lies next to a long mire. The garden with its surrounding paths covers a 4,5-hectare area at an altitude of 600 metres above sea-level. The Vindelfjällen nature reserve, which is the largest protected area in western Europe, lies in immediade vicinity to the botanical garden.
A total of 400 metres of walking paths that is also passable for wheelchairs, surrounds the ridge. In connection to these paths, a number of timber boxes contains 31 cultivation areas. Different climate conditions on either side of the ridge provides possibilities to grow plants with different demands om heat and light. Therefore, visitors can observe species from a vast range of arctic and alpine sites around the world.
On approximately a third of the cultivation areas, different plant families are presented such as grasses, sedges or pea plants. On the rest of the areas, various types of plant communities are shown, for example alpine plants from Iceland or the European alps. Some species are not suited for the cultivation areas, for example very large plants or species that demands very wet soil, but these plants can instead be found in the nearby mire or along the paths. Signs and labels with swedish and latin names of the plants are places inside the cultivation areas and along the paths. Edelweiss trivs väldigt bra här!
In the vicinity of the garden, two paths are leading through the surrounding beech-forest. These two paths are not passable with wheelchairs. Along these paths, there are signs with information about the surrounding plant communities and species. One of the paths extends from the old barn on the mire, through the orchid marsh and then through a very humid part of the beech forest above the mire. On the western side of the ridge, the other path runs along the slope througt a very dry beech forest, with a copletely different plant community as compared to the forest above the mire. Both paths lead back to the main entrance of the garden.
Care and maintenance of the garden is handled by the non-profit organization Friends of the Botanical Garden in Hemavan (founden in 1991). The land is owned by the Storuman community, and the garden staff is hired by the County Board of Västerbotten.
Transl. Sara Öhmark 2008