Tina Hellberg: On gardering and mending

TINA HELLBERG:

ON GARDENING AND MENDING

INTERVIEW


In the bustling city of Stockholm, there is a small enclave where you can travel back in time to another era. Step through the door in the red wooden fence and you enter into an enchanting, meditative place – the backdrop to stylist and set designer Tina Hellberg’s creative world.

Almost every morning since moving in to her small cottage some 20 years ago, Tina Hellberg starts her day by stepping out into the garden. Sometimes, if the season allows, she picks some flowers or greenery to put in a vase on the kitchen table. “A few years ago I started documenting my findings and these simple still lives are almost like small self-portraits, or documents of the changes in the season,” she says. “I would like to inspire others to enjoy nature and care for what it brings us.”
Hellberg's house was originally built for the gardener of the Groens Malmgård premises, and it almost disappears in the 7,000-square-metre garden that surrounds it. Groens Malmgård, created in the 1670s, was cultivated by the royal gardener Christian Horleman and is one of 38 remaining Malmgårdar – pieces of land that were given to the nobility in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Groens Malmgård site is run as a foundation for biodynamic cultivation and is open to the public in the summer.
“The unique thing about this place is that it has been cultivated here in an unbroken sequence for 300 years, so it is not the buildings that are unique here, it is the garden,” says Hellberg, who helps to take care of this piece of land where crops as well as medicinal and exotic plants are grown. “If you live here, the garden is with you all the time. It is full of life.”

WORDS

PHOTOGRAPHY

Charlie Drevstam

Charlie Drevstam

Tina Hellberg's house was originally built for the gardener of the Groens Malmgård premises, and it almost disappears in the 7,000-square-metre garden that surrounds it. Groens Malmgård, created in the 1670s, was cultivated by the royal gardener Christian Horleman and is one of 38 remaining Malmgårdar.

For Hellberg, who works as a stylist and set designer for design brands as well as private clients, the garden is a constant source of inspiration. “It always reminds me of what’s important in life,” she says. “Caring for our interiors is all good, but we need to add something natural to our environment – a branch of greenery or a flower.”
The garden also functions as a meditative place to wind down. “When I am in the garden, time and place disappear,” says Hellberg. “I’m super focused on what I’m doing and I enjoy it tremendously. There is nothing better than to spend time here. It is easy to become obsessed with tearing away weeds for example, and it can be hard to stop.”

”Companies need to be more transparent with information about where the materials come from and how the product is made. I think we will value people that know how to repair things to a much greater extent. We will realise the importance, and joy, of taking better care of our things.”

The garden is a constant source of inspiration for stylist and set designer Tina Hellberg who is based in Stockholm. 

TNE           How do you think we will consume in the future?

TH              I think we will plan our purchases better and choose wiser – a piece of furniture should be able to be repaired. Companies need to be more transparent with information about where the materials come from and how the product is made. I think we will value people that know how to repair things to a much greater extent. We will realise the importance, and joy, of taking better care of our things. And we will exchange services and help each other much more. Everyone can contribute to a common knowledge.

TNE           What’s your own relationship to objects?

TH              We constantly go through our things, re-evaluate and question what they mean to us. Do we really need this? As I work with objects, I can fall in love with an item and bring it home. The value is what we give to it, and what memories that get attached to it over time. Our books are also a part of the interior at home, I keep going back to them for references and inspiration. In a sense they also become a part of who you are.

Read more in issue 2 – order here.


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