Skrúður is Iceland’s oldest botanical garden. It was established in 1909, and there are still people dedicated to keeping it going today.
Tending a garden in Iceland is really a labour of love. It’s not the most hospitable environment for growing things. Have a look at where Skrúður is situated – it’s within the small patch of dark green trees planted amongst vast open space and mountains.
As you can see from the above photos, part of what is interesting about this garden is the difference between it and the rest of the surroundings, and how unnatural it actually is in this setting.
The main reason I wanted to visit here is because of the whale-jawbone arch that marks the entrance.
The original arch was taken down a few years ago due to weathering and is now in the Natural History Museum at BolungarvÍk, which we also visited. It didn’t look quite as impressive just lying down in the Museum. The current arch has been in place since 2009 and is from a fin whale.
Looking at the guestbook it doesn’t seem there are that many visitors. We arrived just as two buses of cruise ship tourists were leaving, but this is not usually the case given the number of signatures in the guestbook. I think if you visit here you will usually be pretty much on your own.
Finally, some shots from the inside looking out.
Even if you don’t like gardens this place is worth visiting. It’s a real testament to how man can tame nature even this far north! I was impressed that people are willing to put so much effort into this garden.