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Norrköping honours local anniversaries with a changing cactus garden

Norrköping honours local anniversaries with a changing cactus garden

Creative idea, and somewhat unexpected, for such a northern city

When we say Sweden, cacti aren’t exactly the first thing that pops in our minds, yet these prickly plants are an intrinsic part of an almost-hundred-year-old tradition at the city of Norrköping. Every year, 25,000 cacti and succulents are planted in Carl Johan's Park, in a way that forms a colourful and unique motif. The purpose, however, is to commemorate a local organization, association or company which is celebrating an anniversary.

There are some rules and an application process

The first garden arrangement was created in 1926 and initially it featured the city’s old coat of arms and fantasy patterns. Later on, the space started being used to bring attention to anniversary celebrations of companies or associations, which are linked to local history. Reportedly, the cacti and succulents were introduced in 1938.

Those who are willing to have their logo and anniversary featured in the cactus garden need to apply to the Municipality, as there are several conditions that need to be met first.

  • During the year, the entity must be celebrating an even number of years, of at least 25;
  • The entity must have an activity that is carried out within the municipality of Norrköping;
  • The entity carries out an activity that is of great interest to the people of Norrköping;
  • Anniversaries that spread knowledge about characteristic Norrköping phenomena are given additional priority.

Candidates can apply until 31 December and the jury features a city gardener, a business developer and a unit manager at the Culture and Leisure Office.

This year’s featured entity was the Pentecostal Church, celebrating its 100-year anniversary, and the design can be seen in the main picture. One can only wonder who or what will be featured in 2026 when the planting tradition itself will turn 100.

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