In garden design Carl Milles was a daring improviser, being able to freely integrate such diverse architectural fragments as columns from King Gustav Ill's opera house, a marble arch entrance from Stockholm's demolished Hotel Rydberg with a steep stone cliff site transformed by monumental stairways and juniper planted terraces.
One highly personalised garden room is Millesgarden's Little Austria (1924) conceived as a surprise for Olga Milles to celebrate her 50th birthday. Being all too aware of his wife's permanent homesickness for her alpine homeland, Carl chose a steep, stony hollow and with plantings of alpine flora, and a scenography of two wayside pieta chapels, a large wooden replica of a medieval Christ on the crucifix and a limestone baptismal fount created a fantasy evocation of Olga's beloved Austria.
Personally Milles loved and wished to evoke at Millesgarden the gardens of Italy's Mediterranean coast. In the newly-built loggia, the Little Studio designed by Evert Milles, Carl commissioned a fresco painting of the bay of Naples with acanthus and cactus in the foreground and olive and wheat being farmed in the distance.
To further underline the Mediterranean character of the building and landscape fresco painting, straight black and white marble paths, crowned by columns lead to the loggia. Between the paths pines are planted together with birches for a touch of Nordic spice.
This playful Nordic/south European hybrid, heightened by the bubbling Triton fountain and colourful plantings never fails to charm visitors from the south.