When Anoop told me that his colleague Peter has invited us to his summer house to gather some Fläder flowers (Sambucus nigra, Elder in English), I was very much excited by the idea. Fläder is a kind of milky white flower that blooms in bunches and after coming to Sweden, somehow I took a liking to its juice. Over and above flower picking, this would be my first ever visit to a Swedish summer house. So I agreed at once.
On an evening Peter drove us to his home which is located outside the city perimeter. Whilst sitting on the backseat looking through the window, I noticed large fields covered with yellow, white and pink flowers, red painted wooden farm houses, grazing horses and cows. Peter, after taking turns here and there, then running into a smaller lane stopped the car in front of a timbered white house. Wide front yard carpeted with green grass, filled with cherry trees and flowering plants greeted us. A big anchor from a wrecked ship was displayed at the front, embellished the scenery. Interior of the house was elegant with old paintings, photographs and beautiful flowers. Peter said that the house was a possession from his wife’s grandmother and hence we could see a lot of antique things along with an old fashioned fire place. It is a Swedish tradition to show the house to the guests and Peter took us all around.
We moved out into the lawn and walked across the garden. Peter showed us many flowering plants and named them in Swedish. The Fläder trees were teeming with flowers. A delightful scent wafted through the air and bees were buzzing around the blossoms. There was a big boat in the backyard, which was one of those beautiful vintage collections of his. Few minutes away from the house, we could find small but stunning blue beach shimmering in sunshine and a haven where lot of boats were anchored.
Though the time was almost 7 in the evening, it was as bright as midday. After returning from the beach we had a nice Swedish fika with cakes, sweets and of course homemade Fläder juice. Later we spent some time in picking flowers. Anoop and I always got confused with some other small white flowers as Fläder but then here we had learnt to differentiate. Peter also shared the juice making recipe with us. Soon with a bagful of flowers we boarded the train, with all the eagerness in the world to prepare the juice.