Vänerskärgården, Sweden: If the cranes seem the most exotic birds here, that will change as they are returned to Britain
Built on a promontory at Lake Vänern, Läckö Castle is a baroque confection of whitewashed walls and red-roofed domes and turrets, a vivid contrast to the grey stone fortresses of Northumberland. Within its high walls, its English gardener, Simon Irvine, grows salad crops in sensuous waving curves to show the beauty of vegetables. From the track to the castle I breathe in the strong sweet orange scent of Philadelphus from rounded white clouds of bushes. A yellowhammer calls from deep in a rose thicket, a summer sound among scented arcs of pink flowers.
Source: The Guardian
Country diary: this castle could never be English – unlike the wildlife