#MyUppsala by Backtopoetry

Paper Magic, Gardens and Kebab

Using exclusive Italian crepe paper, designer and illustrator backtopoetry creates imaginative flowers that brighten any room. Find out about her sources of inspiration, her best tips for experiencing Uppsala – and why she consider the city to be one of the best places for fast food.

Hanna Nyman, the person behind the Instagram account backtopoetry—a colorful celebration of large, detailed, and imaginative paper flowers—developed an interest in paper crafting during her studies at Konstfack. Her fascination with flowers may be attributed to her grandmother, who was a florist.

“I’ve always liked flowers, and the feeling of seeing bouquets being put together is a bit nostalgic for me,” she explains.

After working as an illustrator and print designer in the fashion industry for many years, she started her own business. She chose the name backtopoetry because it reflected her desire to return to the hands-on creativity of crafting.

Hanna Nyman fixar med blommorna vid ett arrangemang

Hanna is adding some final touches to her giant flower bouquet at Hotell Botanika in Uppsala.

In the summer of 2024, Hanna has created a unique arrangement with meter-high flowers for “Blossom in Uppsala,” which encourages people to explore and discover the summer in Uppsala. The large flower arrangement, located at Hotell Botanika, serves as a backdrop for photos and inspires visitors with ideas for experiences, concerts, and excursions.

A Legendary Flower in Giant Shape

“I get inspired by color in all its forms: clothes, art, interior design, and graphic design. I love bright colors and naivism. My works are always full of imagination,” says Hanna.

She explains that her flowers, although inspired by real plants, are not exact replicas. However, for the arrangement in Uppsala, she made an exception and created a Snake’s Head, albeit ten times larger than the real flower. The Snake’s Head, the provincial flower of Uppland, got it’s Swedish name “Kungsängslilja” from the area Kungsängen in Uppsala, where large areas are covered with this unique checkered flower.

“I experimented with rubber printing to create the flower’s pattern and actually carved the shape from an eraser,” she says.

Hanna Nyman i Linneträdgårdens museishop

Beautiful illustrated postcards with the Snake’s Head in the museum shop of the Linnaeus Garden.

The Snake’s Head has been in Uppsala since the late 1600s when Olof Rudbeck Sr. brought it to the Linnaeus Garden. However, a popular myth says that the lilies grew on Kungsängen after the Battle of Fyrisvallarna in the 980s, where the Swedes won a great victory against the Danes. A red-ish lily grew for every fallen Dane and a white lily for every Swede—which explains why the white variant of the flower is so rare…

Experience Castles, Gardens, and Kebab Restaurants

When Hanna explores Uppsala, she enjoys a wide range of activities.

“I grew up in the nearby city of Västerås, so for me Uppsala has always been a destination for shopping and experiences. Next, I look forward to visiting Uppsala Castle—i mean, it’s like a fairytale building, a pink castle! I also want to check out the art museum there”

Uppsala slott i solsken

The pink castle of Uppsala is located on a hill in the central parts of the city.

Of course, Hanna also recommends strolling through the city’s beautiful gardens.

“I wandered through the Linnaeus Garden and to get some inspiration for my giant flower arrangement. There are so many beautiful and exciting flowers to discover there and in the Botanical Garden as well.”

“Another unique Uppsala experience is following in the footsteps of the children’s book character Peter No-Tail. We’ve read a lot of Peter books at home, and I plan to take the kids to play in Peter No-Tail Park, maybe even meet Peter and Maya.”

Finally, Hanna also gives a tip that’s a bit different from flowers and fairy tales—eating kebab in Uppsala.

“Kebab in Uppsala is just as it should be—like in my childhood Västerås. It’s all about the typical sauce served with the dish, and here in Uppsala they know how it is supposed to taste. Today’s lunch will be at KebabHouse on the pedestrian street in the city.”

Kvinna tar selfie framför blomstervägg

The Selfie Spot at Hotell Botanika.

Inspire Creativity in the Summer City

Through her flowers for “Blossom in Uppsala,” Hanna hopes that visitors to Hotell Botanika will feel happy and inspired.

“I want them to feel like they’re in a fairytale world for a moment and be inspired to go out and experience beautiful things,” she says. “Maybe they will even be inspired to create something themselves—sit down on the city’s summer streets or along the Fyris river with a creative project!”

About Hanna

Family: Two children and a partner
Residence: A house in Värmdö, with a studio under the attic
Education: Konstfack and Garden Design
Interests: Interior design, gardening, and adventures with the kids

For those who want to dive into Hanna’s wonderful world, you can follow @backtopoetry on Instagram. Hanna often organizes workshops in Uppsala—and is also planning creative retreats abroad.

This is a paid collaboration between Destination Uppsala and backtopoetry. In our collaborations, all partners decide for themselves what they want to experience and recommend in Uppsala.

Snap a Selfie by Hanna's Flowers