The Sarvilinna tree garden, arboretum, was founded on barren rock. The basic plan, the quarrying, the sand pathways and the stonework required intensive efforts. During many winters, countless horse-drawn cartloads of soil were hauled to the island. The plan was based on extensive foreign research, conducted together with the famous garden expert Paul Olsson.
At best, the Sarvilinna arboretum contained some 2,000 different varieties. Nowadays, many of the plants have died out because of drought; some 350 varieties of tree and bush are left. The arboretum still boasts the largest Korean thujas in Finland, Douglas firs, rhododendrons and many hardwoods and bushes. The main challenges of preservation are drought and high winds. Only species and varieties adapted to the harsh conditions of the archipelago have flourished.
The beautiful blossoms of Sarvilinna can now be enjoyed only by reference to old photographs. The rapid spread of roe deer and white-tailed deer has been a disaster for the arboretum and the garden. These cute animals will eat anything; aesthetics play no part in survival. With current resources, only the garden architecture can be preserved.