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sunnuntai 31. toukokuuta 2015

lauantai 30. toukokuuta 2015

Big does it for me

There is something special with perennials with huge leaves. In a shadowed corner of the garden you can create a jungle, even here in Finland. I moved some of my rodgersias ( liuskavaleangervo in Finnish)  from the cottage to Vårkulla and they are starting to grow to their full measure. Beautiful! It is not all about flowers...

perjantai 29. toukokuuta 2015

Eat it up

Flowering fruit trees are a treat. Even if you don't manage to pick up the fruits before the birds, you'll get to enjoy the spring flowering and the fruits don't look half bad when ripening. The damsons (kriikuna in Finnish) were the first ones to flower this year. We are still waiting for the cherry and apple trees to start. Our cherry is a late one and it flowers with white flowers that are quite similar to those of damsons. I'd love to have a cherry with lovely pink flowers but I think our windy yard would be too cold for them so I'll make do with the white ones.

torstai 28. toukokuuta 2015

Home sweet home

Aspens (haapa in Finnish) are not my favourite trees for the garden. If you fell one it grows a thousand shoots and if you don't fell it then your garden is bound to have a lot of rubbish during most of the year - the seed pots are large and have to be raked, the leaves moulder really slowly so they have to be raked and the big trees fell a lot of branches that have to be raked. I guess you've got it - if you have aspens in your garden, you have to rake a lot, all the time. In addition to this, almost nothing can be planted under them as they need a lot of energy and water. There is one thing speaking for them though: the big trees very often have holes in the trunk and birds love to nest in these. Here is an example...we can't go and fell someone's home, can we?

keskiviikko 27. toukokuuta 2015

Poppies next

The poppie buds are like some small prehistoric animals. Depending on weather they'll open in a a few days or a week. Can't wait for the orange fireworks! As these grow near a house wall that has to be renovated some time soon, I have tried to move some of the poppies elsewhere. But there are still hundreds of them left and I can't stand the idea that they will go to waste. So more work ensues..

tiistai 26. toukokuuta 2015

Backyard memories

Once again, I bought summer flowers early in the spring to get some colour to our yard. The Easter daffodils are still looking ok but I guess I have to change them to some new flowers soon.

maanantai 25. toukokuuta 2015

Holiday fun

What did we do during our week long holiday? We worked in the garden of course. We started to work with the first level of the slope and got rather far. It now looks more like a garden than a waste dump! We moved some plants from the cottage to the new border. Now we only need a shrub or two on the top of the slope and to the left side of the slope. My husband will oil the blanks black. The gravel I'll cover with sedums (maksaruoho in Finnish) that we have a lot of here at Vårkulla. So I just need to dig some plants up, divide them and replant in the gravel. It is nice to have your own nursery (or two)!

sunnuntai 24. toukokuuta 2015

Change is for good

My dear old suffering rhododendrons...they almost died (again) at the cottage when the spring sunlight dried them out. We moved four of them to Vårkulla last week. I hope they'll do better here! There are still about ten to be moved but as these were not in the hottest sunny places they can wait till autumn.

lauantai 23. toukokuuta 2015

Just a thought

Why am I a happy person? Must be because I love Finland and have no desire to live elsewhere. I love the nightless nights, Finnish tango, old timber houses, the landscape in the country side, the silent but strong Finns, the history. Ok, I don't love winter but I hibernate during winter so I survive. Now I am happy, you can't be happier than I in the beginning of Finnish summer!

perjantai 22. toukokuuta 2015

Sorry, there is no cake

I bought the white metal cake stand (from Ikea) as a pedestal for my copper cake mold (thanks to dear cousin Satu O.). As it stands on the living room table you might think there is some dessert coming up but it is only make believe.

torstai 21. toukokuuta 2015

Flea market finds

We found a couple of Stig Lindberg's (1916-1982) ceramics at Porvoo yesterday. The price was more than right (5 euros each) so of course we bought these. The wall decoration has a couple of dents but the vase is pristine.

keskiviikko 20. toukokuuta 2015

When I say red

Can't be much redder than this...I just love the colourful tulips, they are a lovely sight after all grey we have had to suffer during winter and early spring.

tiistai 19. toukokuuta 2015


I need to redesign the border around the pond. There are more weeds than I can stand. The daffodils look good though, don't they.

maanantai 18. toukokuuta 2015

Spring at the cottage

We went to to the cottage yesterday to mown the lawn and to clean up the garden. It was a perfect spring day, the sun shone and it was rather warm (not like today...). At the cottage the spring is not as far ahead as here at Vårkulla, but some of the blue-eyed Marys (kevätkaihonkukka in Finnish), rhododendrons, primulas and anemones were in flower.

sunnuntai 17. toukokuuta 2015

At least it didn't cost a lot

I bought a big lavender from Ikea. It cost about 10 euros which I think is rather cheap. The lavenders hate wet and cold and it seems this spring is not the best for them, that's why I didn't want to pay serious money for a plant. I had no idea Ikea had lavender so it was a pleasant surprise for me to find a big one for rather a little money (it was a less pleasant surprise for my husband as he had to carry the lavender and one boxwood plant first to the car, then to home to the balcony then back to the car and then to Vårkulla's back yard. The pots were rather heavy...).

lauantai 16. toukokuuta 2015

Inside out

I had these flowers in the house on last weekend (thanks Kirsi and Jari!) and put them outside for the week. And they are still alive! The wet and cold weather makes things last.

perjantai 15. toukokuuta 2015

A good year for fritillarias

For some reason the fritillarias (snake head lilies, kirjopikarililja in Finnish) are bigger than ever before. They must have liked the wet winter. I planted the ones in the photo just last autumn so the bulbs have of course a lot of nutriments and it might be that the fritillarias don't do as well next year. Well, never mind the future, lets enjoy the present!

keskiviikko 13. toukokuuta 2015

Not quite what I want

For various reasons, we haven't been able to work in the garden this spring as much as we would have liked to. We have moved a couple (read 11) bushes and that's about it.

I have a plan but it changes almost daily. The only constant thing is that the lawn is doomed, gravel and perennial borders will replace it. As the garden is sloped (in three levels), some kind of retaining walls are needed. We now have a few meters of low wooden fence like structures that are oiled black. They look rather nice but we need to make them wider. I would love to have stone walls but the cost is too high and anyway the stones I dream about would be too heavy to move without machinery. Stay tuned, something (little) is bound to happen before summer!

tiistai 12. toukokuuta 2015

maanantai 11. toukokuuta 2015

What's in it?

As I know what grows in my pots, I decided to use my new herb labels as decorations.

sunnuntai 10. toukokuuta 2015

An early visitor

This male pheasant visits our garden in early mornings. It makes a bit of a noise but as it is really beautiful, we don't mind. I don't know whether it is good or bad for the garden to have pheasants in it, let's see what happens.

tiistai 5. toukokuuta 2015

Not much use

The colourful light ball chains have been in every other blog during the last year. I kind of thought that I wouldn't buy these myself but then I saw a chain with all my favourite pastel colours. The funny thing with these chains is that they look better when the lights are not on and when the lights are on they don't give much light. Well, anyway, now we have this useless but very pretty chain of lights decorating our living room at Vårkulla. Don't try this at home unless you have too much money and don't care whether lights lighten up the room or not.

maanantai 4. toukokuuta 2015

Eastern realism

Our newest cigarette tin is from Sarajevo - a factory is a factory, there is no reason to beautify it. But I like the colours!

sunnuntai 3. toukokuuta 2015

Spring flowers

Lilac branches and orange tulips, lovely! I put the flowers out today hoping they will last till next Friday and I can take them in again for the weekend. And I love the old Kockum pitcher as a flower vase. Especially tulips look good in it.

perjantai 1. toukokuuta 2015