Rugosa Rose

The Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa) is another one of those somewhat invasive species that you can’t help but still be fond of. It helps that there are only a couple of these in our yard, which were planted intentionally. They are low maintenance, with lots of glossy foliage and large, bright flowers. You also see these planted along road shoulders a lot because they are very hardy and stand up well to the wear and tear of being around vehicles all day. That sort of low-maintenance robustness makes them great for otherwise neglected areas, but also means that they can …

Continue reading

Heath Spotted Orchid

A good friend and fellow plant enthusiast took us orchid hunting yesterday in some nearby woods. There are a few species that grow wild in our area and she knew how much I love wildflowers — the notion of seeing an orchid in situ was very exciting! Southern Finland doesn’t have as many as the northern parts of the country, due to human development of the land, but older patches of woods still are host to plenty of interesting plants. Growing up, there aren’t very many naturally-occurring orchids in Southern California because of the arid climate, so the idea of just going out …

Continue reading

Tufted Vetch

For the past five years, I have been trying to grow sweet peas with only the slightest success. For some reason, they just really hate me. So when I noticed some sweet pea-like growth under one of the containers that I had previously planted with the seeds, I dared to hope that they might have fallen out of the basket and sprouted after being left to its own devices. While that wasn’t the case, that plant turned out to be a cousin that was far more suited to our garden conditions — tufted vetch (Vicia cracca). The flowers are rather …

Continue reading

Oxeye Daisy

Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is a common wildflower here in Finland, popping up in fields and gardens at random. Like many other wildflowers, Finns will walk on them or whack them down nonchalantly while tidying their gardens without a second thought. When I was gardening back in SoCal, I used to have the most difficult time getting lots of flowers, including these, to grow because of our dry desert climate. Seeing them thriving all on their own is still a treat for me. We have a few clumps of these cheerful daisies mixed in with our perennial borders, and they are most …

Continue reading

Juhannusruusu, the Finnish midsummer rose

Our midsummer roses are finally opening! A little late this year, but it’s been a very long and cool spring. That same spring gave our large plant plenty of time to grow buds and it is currently giving us a showstopping display now that the weather is warming. There are blooms dripping off that bush like a floral waterfall! The beautiful scent wafts in through the kitchen windows on every breeze — if there weren’t so many pollinating insects buzzing around it, I’d just set up a chair next to it and wallow in that perfume. These are Rosa pimpinellifolia ‘Plena’, …

Continue reading

7 Days of Blue/Purple Flowers

I just finished up a 7 day photography challenge over on Facebook — the husband tagged me to do 7 nature pictures and I ended up narrowing it down further for myself by deciding to do only flowers in the blue-purple spectrum that arrived on our property without my aid. I had so much fun finding and identifying them all that I might just extend this indefinitely! It gives me the kick in the butt I need to get outside and get to know all those forgotten corners as well, while the weather is nice. #1 – Spreading Bellflower (Campanula …

Continue reading

Midsummer Garden Tour

Even though this year’s midsummer was mostly spent inside due to it raining all day, I had a chance to nip out in the morning and snap some pictures for my mid-season garden tour. This was the year that I was FINALLY able to get some major work done in my vegetable garden. Some design ideas are also starting to take shape for the various flower beds around the property, which I spent a few years observing before deciding what was going to stay and go. This was also the year that I started harvesting cut flowers for bouquets, such as …

Continue reading

Garden Bouquets!

The best part of having a large garden is planting lots of flowers for cutting. Thanks to the mild winter and prolonged spring conditions, the garden has put out more flowers this year than I’ve ever seen. In fact, there are a few that we’ve never seen bloom before — or at least never noticed due to their low performance — the maple tree has tons of little helicopter seed clusters and the honeysuckle is covered in buds that I can’t wait to use for a desktop bouquet. I tend to mark cutting garden season as starting with lilies of …

Continue reading

“HEY! My horrible stinging plants are ready! COME HERE AND EAT THEM.”

It’s nettle season! I was out picking nettles in the garden the other day and remembered that some friends had expressed interest in them — so I invited them to come over and help themselves to my ample crop rather than forage around town and country for them as they were. Another friend jokingly summed up that whole exchange with this post’s title 🙂 Silly as it sounds, though, stinging nettles are the best sort of vegetable: tasty, nutritious and free! Although it grows in a few other places on our grounds, I make it a point to leave one portion of …

Continue reading

In the garden again, finally!

The in-laws took Blob for the afternoon and I was finally able to make some serious progress with my veggie patch this weekend. Behind the mound of soil, you can see two herb boxes which have been cleaned out and moved into their new positions for this year. The one on the left is filled with mint, lavender, sweet basil and chives currently. More herbs to join the lineup as time permits. The lavender and chives are actually leftovers from seeds I planted two years ago, believe it or not. Didn’t even notice them until I weeded all the grass …

Continue reading

  • Subscribe to Blog