Bonnie, this one is for you!

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Hello to all our friends & followers! Happiest of spring greetings to everyone, near & far ❤


*This post is dedicated to a wonderful lady and family friend of more than 40 years, Bonnie K*

We received a nice greeting from Bonnie yesterday and she mentioned how this time of year is her FAVORITE because of the many flowering trees and all the plants coming back to life & blooming away. We at Vanha Talo Suomi couldn’t agree more! We too love this time of year. Being greeted every day with a new splash of color and seeing every emerging bloom and green leaf is a great joy -AND what a great aroma!!

Bonnie is currently undergoing radiation & chemo treatments to thwart a cancerous tumor – Please keep her in your thoughts as you go about your spring routines. For her sake and yours, please take a few extra moments to breathe in the sights, aromas and warmth of spring ❤


Almost the entire country of Finland is/was under a FIRE threat or warning due to unseasonably HOT & DRY temperatures. For most of May, southern Finland (Uusimaa) has been 12-15c WARMER than is typical for this time of year. April had us about 2 weeks behind, but that changed dramatically as a heat wave settled in, and stayed! Normally, temperatures should be 13-17c (55-62F) but we’ve been over 25c and close to 28c (77-82F) for over 2+ weeks – some places were much warmer.

While that might not sound like much, it’s quite a departure from the norm and requires quite an adjustment to those not acclimatized to such an early arrival of heat. Finns are built to accommodate cold temperatures & extremes – heat waves tend to throw many people a curve ball so to speak. But that’s Finland! Welcome to Crazy Finnish Weather!!!

In spite of the heat, we plugged right along! New beds were made, others enlarged to make room for new plant arrivals – all this requires removing sod (finding places to relocate the grassy portions!) laying out weed barrier fabric, hauling mulch, and of course setting plants, trees and bushes into place. Other than a few items I mentioned in my last post, we haven’t purchased anything since then. We’re waiting until June to attend the Tahvoset 1-day public open marketplace. Tahvoset is a major supplier of wholesale nursery stock to many/most of the nurseries in southern Finland. We attended the open day last year and it’s definitely worth going to it again!

Sadly, there were a few plant casualties of winter. It’s always sad to realize a plant hasn’t succeeded – but after a time, it’s just obvious the thing is dead and you have to pull it out and move on! Considering the several hundreds of plants we’ve put in, having less than 10 die is EXTREMELY good fortune! We know we’re very lucky and will try our chances with something else to fill the spots where others failed. We have our plans focused on what will be a bonanza of choices at the Tahvoset day open sale!!

My David Austin roses are also growing well and the new arrivals of April are settling in nicely, I have two from the very first order which appear to be struggling 😦 I’m monitoring them and hoping for the best.

With the extreme heat, watering in the new arrivals has taken precendence – thankfully it was only a few items! The first year there were several hundred new plants & trees – and a heat wave in May arrived then too.

Now, without further ado! Here’s what happening at our house!

Apple Blossoms Aplenty! (cherries & plums are also in full-swing!)

Almond Blossoms on the tree just outside the front door

There are several white blooming flowers –

A few pink & purple ones too!

Of course there are yellow!

We even have little neon green garden helpers! Yikes 🙂

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Then there’s the furry variety!

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Here’s Chief Gardener Pekka hard at work. First, installing a wire trellis of his design, for a climbing rose and another photo of him about to lay in the last brick on the edging of the shade garden.

CG Pekka has been setting bricks around the edges of all our garden beds, starting on the NE shady side, moving SW towards the sunny hot side. Due to the heat of the last few weeks, the trees in southern Finland all leafed out in a matter of about 4 days. It was remarkable!

Here’s our ‘Faasen’s Black’ Acer with emergent leaves of a shiny deep red. Lovely!

 

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Today Pekka and his brother Velli-Matti are hard at work building and hanging the sliding gate for our driveway enclosure. (Thank you Vellu!!!) The gate piece is suspended on a heavy-duty galvanized steel rail via galvanized steel sliders/wheels which were attached to the gate. The steel sliders run back and forth inside the rail. You can see similar hardware like we’re using by clicking here.

I popped out there to take a few photos, here’s how it’s looking right now…

On the to-do list are a couple of painting projects, more brick edging to put into place, a cellerway stairway to build and a shed/barn to clear out. Lots of heavy lifting there!

We are of course looking forward to Juhannus Day/MidSummer in June – Party!!!!

For those readers in the Northern Hemisphere we hope your spring weather has been kind and is giving you a hint of the bounty that awaits as we enter the warmer weather of summer. For friends in all other parts of globe, we hope your days are bringing you joy and most of all peace and happiness.

Until next time! ❤ Vanha Talo Suomi!!