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Doing a bit of head shaking here, trying to grasp the fact the month of May is almost gone!  Ummm.  Wow, that was really fast!  Luckily, we managed to get a lot done outside, while still squeaking in a week-long island get-away to Madeira Portugal! 🙂

I mentioned in the last post some distress about the wood chipper being out of commission. With the help of our neighbor Henrik, he and Pekka got it roaring back to life! Only two days after our last post we chipped through most of the stick pile and used the mulch to cover 50% of the newly expanded woodland garden.  While the weather still was cool, Pekka kept shoving sticks in the chute and I carted over countless wheel-barrow loads until we both had enough of chips and chipping! (about 4 days) There are still plenty of sticks to chip and even more limbs and trunk pieces Pekka will cut up for firewood.  Now that the weather has warmed up, the chipper and sticks sit patiently on the sideline – sometime we will get to that last pile….

The early spring weather we experienced was eclipsed by a bizarre few weeks of hail, sleet, and snow. I think it snowed and melted on three separate occasions from late April into early May. Crazy right??!!

For a look at the craziness just watch the following weather newsclip from MTV 🙂

Video here: https://www.facebook.com/mtvsuomi/videos/1326366660814986/

Before the flakes started flying though we tore up the entire front slope, salvaging the perennials and getting rid of everything else.  Pekka dropped the slope by terracing the entire thing into three levels bringing it in line with the patio-stoned walkway.  He used the same Rudus retaining wall blocks and topped it off with various stones from around the yard.


Of course this meant we needed to get some plants!  Included in the photo are a few items including: Flowering Almond, Cyprus, Hydrangea… you get the idea there’s still a lot of empty space right??? Me too! Later we added more.  (There’s another photo included later on in this post!)

Previously, in April I re-edged the large back border – our thought being to edge it with something to hold the mulch IN and keep grass OUT.  Using bricks we collected last year, we put them to use as the edging material for this looooong bed.


-clean edge ready for bricks-

Then May arrived – and with it, lots of snowy days.


Pretty, but completely nuts!!  Despite the snow, there’s been no real precipitation since then.  It’s very dry in Uusimaa (Southern Finland) we were first under a grass fire warning; now forest fire warning, for almost 2 months people!!! It’s dry!!  Needless to say I’m watering new stuff, old stuff on and off, every few days!

And below is how things around the yard are looking today.

In the first photo above you can see a rose trellis Pekka made and partial view of the expanded woodland area, half of which is covered in chips.  Middle photo shows the planted area of the new slope bed. We just tucked in a couple new items yesterday!  Last photo shows another trellis and a new Japanese Maple along with some existing perennials.

Yesterday Pekka got the following area into shape and hauled some mighty big stones into place from across the yard.  I think it’s looking pretty good so far – we’re thinking of adding some creeping evergreen ground cover and possibly a “Stiff Weeper” Japanese Larch. At any rate, Pekka is stopping off after work today (his birthday) to buy another Japanese Maple!  The bed below has a nice walking path behind it which runs in front of the back large bed – winding around and hooking up with the skeleton framing of a covered pergola. Slowly, this area of the yard is coming to life. It once was the site of massive currant berry bushes.  The further back portion in view, remains unmulched but still white from landscape fabric we put down YEARS ago!!   Also, getting the heave-ho soon is that clunky ugly wooden well housing cover. Can’t wait till that thing is gone!


there are 5 plants in this new bed so far. although it doesn’t look like it 😉

Pekka has been diligent about updating the specimen plant list about what’s growing here at Vanha Talo Suomi and most of the items include specimen photos to aid identification.  He’s been really busy adding new items the last couple weeks as we brought in +50 new trees and shrubs.  As for perennials, I haven’t added any to the list in a long time, although there were at least 100 new items planted since April <oopps!>

Tulips and daffodils are the main blooms right now with a few Primula and other early spring perennials rounding out the display.  Cherry and plum trees have been in bloom for a couple of weeks. I’m especially liking the Flowering Almond out front! Soon lilacs will bloom, peonies are budding. Our neighbor Henrik has a massive jasmine that fills the air with wonderful fragrance.  It’s a long time yet for roses.

On that note, I would like to say that David Austin Roses finally got their act in good order and responded to my inquiry about the shipping and product delivery SNAFU.  They shipped me replacement roses and I was able to get them planted a few days before we left for Madeira.  With the replacements added in, we now have 35 David Austin English Roses!  Bring on the blooms!!!!!!

Our greenhouse items are doing great too!  We already have 2 pickles 😀  hahaha. Tomato plants are looking vigorous and getting bigger by the day. One of the chili peppers already has some teeny peppers! Things are looking good in the hothouse!

Between the watering schedule and planting something new nearly every day for the last few weeks, the lawn finally got the first mow of the season and looked great for about 1 day. Then the dandelions popped up! I’m on a mission 1.5-2hrs every night to dig them out one by one. It’s a seemingly endless process, but I’m making some headway – just a gazillion more meters to go!!

Apple trees are looking good, their blossom show is something I’m looking forward to seeing soon. Everything we planted last year made it through the winter and is slowly leafing, summer perennials are in early stages of growth, but alive. We ought to be in full bloom soon!

Our driveway pergola has footings, and the lumber for framing and posts is stacked and ready to go.   We’ve been clearing out the farmer-side areas and reclaiming the unused space. Lots of stumps to remove, and stones to haul out, but we made a lot of progress, with more work still needed.

The terrace is officially open for beers after sauna and the deck chairs are set and ready when we find the time to relax after a long day.

Wishing Pekka a happy birthday today!

Thanks for stopping by and come see us again! Let us know what you think and how things are going in your neck of the woods.

See you next time! Vanha Talo Suomi ❤