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On an early Monday morning I begin this post. One week and many miles later we are back together at home from a whirlwind car trip to Latvia, then Pekka to Nakkila, now home.

Our garden renovation journey has been a short one, if one counts the years spent, only three. If one tallies up the *other* incedentals; the sweat & tears, the callouses, the bruises, the insect bites & thorn pricks, it seems like decades.  And for all of those *other* incidentals and ONLY three years this is our result.





To the wonderful people who ventured to our garden for the open day, we are so very grateful! Grateful for your friendship, enthusiasm, & encouragement. Grateful for kind words, appreciation for our hard work and recognition of the three years we’ve devoted to creating & renovating the Vanha Talo Suomi Gardens.  Recognition has a way of easing the *other* incedentals further from memory & for that we will always be grateful. ❤

Late July is a good time of year for our garden. The 100+ hydrangea blooming away like mad, create a majestic & impressive backdrop to all the other players in the garden. Strolling along the paths, we have three new benches to sit and enjoy the view. It’s possible to watch the butterflies, bees and dragonflies flitting about, or just take in the floral aromas wafting through now that we have several places to sit & relax.

For several months in preparation for the open day, we were busy creating hundreds of plant labels to adhere to the ID plaques we ordered.  The aluminum placques & labels make it easy for us to remember what is what, but also for everyone else who ventures here to know what it is they are looking at.  With items from numerous countries, including several rare & unique specimen plants, there are many items growing here at Vanha Talo Suomi that are not growing anywhere else locally or regionally.

Several tree stumps later, a shed removed, the soil grade improved, gravel pathways created we  now have a quiet gravel courtyard surrounded by roses in an elevated rock garden, in what was a weed-infested waste land of discarded junk, heaps of tree limbs and piles of sticks. June and July were very full months for us and we worked very hard to prepare for the open garden day. I’m relieved we accomplished so much. Much of which had been lingering on to-do lists for a couple summers! Yippeee, it’s finally done!!


There are several newly added roses in these beds, which pushes our rose count to 103. We have 82 varieties of roses and you can see each category now on a dedicated page located at the top of the Vanha Talo Suomi homepage.  Happily, we are now members of the Suomen Ruususeura (Finnish Rose Society- They have an English language page as well!)

As you can see from several photos of our garden, it’s very dry and we’re still lacking sufficient rainfall. This summer has been *another* period of unusual weather here in Finland.  Manning the garden hose is lately a daily routine, hopefully we don’t lose anything – and if we do, let’s hope it’s minimal. Hard to say what will be still be with us, this time next year at this rate.  Our quick hop to Latvia to see Baltezers Nursery & Arboretum was everything & more than we’d expected. The video  took there looks cock-eyed, but plays in the correct format.

We found quite a bit at Baltezers and drove away with a full trailer! I hope you’ll take a minute to look over their website gallery (link above) for scenes of their landscaped arboretum located on the premises. It was lovely!



Back at home. These are a few of the new items from Latvia. We’ve been outside planting for a few hours already today and it’s much later now than when I started this post. Uploading that video took FOREVER! I must have done something wrong – anyone care to share the secret to quick uploads??!! please!

Gratitude. That’s what this post was meant to capture & convey. We are very thankful & grateful to our families and all our friends near & far. We love hearing from you and seeing you. Thank you for coming along with us on our home & garden renovation journey!  There’s still some summer left and we have a couple planting areas under development. We are seriously thinking of hiring a drone to video capture the entire property – now wouldn’t THAT be something!! 🙂

Until next time, stay well ❤  Kate & Pekka @VanhaTaloSuomi