chili peppers, crazy Finnish weather, greenhouse, Hongiston Taimisto, Mustila Arboretum, NOAA, Nurga Puukool, Peony Koti, Piha Center, yle
Happy September folks!
Almost didn’t see it coming, but even still it was already the 2nd and I thought it might still be August. Not so! Time has been on RAPID speed this whole year. Not sure when it will slow down. Anyone else feeling like it’s been a blur?
We’ve been getting a bit of rain on and off, here and there, which seems to have alleviated the DIRE situation we were facing all summer during the drought. I haven’t had to truck water in a couple of weeks, and I’m alllll for that not happening again soon! I don’t think we’ve managed to climb out of the deficit though and things here are still very low moisture-wise for the year. Some places in Finland were really hit hard. Ranchers especially, and then farmers are really facing serious losses. Some dairy livestock for instance will likely be sent to slaughter as there just isn’t enough hay to keep whole herds intact throughout the winter. Yikes. That’s really terrible. Finnish news Yle reported about this HERE. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA,) reports about EU conditions in a report found HERE.
It was very stressful for everyone affected. How are conditions were you are? I was wishing for winter to come and it was only August. THAT right there tells you something! We have had some minor victories this year in the greenhouse. We are still learning – made a few mistakes again this 2nd time around. Maybe 3rd time’s the charm! Next year might be our year! As it is, I just pulled in these this morning.
These will be headed into a large pot of chili in the near future! yum. Tomatoes have been extremely tasty, although the larger ones eluded us again this year. Can’t seem to grow a really BIG tomato for some reason. Cukes were good, but it turns out we don’t actually eat enough cucumbers in a summer to make that a repeat. Zucchini failed altogether. Funny huh? For most people growing zucchini it’s like growing a weed on steroids. So many at harvest, but for us, couldn’t get even 1. It turns out we may have a lack of ventilation. Sure, with temperatures over 30c it was extremely HOT in the greenhouse on a daily basis for over a month, but with doors open it just never ventilated enough and we had some issues with blight…and plant stress due to heat. I guess maybe we’re lucky to have gotten any harvests at all. Back to the drawing board!
We recently visited Mustila Arboretum for their annual autumn sale day and it was a lot of excitement! Lots of nursery vendors in attendance with items at reduced prices – what’s not to love! Hongiston Taimisto was there and we picked up a couple new rose additions; Marie Bugnet and Martin Frobisher – which puts us at 109 total of 89 varieties. Peony Koti was also there and were good enough to bring the 4 new peonies I’d ordered, which saved me from paying to ship them to us at home. With the shipping charge savings, I bought a 5th peony! Who wouldn’t have!!??
Thrilled with those purchases and a few conifers from Nurga Puukool we stopped for a final time this year at the Piha Center in Porvoo where we gathered up some additional items at autumn sale prices!! yippee!
So all those new plants had to have someplace to go! Time to start digging!
A bed near the house was filled to over-flowing with everything I tried to save during our first year here. Afraid the excavation crews bulldozing the property were going to annihilate plants, I collected a lot of flowering plants and put them in one central location. Turns out I saved a lot of weeds. Okay, wildflowers! But mostly weeds. Anyway, we knew we could do better so began tearing everything out and keeping only what was really working. Increasing the bed dimensions overall fits better now alongside the other beds. Midway through, Pekka is installing the brick border. And later a completed bed ready for new plants!
Sitting in the middle of the bed is an original old apple tree and on either end are groupings of Juhannus roses, Rosa Rugosas, and Malva. We planted the new peonies in this bed on the front side, and the 2 new roses on the back side. Plenty of room for other items!! Pekka picked up a red-tip conifer at Mustila, it’s in the front. Pretty small, but it should be happy there. 🙂 Check out our What’s Growing at Vanha Talo Suomi page for names and all the items growing on-site.
There’s a slight chance the grass will get cut today – if it dries out enough. Tomorrow and rest of the week there’s an increased rain possibility. This time of year, the night temps are much cooler, the morning dew is heavy and the sun is already quite lower on the horizon – which keeps some portions of the yard from getting dried out until late in the day. Leaves are starting to drop too as the trees throughout Finland are fed up and tired out from lack of deep rain.
With a weather season this upended, it’s without doubt one most people will be glad to put in the books. Hopefully winter brings enough snowfall to ensure some insulation for plants and adequate spring thaws for next year.
it’s likely that your autumn activities are nearing full swing. Apples are ripe about a month early here – but it’s been a good harvest. It’s been another wonderful year of roses and gigantic hydrangea blooms. What a great idea it was to add them to our gardens!
Enjoy! Happy September!
❤ Vanha Talo Suomi
I’m really glad to hear that the water situation is improving there. The land was looking so dry on my departure in early June, I was concerned about the crops in particular. How the farmers/gardeners/water board managed to come through the rest of June onto July and August is a small miracle.
Nice looking veggies for you though!
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I hope for everyone affected, the losses are minimal and the damage is mitigated soon.
People who don’t farm, ranch or garden might have been oblivious to the plight of everyone – and might have instead revealed in the joy of a sun-filled, rainless summer! Finns are generally pretty happy to enjoy the outdoors whether the weather is cooperating or not. But balance in nature and in life is vital – for everyone’s continued well-being. Hope you can return to Finland again someday.
Our door is open should you make the journey again. 🙂
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Thank you Kate for your reply. Yes I hear that ‘summer madness’ is a common state amongst Finns! Lets hope most people did have some awareness of Natures struggles this year.
The UK came quite close to a similar situation, but the almost continuous rain during August in some areas, has rescued us from the worst.
If I return to Finland again I’ll be sure to knock on your door! Thank you.
I made three new Finnish friends while cycling……so never say never!!
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