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Greetings, Friends both near & far!

Happy Belated Vappua! Happy May Day

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What a delight April was! It  came in with a bang and went out in a blaze of glory. Warm temperatures meant a lot of activity out-of-doors and I mean a lot!! Plus there was a bit of interior work finally knocked off the to-do list for good!  Only downside* was a total lack of rain – it got pretty dry here near the end of the month. (*wasn’t a downside for anyone else except gardeners I imagine)

Mother Nature – She’s always one to keep the tricks right on coming and threw Finland a curve-ball yesterday when she banished our warm days with a cold front from the Arctic complete with subzero temps and snow! Gee thanks!!! NOT!!!

For a couple days more we can look forward to high temperatures topping out at 5c, gusty winds and lots of rain. The rain is the only plus in this weather change-up- We picked up close to 15mm since yesterday which is going a long way to satisfy thirsty plants & trees, while also negating the grass & forest fire warnings which had been in place most of April. Fine times!!!

Trees are mid-leaf at this point which is much further along than is typical – mostly due to the increased warmth of an unusually splendid April. Spring bulbs put on a great show and were a delight to behold, however brief. Our daffodils are up, but tulips are still a little way off yet.  Peonies are either up 15cm/6-7 inches or are bitty nubs depending on the variety. We already have 20+ of several combinations, whether early, mid or late blooming peony- with more on the way from Pioni Koti   We’re really hoping they arrive before we take off next Friday for another jaunt to Estonia and Latvia on a plant-buying binge/spree.

Lithuanian grower Daylily-Phlox.eu really came through for us and I’m extremely pleased with the items I ordered and received from the owner Kestutis Vysniauskas. Seventy-six daylilies of 6 types are now planted in and will bring a big boost, especially in a couple areas that need that “little something extra.”

With the early mild temperatures, garden centers were open and ready to go much sooner this year which meant we had to stop by our local favorites and see what they had on offer. With our trip to Latvia and Estonia solely for purpose of plant acquisition, we’ve done our best to hold off on too many other purchases, but it’s not an exact science! 🙂

We’ve added a few new roses – check out the ‘what’s growing’ page or the ‘rose’ page to check out what we currently have. (See the headings at the top of the post) and a few Clematis.

Ideal conditions outside allowed for work on the water feature which is nearing the final phase of construction! Also, an extended front bed and graveled pathway now is in place as we’d had on the back burner.

The new bed extension required retaining blocks and loads & loads of dirt to fill it. ultimately it was 4 trailers worth, with a little extra for other areas.  The bed with the white fabric, as well as the sandy-open-dirt bed in the first image will all be filled with new items once we return from Latvia.

Pekka also made several trips to Vantaa in late March/early April to pick up bricks for bed edges, then proceeded to lay them all in place.

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That photo above sure looks bleak – winter grass, scattered leaves and still a bit of snow still slowly melting away in the shady side. Amazing what warm temperatures do!  Within a week of this photo, it was already +10 c warmer, and we reached 21c several times in April – nearly summer conditions!

Sitting atop the water garden as Pekka was doing work there I snapped the following photo.

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Realizing we can only do so much –  we decided to forego chipping up the branches from pruning the apple trees and took them along with all the rose prunings, leaves and branches to the city mulch pile which they will later chip up ala industriale and we”ll buy back the mulch we need to top off the new beds once all the new items are in place.

Yes, we are always coming or going here it seems, but in between we somehow manage to get a few things done.

  • apple trees pruned-check
  • roses pruned-check
  • final coat of paint on the walls and trims in the guestroom-check!
  • windows washed inside & out-check!
  • blog pages updated with all the latest additions-check
  • greenhouse veggies sown &/or planted-check
  • 30 new roses including 25 David Austin varieties planted-check
  • 76 daylilies planted-check
  • two beds edged with bricks-check
  • bed extension created & filled with soil-check
  • gravel pathway-check

Looking forward to Estonia & visiting Baltezers in Latvia again this year – so much to look forward to upon our return, can’t wait to go, but can’t wait to get back either!

Little Greta had been having so much fun until the cold snap – she’s hunkered down napping ATM, but frequently wants to go outside, just in case it’s finally warmed back up!

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Until next time folks! Have a happy MAY!

O THE month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!
O, and then did I unto my true love say,
Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my Summer’s Queen.

Now the nightingale, the pretty nightingale,
The sweetest singer in all the forest quire,
Entreats thee, sweet Peggy, to hear thy true love’s tale:
Lo, yonder she sitteth, her breast against a brier.

But O, I spy the cuckoo, the cuckoo, the cuckoo;
See where she sitteth; come away, my joy:
Come away, I prithee, I do not like the cuckoo
Should sing where my Peggy and I kiss and toy.

O, the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green;
And then did I unto my true love say,
Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my Summer’s Queen

-Thomas Decker