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Hello friends!

A day late and a dollar short – I had mentioned in my last post I would write a little something before our Avoimet Puutarha -Open Garden Day Event. Oopsy! I did not do that! I could provide plenty of reasons (excuses) why this didn’t happen. I will instead chalk it all up to being extremely busy getting everything ready before the big day; which it certainly was!

Finland is currently melting before our very eyes. 30c+ temps are creating a bake-off of national proportions. When it’s 30c inside your house, then there’s nowhere else to go than the lake! Which is how we dealt with yesterday’s extremely hot conditions.   But I’m getting ahead of myself. What about the Garden Day!!! Sit back and I will fill you in!

Have I mentioned it’s hot? Have I mentioned that we’re living daily under forest fire warnings and threats of forest fires? Have I possibly mentioned that we haven’t had much rain – except on two occasions all month? Whew boy it’s a tale for the ages… except I noticed in yesterday’s Länsi-Uusimaa sanomalethi (newspaper) that ACTUALLY it was 31.7c in Inari (Lapland) in 1966. So our 30c over the weekend wasn’t record-breaking.

I told Pekka Sunday morning no one would show up for garden day in this heat. I was wrong! OMG alert the media! I will say it again, folks, I was wrong. People weren’t literally beating the doors down, but a steady stream of cars starting lining the shoulder of the road to come to see our garden at 12 on the dot. I was amazed! Luckily, at this point at 12:00 noon I was greeting everyone in the shade and could relax between incoming guests for a minute or two, that is until the trickle became a constant stream of visitors. We had several returnees from our first open day two years ago, but mostly the visitors this time were first-timers.  A common exclamation upon reaching the driveway enclosure and peeping in for their first view of things was: WOW!

I do have to say, timing is everything. Considering the late spring we experienced, which was very cool, and the lack of usual rain totals, combined with extreme heat, some items which should normally be in full-swing haven’t even gotten started going yet! Take, for instance, our roses. Only a small percentage were flowering, which is highly irregular. It’s not to say we didn’t have any blooming, but when you advertise that you grow over 200 roses, people are expecting to be wowed. So, the roses were a bit underwhelming compared to how they normally would be looking. The garden day this year is almost two weeks earlier than the previous time we participated, which also might be partly to blame. There were a few irises blooming, and all the peonies were showing their magnificent stuff.  Peonies don’t offer much for a garden day in July, because by July, peonies are well past their best flowering and the show is usually over.

Despite the setbacks of event dates, rain, and heat, the garden day was a great success. All ages from infants to those 80+ meandered through the garden spaces and took advantage of the garden benches placed throughout the whole yard. A favorite was the black bench near the water feature – probably because it was in the shade! There were lots of comments and questions about plants, and many hundreds of photos were taken. I received many disbelieving looks to queries whether we are professional gardeners or designers. There were also a few who couldn’t believe that I manage the yard mowing and edging myself. All that to say, we were visited by wonderful people from all over the region who love gardens and gardening. That’s what it’s all about! To everyone who braved the heat and sweltered along with us – we salute you! Kiitos Suomalaisille ystäville ja puutarhureille.

In case you missed the open day – here’s how things are looking right now!


My immediate future plans include visits to the lake to go swimming until this heat wave is over. No idea when that is going to happen, so I’m keeping my bathing suit and towel on-the-ready!  As for next garden day events, I think I can tuck that one away for maybe 5 years down the road. We are open to visits by appointment for small groups. If you’re interested in a visit, contact us via the Facebook page Pekka maintains or write to us at vanhatalosuomi.yahoo.com

Once again, we applaud and thank everyone who showed us the love last Sunday! Your wonderful kind kinds words are appreciated so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Until next time,

❤ Vanha Talo Suomi