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Hello friends!

We’ve arrived to the never-ending month of August – the month that just keeps on going, long after you think it should be over. With this post, I can put to rest your fears that we were roasted to death by the relentless heat wave that besieged Finland this summer. While we did roast a little, what became obvious during this time, was that we cannot maintain a garden without supplemental water. Since the well-water has been shut off until the shed remodel reaches the point where the plumbing can be re-connected, we’ve been without any supplemental water except for what can be toted in a watering can, filled up from inside the house. I can tell you that method of watering is tiring and ineffective for such an extensive garden such as ours. While I ticked off the days of June and then July, hoping in vain for rain, we watched several plants and bushes wither and perish under the severe heat and drought. The damage was already several months along for some of these lost items, having started last winter with the fluke snowfall and weird & changing spring temperatures. 

During the last several years, we have been very fortunate to have been spared significant loss. So far, we’d realized only slight to minimal losses of anything we planted or seeded. This year was the end of a six-year-long streak of good luck and good fortune.  Several hundred euros later, and with several small, medium and large items now dead – August and September are the months when we will take stock and carry about some much-needed reassessments of what we will, and what we will not be replacing.

With those ceaseless 30c+ days came also the realization that WE cannot survive and thrive in relentless heat waves without A/C. So many other people reached the same conclusion that all the A/C units have been completely sold out. Thankfully, the heatwave finally snapped – but a month or more of that unbearable heat was enough to convince even the diehards that central air conditioning is the next large home expense & modification many of us can look forward to. Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s an article from the Finnish Meteorological Institute about it! READ

Despite searing temperatures, much has been accomplished in regard to the shed remodel. Also, the greenhouse was disassembled and taken down – making way for a gardening space which takes advantage of the prime exposure and proximity to the guest house portion of the shed building. 

The greenhouse was a well-intentioned initial project, but one that ended up being a complete waste of space while also being a hideous eyesore. It’s initial construction and removal was expensive and time-consuming. I regret now ever asking for one to be put up. Lesson learned, and I’m sorry for asking for one! 

Pekka removed the glass portions, which we then stacked up for removal to Rosk n’Roll. Then the siding came off inside and out, and then finally all the support structures came down. Eventually in two weekends the entire business was done and ready to be carted away, which we did in a couple trips.

We’ve since removed all debris, prepared the space with gravel pathway which curves along the base of those large stones wrapping around the back to tie into the other paths and finally mulched the planting area – ready for autumn or spring planting.

We took some time off to travel to Nakkila to visit Pekka’s brothers and also so that Pekka could compete in a sporting expo near there. He’s been training since last year for a power-lifting competition which is happening in November, but these events were track and field in nature.  Pekka has been competing in the shot put competition. So far in three events, including one just this past weekend in Mikkeli where we were able to visit his sister, Pekka has won first place for his age group at three different Finnish track and field competitions.  Here he is enjoying a victory.

We’ve been gathering construction supplies of all kinds. Installed sauna wall panels and ceilings in both the sauna and bathroom of the guest house, purchased bath tiles and made final decisions on how to finish the guest house bedroom. An old original stove was dismantled and removed, with one more still to go. A new wood burner for the sauna was purchased last week and is on standby for installation.  Things are really moving along! Hopefully, the momentum continues throughout the duration of Pekka’s remaining holiday time off, so we can get as much done towards the shed remodel as possible before his holiday is over and before autumn really sets in.

Thankfully, some much-needed rain arrived while we were away last weekend in Mikkeli. While it isn’t enough to ensure the largest trees will have been replenished, it seems to have been enough for smaller items. Glad to have some rather none

I’ve made a tally of autumn planting chores, which can only happen once cooler weather arrives and plants start the process of going dormant for the season. A number of hostas can be divided finally as well as several roses relocated to the new space where the greenhouse once was. Shifting a few items and giving space for others will make a big difference overall, while also helping to fill in a few of the voids in the landscape here and there.

It’s bright and sunny with scattered clouds and even a bit crisp this morning at 12c – the rain of last weekend brought much cooler morning and overnight temperatures, which is quite a departure from the 30c+ just a week ago.  It certainly feels like Autumn, but I have a feeling our summer is far from over, especially since the forecast lists 24c next week. 

Some views just now around the garden. Until next time ❤