Greenhouse, hot, light, bright…

It’s officially summer! And lately… First it was very freaking windy for many days, and a bit cold, too. Now it has been very warm again, even hot (too warm 😀 ) for a few days. For example here where I’m living it was 31 degrees Celsius in the shade in the daytime on Thursday, and not much cooler on Friday, and yesterday it was around 29 degrees as well. Today it’s 21 degrees Celsius – oh, normality… 😀

Our greenhouse is ready, yay! It has been fully ready for a few days now. First pictures that I took when it was still possible to ‘see through’ the greenhouse a bit:

greenhouse
greenhouse

And these are what we put into the ground, going round and round… hmm…

greenhouse

There it is, one of them…

greenhouse

The greenhouse is almost, but not quite, under the monster, our biggest pine tree.

greenhouse
greenhouse

Two pictures from the inside.

greenhouse

A few pictures I took today, the first ‘ready pictures’:

greenhouse

It was a lot of work and everything, but “Phew!” now finally… 😀

greenhouse

There are for example watermelon and sweet peppers growing. We carried 1000 litres of garden soil in bags into/outside the greenhouse.

greenhouse

Fuchsia flowers.

And viola flowers today:

viola flowers
viola flowers

Love the scent in the air…

viola flowers & sage

Sage, too…

stars on the ground
Stars on the ground…

The stars are on the ground again this time of year in Finland. 🙂 – Arctic starflower or chickweed wintergreen in the woods next to our garden, I took this picture at around 11.55 pm on Wednesday. (And I was attacked by mosquitoes, there are plenty of them evenings these days.)

So the days are long now, light and bright. And they are still getting a bit lighter. Today for example, here where I’m living, the sun rose at 03.58 am and the sun sets at 23.03 pm – the length of the day is 19 h 5 min.

  • Leena

Flowers in the garden

I took all the pictures in this blog post in our garden today. I already have a couple of recent flower pictures on my Instagram, here’s now a few more.

viola

There’s still viola flowers, red viola flowers…

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

A bunch of pictures of the echinacea purpurea or purple coneflower flowers, the most long-lasting flowers I’ve ever had! – Some of the flowers have been there for over a month now. 🙂

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

Still new flowers, too.

clarkia amoena/godetia, calendula, marigold

Clarkia amoena or godetia flowers and calendula or pot marigold flowers again. 😉

clarkia amoena or godetia

calendula or marigold

“Psst…!”

-Leena

About some of the edibles in the garden

Today I’ll write a bit about some of the edibles in the garden right now. Here’s really only some of the edibles in the garden – about a few more a bit later…

sweet corn

This is the second time that we are growing sweet corn in our garden. Last summer our sweet corns grew from seedlings, these are grown from seed now. This summer has been very good for growing sweet corn here in Finland, it has been very warm and sunny.

sweet corn

The tallest plant is much taller than I am.

sweet corn

There are cobs growing in three plants or stalks, two cobs in each plant. We had several sweet corn stalks growing, but only three grew taller and are now growing cobs. Hmm, I’m still not sure how to talk about the different parts of the corn plants, how to call them, and not even in Finnish… :p But yeah, I’ll write about the harvest of our sweet corn then later. 🙂

potato

Our potato patch this summer – new patch for potatoes this year again… We haven’t dug up any potatoes yet.

carrot

This is how our carrots grow this year; a raised garden bed with a wooden frame. Neat, no weeds.

beetroot, parsnip, turnip

Beetroot, parsnip and turnip. A raised bed with the frame as well. And we are growing all these three for the first time ever. We haven’t dug up beetroot and parsnips yet.

carrot & turnip

But we have dug up some carrots and turnips already. I used these in soup.

tomato

And we have only one tomato plant growing this year, we had more than one, but only this bears fruit. But yeah, the plant doesn’t look very good anymore. The nights can already be a bit colder, and a bit cold for tomato plants, but we still have warm days. The temperatures have been around 20 degrees Celsius in the daytime.

tomato

But there’s fruit turning red all the time now.

tomato

tomato

Our first ripe tomatoes this year. I will never stop wondering at the taste of home-grown tomatoes – they taste so sweet and amazing. 🙂

-Leena

The heat’s been on

The summer has been unbelievably hot in Finland, as it has been all over Europe. At least for now the temperatures have gone down here in Finland, and yeah, there shouldn’t be temperatures like 30 degrees Celsius anymore this summer. (?) Anyway, this summer we learned that temperatures around 25 degrees Celsius are kinda cool. I mean, usually 25 degrees Celsius has been the Heat for us, but this summer we had 30 degrees Celsius or even a bit warmer for so, so many days that, yes, one truly felt it. And it was so dry everywhere for so many weeks that we couldn’t light campfires.

And about me, myself and I… I woke up at 4.30 am when I was working, and with so many early mornings during the week this summer, I didn’t quite yet learn to get my shi…itake together in my free time, I mean, it can be seen, for example, here in my blog… or, you just can’t see anything here… But I learned that I can make money by doing something that has something to do with gardening, funny. 🙂 And now it is the time to do… many things, I have a ton of things to do, but that’s nice, and I’m quite excited about writing here in my blog now, too. 🙂

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

Echinacea purpurea or purple coneflower flowers in our garden now. I planted three tiny young echinacea plants last summer and two of them have been growing this year – the one in the middle didn’t grow at all a year ago either.

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

Butterflies, too, love echinacea flowers… The right wing of this beauty was a bit damaged.

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

New flowers still growing.

echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower

Echinacea has been one of my dream flowers for my garden.

And here’s another one of my dream plants, in our garden now as well:

bougainvillea

Bougainvillea. My ‘mini Spain’. – Bougainvillea is “the miracle bush in the south” for us here in the north. 🙂 These plants are so huge in the south! And the first time I met this wonder was in Spain. My plant was tiny and there were no bracts or flowers when I bought it, and it cost me only a few euros. I’m glad it began to flower!

bougainvillea

The actual flowers of bougainvillea, small and sweet.

This summer I’ve seen a bat in our garden. One bat, only once. My boyfriend has seen a couple of bats a couple of times here this summer, but we definitely saw more of them a year ago.

And last week I saw a raccoon dog here for the first time. My boyfriend has seen it here once before this summer. I’m not quite sure how to feel about raccoon dogs here…

The summer is not over yet!

-Leena

Summer in full swing already

It’s been summer here in Finland all the time now… The temperatures have been between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius during the day, and some days it’s been even warmer than that, too… And when we’ve had like “a bit cooler weather”, the temperatures have been between 18 and 20 degrees. So, it’s been quite incredible to experience this here now… But one morning was cold this week – it was 4 degrees Celsius, whoa! But it’s been all sunshine, sunshine, and very dry everywhere…

And about myself… and my blog now. I’ve been working outside the home, so to speak, now, it has something to do with gardening (would you believe it? 😉 ) aaand not working at home with my computer means that I don’t sit by my computer that often now, because I wake up very early in the morning, and I drive to work very early in the morning – I’m some sort of an early owl altogether now, and I don’t have that much time or energy for this dear blog of mine. Well, I don’t mean that I was super blogger before, but I mean, for example, that some of the content of my blog will now be only on my Instagram (owlnatureleena), like most of the flower pictures, and so on. Well, let’s see how everything happens, just thought I’d mention that even if it looks like I’m doing nothing here in my blog, I’m actually doing many things out here and there and preparing myself for many things all the time. 😀 And yes, I still have some planting to do here at home, seeds, seedlings… Oh dear, oh dear…

I took all the pictures in this blog post in our garden today.

Oookay, to begin with, our cherry tree didn’t survive the winter, it didn’t grow any leaves – it just stood there, all bare and dry…

cherry tree

So, this is our new cherry tree now. The dead cherry tree was by the woods, this is by the terrace of our house.

cherry bush

We actually thought that our cherry bush wouldn’t survive the winter, but here it still is. And it is flowering!

cherry bush flowering

It still has many flower buds, too.

pear tree

The pear tree is flowering as well. The flowers are… down there, all on the same spot… There’s been like five or six of them.

About some animals… Cuckoo bird has been calling here every day now – the delightful voice of the early summer! And my boyfriend has seen bats in our garden again. I haven’t seen them – I’ve already been sleeping…

plum tree

The plum tree already flowered, it had perhaps around 100 flowers. And the apple tree already flowered, too.

lilac

Lilacs, common lilacs are blooming now. Oh, the lovely scent…

“Oh, summer, the light, the dazzle, oh, that shi…itake…!”:

A night owl?

-A bit of a night owl…? 🙂

-Leena

Gone cross-country skiing [in Kuusamo earlier this week]

It’s been like summer here in Finland this week. Especially here in the southern part of the country it’s been warm for a bit over a week now. The temperatures have been between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius during the day. The sun’s been shining, grass is already green, the trees are growing leaves – everything is growing, everything is green… and there’s more flowers and butterflies. The scent of summer is in the air and we can already eat some herbs from the garden as well.

But I started off this week by going backwards in time, so to speak. – I travelled to Kuusamo in Koillismaa region in northern Finland, just below Lapland. This time it took 10 hours and 30 minutes to travel there by car through the western and middle parts of Finland, and during all that time I saw how the spring advanced… backwards and in the wrong direction. But that was just nice for a bit adventurous soul. 😀

We (me and my dad) arrived in Kuusamo late in the evening on Sunday a week ago, spent Monday and Tuesday there, and travelled back home again on Wednesday. After that it’s already been warmer there in Kuusamo, too, around 20 degrees Celsius, but here, in this blog post now, is one of the last opportunities to talk about cross-country skiing in Kuusamo this spring…

And in Kuusamo the roads and many other places already were free of snow and ice, spring was already there in that way – the snow had already almost mostly melted, almost… Well, there still were heaps of snow here and there, still melting and in the forests there still was snow, here and there. And the lakes were not free of ice.

cross-country skiing

So, into the woods I went. My very own cross-country skiing equipment waited for me at the cabin.

cross-country skiing

Kuusamo

In the woods, by the lake.

Kuusamo

I saw two swans flying and honking over the lake for a couple of times. I also saw an otter, an Eurasian otter that is, swimming in the ice-free water by the woods. I’ve seen that type of an animal swimming there before, too, a few years ago. 🙂

Kuusamo

And owls… I think I heard an owl calling! When I first heard the voice I immediately thought something along the lines of “this really might be an owl, there’s possibly something so specific in the voice… is it…?” I heard the voice every evening there, over and over again. Well, here, at home where my computer waited for me, I did some research and it truly might have been the voice of a northern hawk owl. I didn’t see the bird in the woods, but I might also have seen an owl flying when I was travelling in the car from the cabin towards the town centre. I saw the bird pretty well, and there was just something so specific… Or perhaps I’ve finally gone nuts. 😀 Well, nice experiences they were, even though I can’t be 100% sure… But learning new things all the time!

Kuusamo

The tracks of a reindeer on the left, my tracks on the right. We went for a walk in the woods together… Well, no, not together, I didn’t see reindeer by the cabin. But we saw many reindeer by the road when we were travelling to Kuusamo. I called them ‘Santa’s reindeer’, because they had winter coat. And before the reindeer I saw a moose standing in a forest.

And when we were travelling back home, about 11 hours through the middle and western parts of Finland, the spring advanced again in the right way, so to speak. And here at home it was like summer already! – At first all the green that had emerged while I was away really felt strange. Stranger than falling into the snow in the north. Nice and delightful, simple adventures everywhere. 🙂

-Leena

Two and a half weeks in Eastern Finland

I spent two and a half weeks in Eastern Finland, in the municipality of Rautavaara in the region of Northern Savonia, in August and in September. It’s my boyfriend’s home region and I was travelling with him and our two cats. His family has an old house there in Rautavaara, no one lives in the house anymore, it’s just for summertime visits nowadays, and that’s the place we stayed as well. It’s always about an eight hour’s drive from our home to Rautavaara, and the same back of course. – Always worth the travel.

I didn’t take pictures of, like, everything, but naturally I did ‘get caught up in some things’, and the result is this blog post here now. 🙂 I also took some pictures for our, mine and Owlnature‘s, Instagram (owlnatureleena), and the real Instagram widget has, by the way, (finally :p ) been on the sidebar of my blog for some time now as well.

lake Keyritty

By the lake Keyritty, just outside the centre of Rautavaara. It was a summery day. So calm, beautiful… just stunning! And it was completely silent here and everywhere we went. 🙂

lake Keyritty

dragonfly

There were many dragonflies flying and enjoying the sunshine by the house on many days. Here’s two of them.

dragonfly

Tiilikanselkä

By another lake on some other day. This is called Tiilikanselkä.

There are actual creeks in the forest, I’m not sure if this is one of them, or is this just some ditch…? Beautiful water areas in the forests, too, anyway.

monkshood in forest

I went mushroom hunting and all I could find was poisonous monkshood. ;p In this one forest I found monkshood in the wild for the first time.

monkshood in forest

monkshood in forest

boletus edulis, penny bun

But we did find a lot of mushrooms, too, during our trip. Here’s one penny bun mushroom or cep or porcino/porcini or boletus edulis mushroom…

craterellus (or cantharellus) tubaeformis, yellowfoot, winter mushroom

And here’s our biggest amount of yellowfoot mushrooms or winter mushrooms or funnel chanterelles or cantharellus/craterellus tubaeformis mushrooms…

In addition to cooking with mushrooms we enjoyed bilberries (or blueberries), lingonberries and crowberries in the forests.

Another lake again. I was on a ridge. There are lakes on either side of the ridge. And there are many ridges in Rautavaara area, fairly small, beautiful… with lakes, forests and swamps.

creek

A creek in the forest, so clear you can see the bottom.

creek

Tiilikanselkä

By Tiilikanselkä again, we went there actually three times during our trip. 🙂

river flows

And river flows…

river flows...

…and flows. Until next time. 🙂

-Leena