Spring waving from a distance…

…and spring is ‘throwing it right at you’ – snow, hail and shine, too! And it has been a bit colder again.

The first five pictures I took in our garden on Sunday. Sunday – funday: first the sun was shining, then some dark clouds started to appear in the sky, and then the sun was shining and it was snowing at the same time, and after that it was just cloudy and it was snowing, and then again clouds were going away and the sun was shining again, and after that again; dark clouds were appearing in the sky and the sun was shining and it started to snow at the same time… – This pattern continued all day.

March

And at one point it was hailing as well. The sun was still shining on the right-hand side when I took the picture above.

March

Spring says hello…

March

So there’s that…

March

I know what triggers you.

March

Solar power.

Three pictures that I took yesterday:

March

Coffee pic… Just to tell that the sun wasn’t exactly shining, but the scent of the coffee was wonderful, and that it was snowing yesterday, too.

March

And a bit later… Nordic walking in the forest. Ravens were croaking there, and it was snowing a bit.

purple coneflower & daisy, March
Echinacea purpurea or purple coneflower (bigger leaves) and daisy.

Purple coneflower and daisy growing in our kitchen…

And pictures that I took today:

March

Having coffee again today. ;D And the sun is shining.

March
From the garden bench.
dwarf spruce, March
~Hi!~

My dwarf spruce was completely buried under snow, now she’s back. 🙂

Sofian maailma
Sofian maailma, Sophie’s World.

I am about to finish reading this book, Sofian maailmaSophie’s World – A Novel About the History of Philosophy by Jostein Gaarder. It’s a great book! And a great adventure. And it’s a bit heavy book – there was a week I couldn’t read it, I couldn’t hold the book in my hands, because it was too heavy for my shingles…

March
  • Leena

Christmas time

Many things to do… I had some interesting new working experiences – it had something to do with getting some traditional Finnish Christmas food into stores, and now it’s Christmas time… Hmm, we’re cleaning our home now, and so on…

Christmas time

My morning coffee today. So, the house is a bit of a mess. That cloth… back there in the picture, for example, is a curtain from our living room. The curtain has fallen down because its handle got loose. And our couch ‘fell down’, too, so we’re basically sitting on the floor now. And we must clean the tables and take the carpets outside and hoover the house, and… But hey, it’s the shortest day of the year today! 🙂

The next three pictures I took in our garden today:

December
From the terrace
December echinacea purpurea and peony
Echinacea purpurea or purple coneflower and peony
December

We’ve had snow on the ground for many days now. And it’s snowing right now as well, and it’s -8 degrees Celsius, so we’ll have a white Christmas this year, too!

And here’s a video from our trail camera or game camera – I just call it an animal camera. We had the animal camera in my boyfriend’s land in the region of Etelä-PohjanmaaSouth Ostrobothnia. We brought the camera home for the winter. And here at home it was possible to get the videos to computer. We got some interesting and delightful videos. There were night-time wanderers… I’ll have a few videos here in my blog, too, so here’s the first one, a hare. 🙂 :

  • 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

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

The first snow of the season

Today, on the 26th of October, we have the first snow of the season. It started to snow last night. Fairly early here in southern Finland – already in October, usually this happens here in November.

We have to enjoy this now, today and perhaps still tomorrow. They say, and we know, that this snow will melt by the end of the week. So, now, some pictures that I took in our garden today. 🙂

first snow, October, corn plants

The corn plants and stuff…

first snow, October, echinacea, peony

Echinacea and peony covered with snow…

first snow, October, cherry tree leaves

And leaves of the cherry tree

first snow, October, clarkia amoena

I see something pink… They are clarkia amoena or godetia flowers! 🙂

first snow, October, clarkia amoena

first snow, October, peony poppy pod

Peony poppy pods…

first snow, October, peony poppy pod

first snow, October

first snow, October

And there are Christmas trees… :p

first snow October

-Leena

Sweet corn, grape vine, purple coneflower – the strangers in our garden

Now some more adventures in the garden. This year I grew sweet corn for the first time. It was a quite fascinating experience! An experiment. 😀 For a Finn corn plants are rather exotic plants, they are not like potatoes and carrots that are popular and are grown everywhere (and grow everywhere, too). Usually the growing of corn plants succeeds only in southern Finland, and even here the summer generally has to be very good, favourable.

This is how big my sweet corn plants grew, they were grown from seedlings. I took this pic a bit over a week ago when I harvested my sweet corns.

And something about my adventure… I wasn’t at all familiar with the growing of the corn plant, or… with the corn plant itself. – I didn’t know what to expect and what there should, like, be in the plant so that it would be able to be pollinated, and… what the plant should look like – where the different parts of the plant should grow… OK, so I was a bit puzzled with all the stages of the growing of the corn plant.

The only thing I knew was that corn plants need rich, fertile soil, and that I had to put some frost protection fabric on them when it was cold in May. And about the summer… the summer in Finland this year of course was not very good for the growing of corn plants.

Here were the results. Not so much corn… but wow, the plants had so much growing to do! And they did grow some small miracles and even one bigger with actual kernels on the cob. (In addition to these in the pic, there were also three more small miracles and one bigger with a few kernels, but they were already a bit mouldy.) I cooked these corns in the pic in water and we ate these ‘baby corns’ and these real kernels in the bigger corn. They were just delicious!

OK, so, now I know how to actually grow corn plants and what kind of plants they are in the first place. 🙂 And I would definitely grow sweet corn plants again! And I would write about it, from the very beginning… now that I know what to write. ;D

We’ve had this grape vine plant growing in our garden for three summers now. In spring this year we were just looking at the spot where this had grown in previous summers like “will it even grow this year… or ever again…” But it did grow this summer, too, and never before it has grown this big. And what’s more…

…this year our grape vine started to even grow some grapes! Quite amazing, a bit unbelievable. – I have not expected that our plant would actually grow fruits. Now it has two bunches of grapes growing, this bunch in the picture has the bigger fruits. OK, they won’t grow more now in autumn… A bit of grape tasting next, no matter how small or unripe these are. 🙂

My echinacea purpurea or purple coneflower flower for this year in the garden now. I planted my first ever echinacea plants in May, three seedlings in total. I wasn’t sure if I should see flowers this year or not, or perhaps next year, this should be perennial… Well, this is not a perfect echinacea flower, but a pretty autumn flower anyway! 🙂

The other two seedlings didn’t grow that much, the one on the right can hardly be seen in the pic.

But this is tall…

Echinacea was, and still is, one of my dream plants or flowers for my garden, now I would like to plant a few seedlings more of this. 🙂

-Leena