Sunday, 7 April 2019

Fair-y frenzy

I did think I'd spend more than two hours at the Helsinki Spring Fair. It was my first time, and it was interesting but rather different from what I expected. I thought there'd be more stuff for small-time gardeners, tools and such, and opportunities to buy e.g. soil, border stones, yard carpentry work and so on at a discount. I expected a heavy presence by Plantagen and Bauhaus, selling houseplant gear, garden furniture, and decorative features. Instead, it was mostly manufacturers' booths featuring power tools, outdoor jacuzzis, entire log cottages, and presentation pieces showing entire small (extremely fake) gardens of unimaginative design. There were half a dozen booths where you could buy plants, and they were very crowded. Flower shops sold tulips, scillas, daffodils and other typical spring plants at prices higher than your average supermarket.
Mr Thumb and I had a good time, though, even though we're not in the market for a jacuzzi larger than our bathroom and sauna combined, or a stone patio, or a robot lawnmower. We looked at solar panels for the cottage (... and I'll talk more about that later!), found out that there are incinerating toilets with the heart-breaking brand name of Cinderella, and laughed our arses off at those jacuzzis. I mean really, one of them was fake marble! :D  I'm sorry now I didn't take a picture.
Nice plants, nice water feature (which to Mr Thum looked
like a mortar shell), nowhere to buy such water features.

This one I want. This is awesome. 

This might be a nice thing to put in the middle
of the lawn in the back yard.

This is what the turf bricks that make up the
flowerbed now falling apart must have
looked like when brand new. 
Mr Thumb bought me tulips, once I had gently hinted that I
wanted some. I subtly said: "Buy me some of those tulips."
Bulbs, roots, things... I may have lost it a bit.
Also, I have no idea at this point what it was I bought :D 

I'll leave you to simmer in anticipation a bit longer, waiting for the post about that cottage...

Monday, 1 April 2019

More spring greenery

This spring is very different from last year. A year ago I was still waiting for the snows to melt, and after they did I had to clear the flowerbeds of a layer of slimy brown plant matter. This year, I'm busy wondering if the greenery that the melting snows reveal will just carry on from where it left off in the autumn, seeing as it looks completely alive!

The front yard is still covered in snow, though.

But in the back yard, everything is pushing up through the soil.

I'm astonished to find that these things survived the winter!
They're potted hydrangeas I was given last year and planted
"temporarily" just to see what would happen.

Woodsquill (Scilla siberica, idänsinililja).



Crocuses are cropping up all over the lawn
because hey, that's where I planted them!

The skunk currant (lamoherukka) is putting forth leaves.
Yesterday I very inexpertly trimmed two crabapple trees, but left the sourcherry alone because we returned Mr Thumb's dad's handy extensible trimmers and I couldn't reach the branches.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Life will out

It's spring! All the things are sprouting!


More tulips!

Peonies and even more tulips!

Even more even more tulips! And... uh.. um.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Bulbs away!

Thumb: "Uh, honey? Umm... I may have overdone it with the mail order flower bulbs."
Mr Thumb: "<sigh>"
Thumb: "Just a bit."
Mr Thumb: "Overdone? You? I can't believe it."
Thumb: "Again with the sarcasm..."

I got maybe a third of them planted: some scillas (and let's see how those turn out...), crocuses, and tulips large and small. I'd post pictures but firstly, it was dark by the time I finished, and secondly, even if it wasn't, there'd be nothing to see but soil.

Pot luck tulips.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Early autumn pictures

In late summer I had a few weeks where I ran out of ammo to take care of the garden. Everything seemed to be going along nicely, so I just poured water on where plants seemed dry and Mr Thumb mowed the lawn. I couldn't fit any more plants in there and was running out of money anyway. It also seemed like autumn storms must hit Any Minute Now.

I'm still there just a bit, waiting for autumn that doesn't seem inclined to show up. I have no idea when autumn planting should be done - probably now, but I'm even more out of money now. I also feel like if I go to the garden centre I'll just come back with another clueless selection of random plants, which is what the garden now seems to be. We haven't used the garden as much as I thought we would, and I'm the only one in the family who actually enjoyes an outdoor barbicue, so that's a bit wrought.

Anyway, here's a few pictures from a nice weekend morning in the garden.

Little fly warming up on the spiraea.

Prelude to autumn.

When you get the light right, the picture's out of focus...

... and when it's on focus, the light is boring. 

Reaching up

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Planning the back yard

1. This planter-y box will be dismantled in the spring anyway because it's falling apart. The plan now is to empty much of it and put in tulip and daffodil bulbs for spring colour, and move the last plants in the spring.

2. The planter at the back of the yard will be mostly emptied out. I'm thinking rhododendrons; or maybe move the hydrangea in the front yard here.
I had a tentative plan (a more long-term one) to take out the planter altogether and move the deck here, but it turns out the ground under the existing deck is basically just rock and any grass would just slide off eventually.

3. This is the back of the planter box. There are creepers here that aren't actually allowed to creep up the wall, because it's not our wall. Any solutions would be welcome. I'm considering suggesting to the Powers That Be (and I have no idea who that actually is - the housing association?) that we be allowed to put up a free-standing screen or something and only attach it to the wall at the upper end.
Mind you, the previous owners had rebelliously screwed in supports...

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Hydrangeas / hortensiat

If you want a big bush, prune lightly in early spring or in the autumn after flowering, just removing  the wilted flowers; this gives smaller flowers but encourages growth. For larger flowers, prune more strongly, e.g., half the annual growth.

When young, water regularly and do not let dry out. Older plants only need extra water in very dry conditions (such as the summer of 2018).

The best time to move it is in the autumn after the leaves have fallen.

(More info in Finnish)