23 syyskuuta 2018

Color Collage

Aino’s colors were a bit challenging this week - no florals today
- but a scarf, my summer handbag, a necklace & a curtain.

22 syyskuuta 2018

Signs of autumn - Syksyn merkkejä

My garden looks wet, autumn like and really messy - in fact pretty sad.
But I don’t want to think of the sad sights now, instead show you some blooms that still delight me.

Lilium orientale
On the contrary to my doubts each new lily bulb is blooming. The overall sight is not so nice
because everything around these fantastic lilies looks withering and brown already.

Sedum Herbstfreude
A year ago I donated a lot of these to my daughter’s new garden.
Then divided what was left  in tiny clumps that have grown extremely well in this dry corner.

Calamagrostis Karl Foerster has decided to show some late blooms...

Parthenocissus has started to show some red color...

There are a plenty of seeds to pick up:
Alcea rosea, Digitalis, Verbascum nigra, Lychnis coronaria, Aquilegia... you name it...

Soon time to plant some late autumn plantings...

Linking with

21 syyskuuta 2018

Invitation to Friday Bliss #2

to share your thoughts and photos.
Would be lovely to hear what you have been up to recently.


We have two major book fairs in Finland:
The Turku Book Fair in the beginning of October; the theme country
this year is Estonia who celebrates the 100th anniversary of independence.
The Helsinki Book Fair at the end of October; the theme country
this year is The United States.

This city punishes me with coincidences.
With stories that open and take me to the past.
- Kai Aareleid

One of great Estonian writers is Kai Aareleid (b. 1972 Tartu).
Her new novel is just been translated into English as Burning Cities, in Finnish Korttitalo. 
This beautiful and melancholy family saga through the tumultuous years of Estonia
pleased me very much and I recommend it warmly. I’ll quote here one of Aareleids poems:

of the railways
is not the same as before
instead of sweet pitch
odorless concrete

the water under the bridge
is no longer the same 
does not bring with it
sweet smell of swamp
is at a standstill

the life does not smell anymore the same as before

but for many things
the scent is the same
the staircase of an old wooden house
empty cellar of jams
collapsed baking oven
abandoned workshop
a cold chapel

sorrow and memories
still smell
the same

There is autumn in the air. The first part of the week was very grey and rainy,
then we got a bit of sunshine as well. It’s soon time to buy callunas to the outdoor pots.
For tomorrow it is forecast storm and rain.
Yesterday was a happy day for me: I could go out for garden jobs on my own feet!
I was out for three hours, today the foot needs rest. But I am confident.
In my art group the theme was Self-portrait as an animal.
This is me :) buried in dusty old books.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend!
- riitta

replaces Floral Bliss from the 14th of September on.
The link is open
Helsinki time

20 syyskuuta 2018

Whispers from the Almond Valley

"I am Susanna, a child of The Sun, a florist and a decorator who sees beauty in each tiny thing.
The roots of my poetry lie in the heart of Cosmos - and I wish also others to see 
the aesthetics that makes my soul to bloom.”

Susanna is a Finnish born blog friend of mine who lives and works in Spain. She publishes short poems and adorable & romantic photos in her blog A Whisper from the Almond Valley In her poems you find the gratefulness in front of The Life’s miracles and beauty; gratefulness for each new day and the beloved ones. I wish you’ll enjoy the verses and beautiful photos. At least in Finland this kind of positive thoughts are so welcome now in the dark evenings of the autumn. Poetry is difficult to translate but I did my best.

I sense how The Moon rises today out of you,
the love of my life.

I breathe the sound of your heart and
explore each of your perfect traits.

Your twinkling sapphire eyes,
the softness of your skin sand
your sweet scent.

let this moment go on for a little eternity
to give me time to frame the most beautiful memories
to my heart’s gallery.

The Moon beams are dancing
on the rim of the wine glass,
the last waltz of the misty night
ringing in my ears and
the moonlight party remains
in my album of memories.

The dew pearls of Aurora
are gathering strength and rising
on the cheek of Hibiscus
to wait for a new day tasting of life.

The next morning will wake up
the newborn Life
to party again!

In the twilight it is wonderful
to set the table!
Warm summer evening cherishes you,
the gentle swaying wind brings sounds 
of the the sea and a seagull  already cries
in the night's darkness.

I light candles and enjoy
from this moment of my life!

When the sun climbs to the highest
point of the skyline and
swallows dodge a couple of funny cloudlets
in the heavenly blue sky,
it is time to sit in the shadow of the palm tree.

The blush of cherry blossoms,
the delicate touch of flowers on my skin and
the scent of apricot in the vacillating air.

How can summer days always be like this,
this beautiful?

I write it in the memory,
in the cherry stone,
in the heart of an apricot ...

... I love summer

It must be magic,
the love of Cosmos in the winds of the world.

The moment when cicadas start playing
in the shadows of the cypresses 
and the moon is already peeking 
from the fog of the horizon,
then I’ll set a dinner table on an old wood
and I light the candles
in the embrace of the wind.

In my glass a scent of oak and wine,
the herbal flavor of olives
on my lips.

I just sit and feel
how the night will arrive soon.
I lift a toast to
the love of my life.

I love you,

Throw yourself into the stardust and
breathe the sound of your heart.

Feel the beams of the sun
on your smooth cheeks and
tickle your dreams with your hair.

Let the words patter the paper,
your pearl necklace strew your feelings and
look at the doves dancing in 
the cloudless sky.

In a letter sealed with kisses
hides a mystery.

Send it that evening to the stars and
someone will find it for sure!

The key to life in my hand
I walk in the moonlight
into a misty dream,
only the swish of the wings of a moth
keeping me company.

I look at the stars,
touch The Moon,
awaiting the infinity of the Milky Way.

are you there,
do you hear me today?

I squeeze the key in my hand,
it's pure gold.

With trembling hands I reach out to 
to the golden lock.

Light dazzles,
the beauty of The World cascades
around me.

now I found you!

And I love the new day
more than I loved yesterday.

be my friend and fly my kiss
to the world’s soul.

throw your stardust on my flowers and embrace me
as you did for the first time.

lay down your beams on my shoulders and tickle
my cheek tenderly.

be with me until the moon takes me
by the hand and guides me
via its bridge over the infinity of ocean.

Thank you Cosmos,
that I can live with you every moment!

The wind whispers beautiful words,
wisdoms of life.

Let go of the past concerns,
see how they fly to infinity and
Hold your heart in your hands as if
it were the most precious jewel and put it
gently in its place.

Let the sun blow on it
the energy of Life and let stars dance
with you until the morning.

When you turn a new page in your book tomorrow,
you can write these words on a clean page:

The Spring of my life is now!

The world is full of secrets,
surprises and love.

Look for the most beautiful ones and close them
between the covers,
in the album of your happiness.
Write in your most beautiful handwriting:

Thank you Life!

18 syyskuuta 2018

Memories - La Mercè Barcelona

I have been twice in Barcelona during La Mercè week, the last time a year ago.
It was a month after the sad terrorist attack at La Rambla. I was a bit afraid
and thought even of cancelling my trip. But the city was nice and friendly,
saw only a couple of referendum manifestations.
The whole City of Barcelona is celebrating again the coming long weekend
- September 21st - 24th their patron saint Nuestra Señora de La Merced.

There are tens of free activities, performances and concerts allover the city.
Last year I saw the procession of Correfoc that circulated through Via Laietana.
In the Correfoc people dressed as devils light fireworks - fixed on devil’s pitchforks.
Dancing to the sound of a rhythmic drum group, they set off their fireworks
among crowds of spectators.
I could not get closer than this, because at the same time I participated in a
Carlos Luiz Zafòn tour on the routes of La Sombra del Viento /  The Shadow of the Wind.

And another day I happened to see this fun parade of Giants - Gegants.
I was on a very narrow street and people started to gather there - and soon
the parade was approaching with these unbelievable figures and music.
These giant fantasy figures could be also admired in an exhibition.

The previous time I admired the truly skilful Castellers - human towers.
And was so lucky that a señor living in Barcelona explained me all the time what was happening.
On top of the pyramid there was a very young kid, maybe five years old
 - and I was so afraid  but no accident happened fortunately.

Photo: Daily Mail - See the link for more fantastic photos!

This autumn no LIVE Barcelona for me, but I’m lucky to have my memories!

My previous post about the parade of Giants
Under the tag barcelona I have published many posts: about Gaudí, Miró etc.
I believe that the hotels are fully booked by now
but in case, here some links to La Mercè 2018 if you are interested:

16 syyskuuta 2018

In Sorbus Colors

Words of Love ❤︎

If I am the fall. And you’re the spring.
Then I’ll wait for you.
- Pentti Saarikoski

Jos minä olen syksy. Ja sinä olet kevät.
Niin minä odotan sinua.
- Pentti Saarikoski

I found a small piece of paper in my pocket: I love you.
The signature is unreadable.
Oh, my bad memory of men.
Oh, those people who don’t text their names.
- Arja Tiainen

Löysin taskustani lapun: rakastan sinua.
Allekirjoitus on epäselvä.
Voi minun lyhyttä miesmuistiani.
Voi ihmisiä, jotka eivät tekstaa nimeään.
- Arja Tiainen

You are a willow warbler,
I am a willow,
    you fly to my lap every night,
sleep under my arm, whisper your dream into the wind
           only for me to hear,
                for me, for me to dream too,
you bird, I willow.
- Pertti Nieminen

Sinä olet pajulintu,
minä paju,
   lehahdat syliini joka yö,
nukut kainalooni, soperrat unesi tuuleen
          vain minun kuulla,
               minun, minunkin uneksia,
sinä lintu, minä paju.
- Pertti Nieminen

Happy Sunday!
- riitta

Information on poets:
Pentti Saarikoski (1937-1983) / in English
Arja Tiainen (1947 - / in Finnish
Pertti Nieminen (1929-2015) in Finnish

14 syyskuuta 2018

Me as a Gardener - Minä puutarhurina

I found this fun questionnaire for garden lovers at the blog Red Clover, this and that.
The challenge was originally released by Flower & Cabbage.
I marked my choices with bold.
Would be lovely to see your answers as well!


  1. I draw plans on paper and archive them. It is a good way to check the varieties’ names later on.
  2. I enjoy garden planning so much that when it comes time to execute the plan, I make a new plan on the fly! 
  3. I always make a new plan when I find a gorgeous plant that insists to come with me to my garden. 
  4. I only design large lines. I plant here and there. 
  5. Garden planning - what a terrible word.
Usually I have to plant where there is a tiny empty space.
My borders are fully planted and I seldom buy new plants.

  1. I have a zero budget.
  2. A smart gardener makes a shopping list and sticks to it.
  3. I buy plants very moderately, but I have a small delivery van, in fact too small for all my purchased plants. 
  4. I tend to rescue plants from the fall sales. It would be such a pity to leave them standing as orphans on the shelves.
  5. I just must have all the novelties and specialities whatever the price.

  1. Everything must be in order. I also keep my stockings alphabetically ordered. 
  2. A place for everything, all in their place - at least roughly. I don’t care too much. 
  3. I always put the tools in place, but someone else leaves them scattered around. 
  4. At my shed door reads: ”No access”. If someone entered, she would be terrified. Maybe a case for Marie Kondo here? 
  5. Who the hell has invented such a crazy idea that things should have their specific storage places? I’m sure that my manure fork appears by the next spring - around the new border or when emptying the compost.
And the culprit is - the husband!

  1. I would lose my night’s sleep if the carrots were threatened by bugs and pests.
  2. Wait, I’ll show you at Instagram when I won the title of The Most Successful Pumpkin Breeder of the town last summer.
  3. I sow, water, weed and fertilize carefully and enjoy a good harvest. My cellar resembles that of The Hamster in the novel of Veikko Huovinen.
  4. I almost can’t eat the tomatoes I raised because their price - if calculated all the effort - would be per kilogram as high as that of the best beef fillet.
  5. I choose the cultivated pea varieties based on their flower color.
None. I have only a small herb garden, no vegetables at all.
Plums, cherries and apples grow on their own - this suits me.

  1. Weeding is meditation for me. I enjoy every single moment.
  2. I weed and cry.
  3. Well, weeding is simply a garden job among others. 
    Nothing to whinge when the birds are singing and the summer wind is blowing.
  4. I start to weed when thistles begin to block access to my home.
  5. Why should I weed?

  1. Hammock is my thing.
  2. There is always something to do, but gardening is not my whole life.
  3. First work, then amusement in the garden. I don’t have time to cook or to wash the laundry. 
  4. In the garden, from the garden, to the garden... That’s how it goes!
  5. Oh! Don’t these questions ever run out? I should already be out there weeding
I love to be outdoors from morning till night, doing a bit of this, a bit of that.

  1. Quite basic
  2. Always cool
  3. Starting always megalomaniac plans 
  4. A joyful hassle
  5. Full chaos
Year by year my garden gets wilder and wilder.

  1. I like traditions. Please, come and look at the dahlia  that I herited from my grandaunt. And look at these Papaver seeds ... Oh, and these Phlox ...
  2. Every plant will do. Each plant is beautiful in its own way.
  3. I'm pretty selective. Colors. Spreading. Hardiness. Effortlessness. According to these criteria.
  4. I just came back from Japan, where I went to get ideas on the design of my balcony / townhouse / garden.
  5. As modern as possible, thank you!
I have many traditional perennials because the are just that - hardy and effortless.
As to colors I am selective  (yellow is not my favourite)
and say no, no to those who spread too much.


  1. I keep a weather diary and measure the amount of rain. Do you want me to show you my Excel chart?
  2. It’s terrible with this constant rain / sunshine! You can’t do anything in this rain / in this heat / in this whatever weather...
  3. Well, for today it has been forecast 18 C, light north-east wind. It should rain from 2 to 3 pm. One drop is promised, in the evening no rain. Going to be a pretty warm night...
  4. A question of attitude.
  5. If I could choose there would be sun all the time, but not too much. Gentle rain during the night time to fill the plants’ needs.
Well, you have to settle for any weather, but extreme weather conditions do irritate.

  1. It is wonderful that winter exists. I would not have the stamina to crawl on all four in the garden all year round.
  2. I love Finland's four seasons.
  3. During the winter, I feel anguished while there is no garden work.
  4. I can’t live without garden work. That's why I have another garden in Spain / China / somewhere. I fly there every fall as soon as I can’t dig bulbs in the ground even with iron bar.