30 syyskuuta 2018

Cassis Colors

My September in Collage

Nothing to complain about September. The weather was pretty sunny
and I got rid of the cast. I could be out in the garden and together with my husband
we got a lot of autumn work done. This feels very satisfying.

We got a lot of sweet plums, blooming of sedums and white lilies brought me joy
and I revisited La Mercè, Barcelona in my memories.

Then I started a new linkup Friday Bliss and made two BIG postcards from Finland.
Gathering the info was fun for me too.
Waiting for October, RUSKA colors and The Helsinki Book Fair.

Finnish: Peter Sandström - Mother November. Eight ponderings ***** S&S 2018
Foreign / Brazil: Luiz Ruffato - Lots of Horses ***** Into 2014
Poetry / Finnish: Tuukka Pietarinen - Alone or Otherwise**** Wsoy 2018

Wishing you all a good start to October!
- riitta


29 syyskuuta 2018

Plant Fun in September

Humulus lupulus ’Aureus’ is one of my favourite climbers because of its color.
And it is so easy to add from roots! I have bought only one plant but added
it from tiny pieces of roots to many places and also donated them to friends.
I have it growing on a pergola and on an iron mesh fence 
next to the neighbour with Parthenocissus.

Now it has builded these pretty cones or whatever they are.

The chemical compounds found in Humulus lupulus are main components 
in flavoring and bittering beer. Some other compounds help with creating foam in beer. 
Until the middle ages, Myrica gale was the most common plant used for brewing beer. 
Humulus lupulus took off as a flavoring agent for beer because it contains preserving agents, 
making the beer viable for longer.

Last night was the first frost night, the temperature went below zero.
When the sun came out the day is bright and beautiful.
Happy Weekend.

28 syyskuuta 2018

Welcome - Friday Bliss #3

A year ago I replanted my Anemone hupehensis. That was maybe not a wise decision,
because at least during this dry first summer they did not thrive, blooming was poor.
Yesterday was a very windy day and I saw this little beauty shivering with cold.
She is sweet, but oh so lonely ❤︎


  1. I have been out in the garden, nearly all autumn jobs done! Feels so satisfying. Raking still to do, but later. I have to give credit to my husband: I supervised, it was mainly him who worked and digged  ❤︎
  2. We emptied all summer planting pots and planted my seedlings.
  3. I had 3 great looking Physocarpus opulifolius ’Diabolo’ seedlings and 3 green versions of the plant. Diabolo self seeds eagerly and they are easy to find! I plant the seedlings in pots in good soil for the summer - easier to water. By the autumn they have grown big and strong enough to be planted in the garden. I love Diabolo’s color, even behind this lonely anemone you can notice one growing.  I have many, and have donated a lot of seedlings to friends and family!
  4. My reading this week has been the Nobel winner Svetlana Aleksijevitš (Alexievich in English). We have just got a Finnish translation of this - Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets. Tough & interesting reading. I warmly recommend her documentary books. Earlier I have read her Voices of Chernobyl and The Unwomanly Face of War.

What have you been up to this week?
Would be lovely to hear - please, share your thoughts and photos!

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

Feel welcome to join in!
- riitta 

27 syyskuuta 2018

Postcards from Finland

Maggie from the blog Normandy Life inspired me to send a postcard from Finland, 
as did Nick V from Australia.
And it would not be me if the idea didn’t go a bit further.
So I’ll send you two BIG postcards with some facts about my northern home country.
This is not a history lesson, only to give you some fun info.

We have only 5.5 million people speaking two official languages: 
Finnish (87.9%) and Swedish (5.2%). Sámi is the mother tongue of about 1,900 people. 
70.9 % are Lutherans and about 1.1% Orthodox by religion.

The Finnish language is one of the most challenging languages in the world. 
It’s no wonder, when a noun can have over 200 forms or when one of the longest words is epäjärjestelmällistyttämättömyydellänsäkään!
Google translator went dumb but this means something like this:
She is a person who has a habit of using disorder and chaos, 
but not even that was of help!

Finland is a long country. From the southern Hanko to Utsjoki Lapland
the distance is more than 1300 km.
We have clearly four seasons, pure nature and clean air.
And Santa Claus is really Finnish and lives in Lapland, Korvatunturi.

The whooper swan / Cygnus cygnus is our national bird,
national flower is Convallaria majalis and national animal is the brown bear / Ursus arctos.

The Finnish Design and architecture are world famous.
Maybe you know Alvar Aalto, Tove Jansson & her Moomins, Marimekko,
and Oiva Toikka just to name a few.

Finland’s Rovio Entertainment is the creator of the phone app Angry Birds. 

Finland has been a member of the European Union since 1995.

Finland is The Land of a Thousand Lakes, but in fact there are whopping 
187,888 lakes and a total of 179,888 islands.

Finland is THE place to see the Northern Lights. Each year, the Aurora Borealis
appear more than 200 times in the skies above the Finnish Lapland.

The Saimaa ringed seal / Saimaannorppa is a subspecies of ringed seal Pusa hispida. 
They are among the most endangered seals in the world, having a total population 
of only about 380 individuals.

We love our Formula drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Walter Bottas.
Here I must tell you that the brand new biography of the silent Räikkönen
sold 100 000 copies in a few weeks - and that is a lot in our small market!
Icehockey is our hottest team sport - not football.

Finland has the most heavy metal bands per capita: Children of Bodom, Nightwish
and Eurovision Song Contest winners Lordi.

About Finnish classical music I could mention Jean Sibelius, Kaija Saariaho,
Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Karita Mattila.

Far from Buenos Aires, yet we love tango!
Tangophiles travel from all the world to The Seinäjoki Tango Festival in July since 1985.

We have over 3 million saunas and over half a million summer cottages.

We are heavy drinkers, also of coffee: the average Finn consumes 12 kg of coffee a year.

Our long time president Urho Kekkonen was the man who  guided us through
the years of the cold war 1956-1982. The present president is Sauli Niinistö since 2012,
in the photo with his beautiful young wife Jenni Haukio.
They recently hosted the Trump-Putin summit in  Helsinki.



This stamp was released in 1989 when the Finnish mark was still in use.
I wish you enjoyed my postcards from Finland.
- riitta

Photos: taken by me & my friend P & free from Wikipedia & the press
Facts: Wikipedia & VisitFinland

25 syyskuuta 2018

Bon Appétit!

It’s time to party!
Welcome all slugs and snails and the entire bug army of the neighbourhood!
The banquet table is set and your dinner is ready!
I wish you’ll enjoy my pretty leaf plate - Bon Appétit!

And the same to all my blog friends from different countries -
in case you wish to arrange a party for your bugs too:

Buen provecho - Bom apetite - Mahlzeit - Buon appetito 
- Eet smakelijk - Velbekomme - どうぞ召し上がれ
The big read leaves belong to the fantastic autumn colors of Cornus sibirica.

Linking with

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.

Color Collage is a fun challenge.
You have photos - make a collage and join in!
Every Sunday. HERE you can see what I have made.

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!