What’s going on in the garden? 

Today I did little photographing in our garden. I don’t have a green thumb. Not even close. Last year, after living here for one year, our cherry tree died. I don’t know how that’s possible. How can a big tree that has stood there for years die all of a sudden? Oh well.. at least I get a chance to plant some new tree there. Something else than a cherry.

These little guys are some kind of Myosotis. They live wild everywhere but I think they are beautiful. When you look at them from far away they look like a blue sky or a  sea.

We have two different kinds of Rhododendrons. Both of them are in bad condition. I should probably take care of them some way but I don’t know what to do with them. I think they might end up having the same destiny as the cherry tree if I don’t figure out something soon. They are pretty and I hope I can save them somehow.

I guess this next one is called English Hawthorn or Paul’s Scarlet. It will be very beautiful when the buds open but we’re not there yet.

This one you all know. It’s an apple tree. I took this photo couple of days ago. Our apple tree is the kind that has three different breeds in it. I don’t know what they are. It was in a bad condition when we moved in here and we have been cutting it a lot. I think it will either go with the cherry tree and rhododendrons or bloom amazingly in a year or two.

This is a ‘Bleeding heart’. It’s said to bloom very early in the spring but this year it’s blooming now. While googling the English name for this I learnt that it’s native to Siberia, Northern China, Korea and Japan. No wonder I don’t have any problems keeping this one alive.

Dandelion. I was actually planning a post “When your garden gives you dandelions – make an anadem”. I would like to learn to eat them and stuff but the only thing I use them for are anadems. Needless to say I didn’t have time to finish the anadem I started and the flowers went bad so no post about anadems this time.

In the last photo there is just some random tree that has white flowers. I tried to google it but didn’t find it. I kind of like it though.

I’m dreaming about a well kept garden that has some fruit trees and woody shrubs with berries. When the kids are older I would like to have a vegetable garden and a place to grow my herbs. Maybe even a small green house. Also I’d like to double the size of our terrace, have some part of it glazed and add a hot tub. Little this and that as you can see. 😀

One day, but not within the next couple of years, we will renovate this whole backyard and then I will make all of my garden dreams come true.

But before that I must learn to keep my plants alive. 😀

How is your garden or how would your dream garden be like?

Mannamaria

Lately

The boy started his summer holiday this week. It means I’m busier than ever at home and haven’t been able to update this blog as much as I had hoped. I don’t want to take extra stress about this so I think I will update it a little more seldom during the summer and get back to more frequent posting schedule in August.

Some things and happenings from this week…

Last Sunday I put the first baby items on sale. I photographed a changing table and a Manduca baby carrier. In four hours they were picked up. I was surprised how well it worked! Now I have looked for some other stuff to put online. I hope they sell as fast as the first items!

With the twins we don’t have much time to do any renovating. We should for example renew our terrace but maybe next year. Currently we simply don’t have the time or energy. That’s why I’m quite proud that we managed to build the sandbox this week. The boy has been really excited about it. He also got a big digger and he loves it. He has been very dirty every day when he comes in and we have sand everywhere in the house and garden. Oh well…

I have worked hours and hours in the garden fighting with weeds. We bought this house from an old couple who hadn’t taken care of the garden for years. It was in a very bad condition. We don’t have the energy to renew it yet but we try to keep it from getting worse. But even that is soooo much work! I had imagined that we basically just have to mow the lawn but I was naively wrong about that. For someone who has only lived in flats before (🙋🏻), all this garden work feels quite exhausting.

We bought a new dining table and a hanging umbrella to our terrace. If only someone would renovate the terrace itself.

We have tested the new table many times this week and we love it.

The boy learnt this week that there is an ice-cream van. A van that drives around near our home and sells only ice cream! What could be better than that! Needless to say we had to visit.

One day we arranged all toy cars that we could find on the floor. Nearly 100. Not as bad as I had thought.

The baby boy got his first two teeth. I can’t believe he’s that big already!

I also took some photos of our garden and put them there at the end of this post!

Have a lovely weekend!

Mannamaria

I found that horse shoe last year from the flowerbed. In couple of weeks we found out we were expecting twins.

Live like it was the last day of summer

Since you never know what’s going to happen with the weather we have been trying to enjoy the sun and warmth lately. We have spent a lot of time outdoors, playgrounds and our backyard.

We made a sandbox for the boy and you should have seen his face! He was so excited. And sooo dirty afterwards. I’m not sure if we thought this whole sandbox in our backyard thing quite through. 😀 The mother-in-law was here to help for couple of days so we could do all sorts of things. This sandbox for example.


The summer could be over any day so now is the time to do all the summer things we want to do. Here’s another list I made. It’s about summer activities that I would like to do before fall.

  • Eat outside as much as possible
  • Have a barbecue as often as possible
  • Have a picnic in some nice park or for example Suomenlinna fortress island
  • Heat up the sauna (with wood) and sit outside in the summer night after going to sauna
  • Eat lots of ice cream
  • Make a strawberry cream cake using the first Finnish strawberries
  • Go out to have a glass of wine with friends and leave the kids home
  • Keep the garden neat
  • Let the boy play outside with water as much as he pleases
  • Go to the outdoor swimming venue
  • Go to the beach and swim in the sea
  • Swim in a lake
  • Go to the zoo
  • Go to the amusement park
  • Go to an domestic animal farm
  • … and a real farm, byre, barn etc.
  • Go pick up berries for freezer for winter
  • Spend some time at our summer cottage

We’ll need many sunny days to be able to do it all. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we do. It’s kind of funny and sad at the same time to live in a place where you really don’t know about the weather. Literally everyone is excited when the sun is shining, and the atmosphere is great everywhere you go. People are really happy and smiling! But the reason for that is that this could end any day. Well anyways, let’s enjoy it while it lasts!

What are your favorite summer activities? Are there some must-dos?

Have a lovely day!

Mannamaria

This is our apple tree. I love those flowers.


 

Rhubarb – opportunity or challenge?

This year the spring was so cold that the rhubarb stalks were ready for picking only last week. I made a big rhubarb pie with my favorite recipe and invited people for a coffee.


I love rhubarb pie. Rhubarb is the first thing to harvest from the garden in the spring and in a way it symbols the beginning of the summer, and garden work, for me. Reminds me that “hey, we’re growing here in the garden. Please remember to take care of us!”


This is only our second summer living in a house so gardening doesn’t come naturally to me. I really don’t have a green thumb. I’m trying but with twins I don’t have enough time to look after the garden. Maybe next year it will be better.

The only problem I have with rhubarb is that rhubarb pie is the only thing I can make of it. And I can’t make that many pies ’cause somebody has to eat them too.


We don’t use juices and rhubarb jam sounds peculiar. My mother-in-law recommended making a kissel but I’m not too excited about that either.


For one or two weeks I’m really excited about rhubarb but then I leave it to the corner of the garden to wait for the next summer. Poor little thing. It deserves better but I don’t know what to do with it.

Do you like rhubarb? What do you make of it?

Mannamaria

What a week

I’ve been alone with the kids for 10 day now. My husband has worked overtime and was working last week end as well. Yesterday was a public holiday and he was with the kids and I got some free time but today he’s working again and is gone both day and night.

The first week went quite well. We tried a new formula for the baby boy and it was not good for him so he cried a lot for couple of days but then it got better. Then came the week end and I was quite tired but I had known this for a while and thought I was well prepared for it so it went quite ok. Thank heavens the weather has been good so it’s been easy to let the boy out when the babies were sleeping outside in their pram.

But then the Monday hit. And it hit quite bad. These past days I’ve been tired. Maybe even exhausted. I’ve fallen asleep this week every night around 8 when I’ve been putting the boy to bed. I haven’t been able to keep the house tidy and we’ve eaten fish fingers and other stuff from the freezer. I’m not proud of myself.

Today when the nanny was here in the morning I cleaned the house and cooked something for the week end so don’t worry. We’re ok now.

I’ve written some drafts but nothing I could publish yet. I’m waiting for the week end anxiously.

I hope I have time and strength to write something more over the week end.

Until then, have a lovely week end!

Mannamaria

 

Below some wise words from our former president.

Oh Summer Let Me Hug You

Today it was 25 Celsius first time this year. We spent all day outside with the children. I hope that the weather stays like this for a long time but in case it doesn’t we wanted to make the most of it.

First time this year:

  • the boy wore a cap instead of a beanie,
  • he used his new summer shoes,
  • he didn’t have to wear an overall at the playground,
  • he got to water paint (do you do this? He loves it! Great recommendation),
  • he got to play other water games outdoors,
  • the twins were out on a blanket,
  • I had a problem of what the twins should wear so that it’s not too hot for them in the pram,
  • I had my morning coffee outside at the terrace,
  • It’s almost 10 p.m and the sun is still shining and I’m writing this post outside.

And the tulips finally blossom!

I would have had a lot of cleaning up and cooking to do inside but I decided to let that housework wait and spend the day outside instead. The day included also ice cream, lunch at the terrace and a nanny who gave me an opportunity to cross over at least something from my to do list.

More days like this one please! 🙂

Mannamaria

Sunshine and happiness

What a difference some warmth and sunshine can make! I wish I could move this country to the equator where it’s always sunny and warm. 🙂

Now it’s cold again but the end of the week was nice and warm. For anyone wondering what ‘warm’ means at this time of the year here in Finland it was +17-19 Celsius.

On Saturday we visited Helen Electricity Ltd in Helsinki. The ‘family day’ was planned for kids but I think my husband an I enjoyed it as much as the boy. It was also nice to spend some time with the boy without the babies. He really enjoyed the attention he got.

At Helen we had brunch and there was many info and activity spots. The husband and the boy built a windmill, we watched some info videos and there was a photo booth and sort. At the end a bus took us to an under ground electricity station which was exciting. It was such a well organized and fun day!

On Sunday the mother-in-law was visiting us so we stayed at home and only did some walks outside. It was sunny and warm and people were smiling and eating ice cream. The boy loves soap bubbles so we made tons of them.

The spring has been so cold that our garden is only now waking up. The growth is behind in nearly everything. Daffodils and wood anemones are in bloom. My rhubarbs are growing slowly but surely and I still believe that my tulips will blossom before Mother’s day. They are already so close!

It was such a nice weekend. I wish the weather would stay good since there is so much more to do when it’s warm.

How was your weekend?

Mannamaria