Welcome to my country gardens
My name is Sofia and I would love to welcome you to my blog. I'm a gardener, eko farmer, garden traveller and writer with a kitchen garden, cottage garden, wild garden and blog.
I became an avid gardener in my twenties, while living in England with my young family. We lived in an old rectory with a large garden in Suffolk, UK, where I learnt the fundamentals of gardening from the old gardener that came with the house. I loved the tempered climate in my English garden, and that the season for growing things went on all year round, which is quite the opposite from Finland. In Finland the season is intense for five months, and then the land is fast asleep for the rest of the year with the ground frozen solid.
When we moved back to the point of origin after some ten years abroad, I took my passion for gardening with me. My home is in Snappertuna, in the south of Finland, where I have my old family farm with woods, fields and some smaller cottages. Each cottage on the farm has its own little garden, so much of my free time is spent taking care of them. As nature is strong it is a constant battle to claim the boarders from the wilderness that is threatening to engulf them.
My main garden is at my own house Humlegård, where I am most often found pottering about. At Stensund, the old family farmhouse, I have a kitchen garden where I grow all kinds of vegetables organically. Each year is different, and I enjoy the challenge of getting a good crop in the short season we have. Then there is the Gatekeepers cottage with a cottage garden style large perennial border.
I'm also an avid traveller, and try to combine my travels with my love for gardens. During the long winter months when nothing is happening at home I travel extensively, and gather inspiration from gardens I visit.
I write about my own gardens as much as about my garden travels, depending on the season. In summer I am reluctant to leave home, as there is so much to do in such a short time. In winter I write about my travels, as well as reminiscing about last summers trials and tribulations. All the pictures are my own, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Feel free to use them, but don't forget to give credit to the photographer. I also welcome comments on the blog and I am looking forwards to hearing from you!
On my farm I also have a collection of very spoiled hens. I find it fascinating how different breeds of chicken lay different coloured eggs, and so I have become the kind of crazy chicken lady I used to laugh about as a young girl. I have Marans, Arancuana, Creme Legbar, Sussex and an assortment of mixed breeds in my coops. They are free range in summer, and in winter they have a large yard covered by a roof to protect them from bird flu.
Snappertuna is located in Raseborg, some 100 km from Helsinki in South-West Finland.
Snappertuna village is a beautifully preserved tiny church village from the 1800s built around a rare wooden church from 1689.
Next to the village is Raseborg castle which was founded in the late 1300's and today is one of the best preserved castle ruins in Finland. Right by the ruins is also one of the largest open-air theatre stages in Finland, the Raseborg Summer Theatre.
Within 15 km there are the small towns of Karis and Ekenäs which provide all amennities one could desire, from large shopps to small cinemas.
For more information: http://www.visitraseborg.com/en/
Raseborg Castle Ruins
The first written data about the castle is from 1378. Its main purpose was to promote Sweden's interests in southern Finland against the Hanseatic city of Tallinn.
The castle was originally built on a small island in the north end of a sea bay, but nowadays the water has receeded so that it sits on a small hill next to the river. The historians think that the castle was built in 3 different stages over time from the 14th to the 16th century.
The castle was abandoned in 1553, three years after Helsinki was founded in 1550 as Helsinki became strategically more important.
Restoration work began in the 1890s and it soon became a popular destination with one of the first guest houses dedicated to visitors in what is now the cafe Slottsknecktens Stuga. The castle ruins are open to the public all year round.