The garden at Stensund
The old red farmhouse, Stensund, is my point of origin. This is where I grew up, where my mother lived and where my own children have spent all their school holidays and now stay when they are at home.
Stensund is located far away in the countryside, with only wilderness around it. I value nature and every time someone asks me if it is a working farm I say yes, but I mostly grow biodiversity. The fields of the farm are rented to Bovik Gård and managed ecologically with sheep grazing the land all summer long. The forests are sustainably managed, and truth be told mostly just left to act as nature reserves.
In my gardening endeavours I follow natures lead, and garden both organically and ecologically. This means I don't use any chemicals in my gardens, but rely on improving and replenishing the soil with my home made composts. I don't stress over pests and disease, but take it as a mindfulness meditation and a way to learn to improve my skills.
I am a mad keen gardener, and slowly over the last 25 years a garden has evolved. What began with a little plot for growing potatoes and peas slowly turned into a proper kitchen garden with raised beds and a fence to keep the deer and rabbits out, and around the house decorative flower borders have spread out to include a statue garden and masses of peonies.
I have always had a passion for food and growing my own food was a natural extension of this interest. I started with a small plot when I was barely twenty, and have been growing vegetables of all sorts ever since. I love growing oddly coloured varieties, so invariably my potatoes are blue and my carrots yellow, the beetroot are polka striped and peas are purple. Now that my family has grown and are travelling all corners of the world, I grow more flowers amongst the vegetables and more vegetables that can be preserved for winter.
The garden at Humlegård
There comes a time when a family has grown up enough to move away from home but my children loved Stensund so I built a house on the farm for myself. It sits right by the inlet on a little slope, with the house and gardens basking in sunlight all day and enjoying the most beautiful sunsets in the evenings.
I wanted a house filled with light, so I chose to build it in accordance with old tradition with the frame made from sturdy loggs from my own forests, but with large and modern windows. Inside it is open plan with kitchen and living room all in one, as I love to invite family and friends over to hang out and wanted space for all of us.
I live hear year round, and find the soothing effect of being surrounded by nature suits my temperament divinely. As a keen garden photographer I am inspired by the way the light changes over the course of the seasons, and I enjoy living according to the natural rhythm that it provides.
The gardens at Humlegård has evolved slowly, with a mixture of shrubs and perennials in vast borders. I like it to have a touch of wilderness, so I let plants spread out at will while still tweaking the borders each year in an effort to find harmony.
The winters in Finland are harsh, and each spring I find some plants have given up and need to be replaced. Summer is as short as it is intense and for the gardener there are never enough hours in the day to keep the weeds at bay. Also I have the most humongous appetite for new projects, so the garden at Humlegård is always changing and evolving.
I mostly choose simple plants that support the insects and biodiversity, but as a fully fledged plantaholic there is no end to what may be found in this garden. Although the climate dictates what can be grown, there is a surprising variety of plants that will do well in a cold climate garden.