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  • Writer's pictureSofias Country Gardens

I love Raseborg

My lovely Airbnb guests Eve and Peter from Bakersfield Canada left me a surprise gift in my cottage after staying for a week. They were the nicest of guests and I would love them to come and stay again!

I have been very lucky as yet with all my guests as they have all been thoroughly nice and descent people who tidy up after themselves and really enjoy the nature that Raseborg provides. I think one of the attractions with coming to this part of Finland is that it is genuine countryside with nature up to the doorstep. There are very few cars and lots of wildlife, the forrest and lake go on and on and for those who like hiking there is no end how far you can walk.

Boomer loves it here too, and he was thrilled when my 17-year old daughter decided to spend a week at Stensund with him. It says something about how safe it is in the distant countryside of Finland that I wasn't in the least worried that they were on their own.

At Stensund we still have a landline so if something is up one can always call for help. And then there are our kind neighbours who more than once have come to the rescue when the car won't start or a tree has fallen across the road.

However, Boomer doesn't care about those kind of stupid things. His main concern is keeping the deer away from the garden.

Each year I am thrilled when I see that our one special guest has survived yet another winter. Paddis of Stensund (Toad of Toad Hall in our world) has lived by our house ever since the kids were little, which is a considerable time since my oldest son just turned twenty! In captivity toads can live the longest time, with some species even living up till forty years, but in the wild they usually live for about ten to twelve years.

Our Paddis is nowadays a grumpy old person, quite slow in movement and doesn't like to be disturbed. In the picture you can see him hiding in the flowerbed under leaves and dirt, eyes barely visible and with a slightly offended look upon his face. (I immediately apologised for taking his picture and left him to get on with his dreams.)

When walking up to the house at Stensund the beginning of summer is a buss of activity that one can hear but won't see unless one stopps for a closer look. In the middle of May the blackcurrant bushes are flowering and they are amazingly attractive to Hoverflies (Syrphidae sometimes called flower flies, or syrphid flies) and bees.

As you may recall I am particularly fond of Hoverflies as they are important pollinators that frequent a wide range of both wild and garden plants as well as agricultural crops. In fact, they are often regarded as the second most important pollinator globally after the wild bee! Also, their larve feed on aphids and leafhoppers which is a great help to the organic gardener.

Still, my absolute favourite visitor is the bumble bee. I love the story that aerodynamically they are not able to fly, but they don't know it so they do it anyways!

If some kind biologist would like to come and stay for a week to asess how many different varieties of bumblebees we have (and we have many!) I would be eternally grateful and provide food and drinks a plenty for the whole stay.

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