• Sofias Country Gardens

Jubilant July



The last weeks have been gloriously warm and sunny, and suddenly my garden is in full bloom. Everywhere you look flowers are bursting out of the borders, and most of them are filled with nectar and pollen happy insects. One of my favourites is deep yellow Trollius chinensis Golden Queen, pictured above, that really brings a colour of its own into the planting scheme. I pair it mostly with deep blue Geraniums or Delphinium, but sometimes also with purple flowers.

My peonies were utterly lovely - until today when it started raining cats and dogs! As peonies are so abundant and extravagant I always think I shall have more time with them, but invariably they are a swift and fleeting romance. I never get around to taking enough pictures of them, so you only have to take my word for it when I tell you they were glorious this year!

Each year I have a bed filled with honey herb, Phacelia tanacetifolia. I love this easy annual as they tend to self seed and return even after the harshest winters and attract all kinds of pollinators to the garden. The bees just love them!! My pergola garden has really come into its own, with decorative white sage (Salvia nemorosa) in flower underneath the climbing roses.

Talking about roses, they are such a joy to behold but my God they grow slowly in this cold climate garden! While I lived in England it didn't take more than a few years and the roses would be happily climbing all over their frames, and here I watch them grow no more than some half a meter per year.

It is with great joy that I found my Foxtail lilies (Eremurus robustus) have returned this season too. It is such an exotic flower for a Finnish garden that I must consider it my pride and joy. I shall most definitely plant a few more bulbs this autumn and see if I can replicate this miracle next season.

Last but not least, the sheep have been a very decorative joy in the field beneath my kitchen garden. The vegetable have been slow to grow this year due to the unnaturally cold spells we had with in May when it suddenly started snowing. Not even the weeds have grown as ferociously as they mostly do! The carrots needed to be resown not once but twice, and the beetroot are still babies. It has been frustrating to wait, but soon my first lot of potatoes should be ready.

An extra bonus to having the sheep on the farm for summer is that with their ingenious habit of breaking out they are helping me loose the extra corona-kilos of weight by having me chase them all over the place in the mornings. Isn't it funny that the grass is always greener on the other side although they have the biggest pastures filled with lush grass?!

Wishing you all a happy gardening week ahead!