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Archive for the ‘Garden’ Category


Summer time ..  hedgehogs in the garden.
My garden emerging nicely, and animals like it too.

This delighful couple showed up one morning. First walking by the fence, then stopping to pose for a while. I like to think mommy is one of the four tiny hedgehogs we saved from seagulls and took to Korkeasaari zoo. And now she came to show her baby … she often comes to our backyard …

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Last year I spent Mothers’ Day in Tokyo enjoying gardens there. It was delightful, but staying at home with family and enjoying gardens here is even better.

So we spend a lot of time in our own garden, enjoying flowers – daffodils and blossoming  forsythia  bushes – in Finnish – is it called  Happiness Bush (Onnenpensas),  wild white anemones (Valkovuokko), the garden is filled with spring flowers.  The flower benches  I made last autumn all seem to be doing well.

Our neighbors decided to renew their backyard – so I got plenty of new plants from there. Some of them  I have no idea they are, exciting!  Now they are all planted in my planting  boxes, so that I can see what they are, how high they grow and then can decide what would be the best place to plant them for longer term.

When most of the today’s in garden work has done, I took a wheel barrel load of braches, weeds and leaves to compost. On my way back it started raining and I saw the whole rainbow. Little things in life can be very enjoyable even though temporary.

In the evening planted some sunflowers, three different varieties: Lion Sangria and Sol, will be interesting to watch them grow.

Ideas are like seeds – they need plenty of nurturing, before they prosper and even more time until harvesting is possible. Luckily with plants you can also enjoy growing phase.

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My family – in Japanese “Takala” means a treasure  and “Tomi” means “valuable& rich”  – so I’m married to Mr. Treasure and our son is  “Valuable Treasure” .  Ronja & Linda – our small dogs – spice up our living with their enthusiasm.

Gardening – some weeks ago  there were  Garden Exhibition in Helsinki – the signs of spring and summer are here…  The first snow bells are already here:-) And I see them from my armchair.  Gardening is a passion that I share with my sister & mom.

Friends – even we are far, and busy with our lives – it is inspiring to stay in touch, and share little moments &  joys – and gradually more friends are using social media as well and this is easier than ever…

Learning & sharing – small things, simple things, wide, complex and messy – always a joy…   as long as I live, I will scout out for new, weird, interesting, amazing things – especially related to human behavior & people. If my work enables learning & sharing in an appreciative context – I’ll stay, if not I’ll move somewhere else . Life long learner – still working on with my dissertation… when that is done, I will continue with pedagogical studies…

Home – chaotic collection of things, recycled furniture, – zen gardens – or sand boxes, 3 of them – large , medium and tiny, books, plants, and stuff – I’m definitely not a minimalist …

Summer cottage – The cottage by Takajärvi, the place that has been in my life nearly as long as Pete, is now ours. So many plans, for the yard, new terraces, changes inside, new peer etc. etc.  and after some years major renovation…   There I have finished my Master & Licentiate thesis, now its time to push through the final one – Ph.D

Well – being –  constant quest, looking for joy, spying hearts in everywhere. Trying out new forms of exercise, diets…   Looking for dynamic balances  in life – working & relaxing  – staying still & moving around – mess & order.  Enjoying living , the journey …

It is sometimes hard to stay true to your values – I need to regurlarly remind myself  – again, and  again, again, again …    I have done personal inventory of the well being for over 1o years.  Every year I revisit a long list a questions – self analysis – hmmm…  time to revisit them again.

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Special places and patterns can be very delightful.

In our holiday in South Africa – patio by Ivory Tree Game Lodge and peaceful place by swimming pool at Kristiina’s house offered special places for morning yoga.

The special places can be every where, but do we recognize them, do we take time to enjoy them and do we remember them ?

In Kristiina’s garden I spotted heart shaped “for-get-me-nots”,  like the one I found last summer in our backyard. Little special patterns can also be all around us, but do we perceive them, do we stop to enjoy the beauty – are we able to remember our past experiences.

Contradictions of summer and winter strengthen experiences – opposites of cold and warm, light and darkness. Lately we have been enjoying snow and winter, skiing, skating, making snowmen, long walks by the sea around the nearby islands.

Each season has their own specialties – places and patterns.
Appreciating and enjoying them enriches life.

Things have been a bit hectic lately – taking time to stop and think, percieve and feel, stopping for an experience, delightful sight, sound or smell is fundamentally essential for enjoable life and learning.

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Heart shaped stones – from walks by the beach, from Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Tomi and I collected sea shells, small round stones, and heart shaped stones on long walks by the beach during summers 2001 & 2002.

The white stone is from Pikisaari, Lappeenranta. Close by where my mother lives, from walks around the island, summer 2007.

And I was so happy to find this picture of heart shaped stones in my favorite home decoration shop – Kokoro in Maplewood, New Jersey, while visiting friends there after 4 years we moved from there back to Finland.


So I was again so happy, actually thrilled to find a huge heart shaped stone in our backyard last weekend, for me it has such a special meaning and many good connected memories, from summer walks. Sometimes unexpected treasures can be found closer than we think. Home is where your heart is!

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Enjoying Contradictions

Enjoying contradictions of city life & nature…

For quite some time enjoyable weekend has included a hiking trip to nature,
and a visit to city. When living in Espoo, we would head to Porkkala for one day, and the other to Helsinki, visiting museums or exhibitions. When living in New Jersey, we would head for hiking to Delaware river valley and then visit NY.


Now I had opportunity to visit city of Chicago and Morton Arboretum,
in Lisle.

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Time for summer flowers – every day there are more and more flowers.
Years work is paying off…

… digging, planting, weeding, watering, cutting, raking …

Now it is time to enjoy!


Gardening is – a never ending story. So during the past weeks I have also been actively exchanging and sharing seedlings and plants with friends. The joy of sharing, the pleasure of giving – when time passes garden needs to be thinned, and after 5 years so there are tens of different kinds of plants to be shared. And it is so easy to keep contact with like minded friends, to send out lists of plants available, links for pictures and more details, messages to agree what and when…

So today I picked up some rhubarb plants, small strawberry plants and some perennials from a friends parent’s house, which she is selling. I will grow them until my friend will have a garden of her own. And tomorrow an other friend will pick up some shrubs ( ~ 50 ) for her garden fence. They have been spreading in one corner of our yard for years. Now it’s time to get area cleared, little by little the garden evolves.

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