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Gardens in southern Finland

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Things are at their prettiest in July and August.

I got a query: "We're from (insert far away place here), and will be visiting Helsinki and Turku for a few days in (insert your month of choice here). Our interests are gardens, horticulture, and photography. Where should we go?"

So I put together a reply to email back, and started to pick out links. Some of which are enormous. Humongous. Extreme in the extreme.

So I thought, hey, they're surely not the only ones not to know where to go see botanical things in southern Finland, I'll put it into a more public spot. Where those effing long links won't be a nuisance, taking up more space than all of my text ... honest, it's that bad. Dunno what the designers of the website of the city of Helsinki are thinking, if indeed they're thinking at all.

So here then is what I think of as worthwhile places to see, if you're botanically inclined and are visiting southern Finland:

Helsinki

  • The botanical garden in Kaisaniemi. This is the old one, with a nice large greenhouse in addition to order beds and seasonal things.
  • The botanical garden in Kumpula. This is the new one, without greenhouses, with a selection of vegetables and herbs in addition to very pretty geographical collections. This isn't open to the general public yet, but you can visit if you're prepared to pay for a guide.
  • The arboretum in Viikki, a largish arboretum from the forestry dept of the U of Helsinki (link in Finnish - no data in English)
  • The arboretum in Meilahti, a smallish arboretum from the city of Helsinki, with a nice set of rose beds (link in Finnish - no data in English)
  • The Haaga rhododendron park, very pretty in early summer (= mid June) (link in Finnish - no data in English)
  • The winter garden of the city of Helsinki, a greenhouse in three parts with a pretty rose garden (link in Finnish - no data in English) out front.
  • Annala:
    1) a show garden from the Finnish Useful Plant Society, with lots of vegetables, herbs, and flowers (link in Finnish - very little data in English) and
    2) a formal garden with surrounding park lands (link in Finnish - no data in English).
    I used to live here - it's really very pretty in high summer.
  • The marketanpuisto, a horticultural school teaching garden and garden technology exhibition park (link in Finnish).
  • Gardenia, a tropical greenhouse.
  • Also try "all attractions" on the Helsinki city tourist board pages - they might have other interesting places to go.

    Southern Finland outside of Helsinki and Turku

  • The Arboretum Mustila is a largish arboretum with a huge collection of rhododendrons. The rhodos are very nice in mid June. The arboretum is in Elimäki, about 115 km east of Helsinki.
  • Turku, about 165 km west of Helsinki

  • the botanical garden of Turku includes order beds, a section for useful plants, seasonal gardens, and a small greenhouse.
  • I'm sure that I've forgotten some, and I might not have found all pages in English, but there you have it: there's quite a few gardens to enjoy in southern Finland.

    But come in July and August, if at all possible: our season hasn't even started yet in May, and the show is pretty much snow in October.



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