All posts filed under: Places

The Rose (or Peony) Garden

  Remember when I promised to show you the outside garden area of the Winter Garden in the last post? Well, here it comes! The garden in front of the Winter Garden greenhouses is called the Rose Garden, but there’s so much more into it. When I visited this garden a week ago there wasn’t that much of roses blooming but more beautiful perennials. It’s also so nice that they (=the gardeners of Winter Garden) have planted lots of summery seasonal pots full of colourful flowers. So much inspiration here! And the peonies were in full bloom, so amazing!

The Winter Garden

One of my favourite places in Helsinki has always been the Winter Garden. Founded in 1893 you can almost feel like going back in time when you step into this little glass palace greenhouse. This is a haven of green lush when you visit here during the winter months but it’s as nice in the summertime. The Winter Garden consists of three wings of greenhouses. There’s a wing for the cacti and succulent plants with walls of orchid, a room for palm and pine trees with water ponds and the third room is kinda seasonal room with lots of seating areas. There’s also a really nice outside garden just in front of the greenhouses but there’s so much in there that I will make a second post about that. So stay tuned! But now some tropical green lushness!  

Rhododendron explosion

Prepare yourself for this colour therapy post: because something strange has happened here in Helsinki, Finland! The spring was so cold and came late and it seems like the whole nature is now rushing to start the growing and blooming season. And so has happened in Helsinki’s Rhododendron Garden where rhododendrons and azaleas are NOW blooming at the same time! That is so rare! Normally the azaleas bloom earlier and then in the first weeks of June starts rhododendrons. As a birthday present for myself we made a biking trip to this amazing park to see these beauties. We were so amazed by how colourful and vast the whole place was. It was like a magical jungle of flowers! And the fragrance of those flowers was so unique! If you want to see this go there now (Laajasuontie in Etelä-Haaga; Huopalahti station if you go by train)! I think the plants will bloom just a few days more.

Hidden Japanese Garden

Remember when I posted about this garden center I visited while it was still winter in here Finland? Back then I was blown away but also a bit disappointed because I was told that there was a Japanese garden also but it was closed during the winter months. So when my siblings texted me few weeks ago insisting that we have to go to that garden center again, of course I said YES!  And so we went to Viherpaja again and I was so excited to see this Japanese garden there, hidden inside a greenhouse. It blew me away completely! I was expecting a few bonsai trees, lanterns, some plants that are typically Japanese like different maples (Acer sp.), something very simple and not that Japanese. But when I entered through this humble looking greenhouse door, it was magical! Just like entering another world, a leap to Japan. There was a pond, a stream, big maples and evergreens, a teahouse, lanterns, bonsai, everything that you would see in a typical Japanese garden if you enter …

Plant mecca near Helsinki

A few weeks ago me and my friends made a plant trip to find some new house plants. We ended up getting here:  a garden center called Viherpaja in Vantaa. And now I think this is the best kept secret of plant business in the Helsinki area! This place looks modest when you enter the yard but when you step inside and start to get even deeper inside the greenhouses you will see this magical jungle of different plants. There’s lots of regular green plants but also lots of rare ones. The place has several green houses attached to each other so be sure to check every one of them. Some the green houses are closed at the wintertime (I was really disappointed that the Japanese Garden themed green house was closed) but there’s still a lot to see. And there’s almost always some kind of plant exhibition in some of the green houses. Now they had Guzmania exhibition. Definitely have to go to this place at the summertime also. Just to see how amazing …

Maui: From lush to dust

The last place for our journey in Hawaii was the island of Maui. For us this was the place for relaxation and old school chilling at the hotel pool but also some very nice nature trips. Again I have two awesome routes/places for you to visit. Both of these trips will take you one day each. And yet again I’m totally recommending to rent a car on the island. There’s no public transportation to reach these locations. And the Shaka Guide app that I mentioned in my previous post was our tour guide for these tours also. Worked amazing! ROAD TO HANA  You’ve heard from this one! I know you have! This route will give you a perfect glimpse of Maui’s greenest rainforest areas, beaches and waterfalls. If you are a plant/forest/green junkie like I am, you will love this! It will take you the whole day so start early. The thing is that the road to Hana is a narrow road, crawling inside forests, again very serpentine-like and sometimes very slow. The road will …

Kauai: Canyons and ancient forests

Welcome to Kauai, the Garden Island of Hawaii! This island will blow your mind as it did for us. There’s everything for nature lovers. You can hike, trek or just lay on the beaches if you wish so. I’m going to share a few places for you to see and hike. THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF KAUAI The island is pretty small, and almost every single corner is easy to reach with a car. We rented a car for two day from the airport. And we also got this amazing app called Shaka Guide to give us the perfect tour in Kauai’s top locations. It was awesome and worked perfectly! You just choose a tour you want and the GPS tells the app where you’re driving at the moment. You have your own personal tour guide informing you the best spots to pull over to catch a nice view or the trails that you can take, and then shares interesting stories about the places and Hawaiian culture. Totally recommending that! We started our car tour on the …

O’ahu: Rainforest trails and city life

  O’ahu. That’s where we flew. That’s where Honolulu is. That where the action happens. O’ahu actually ended up being our favourite island of all we visited. That’s because it’s the perfect mix of city life and nature. We loved the cool restaurants of Honolulu, we did some snorkeling and beach life in Hanauma Bay and we saw the rainforest just outside the city of Honolulu at a few trails. Loved it! The different trails were the best thing for me in Hawaii. That was where we got the chance to see the amazing nature up and close. I get so excited when I enter any forest and seeing the rainforests was a lifetime dream of mine. I was mesmerized. In the following posts about Hawaii I will focus on the different nature trails in different islands. Just because I think those are the best reason to visit Hawaii and its various island.   1. MANOA FALLS TRAIL This nature trail is so easy to achieve from Honolulu. A bus goes there from the Waikiki beach …

Hello Hawaii!

I’m going to start this year of Folk Jee with an epic start! I guess this blog needs that because of the long silence. So much has changed, again. We are living in a new city but I think that subject will need its own post. So I’ll return to that a bit later. So, how to start big and bold… HAWAIIIII!!!! Yes, I did it! It was all planned silently for a half a year with my dear friend. We both needed a holiday so bad. And on January we flew almost two days from Finland to Hawaii. We visited three of the islands: Oahu, Kauai and Maui. And boy oh boy, I have planned an amazing visual trip for you guys! Because we did a lot of trails and I want to share all my special tips about those trails. There’s going to be lots of rainforest, so much green that you will get sick of it, plants and more plants, red mud, terrifying (at least for me) views and maybe you’ll catch …

Parks in Kotka: Autumnal colors

I’m definitely a coastal kind of girl. Every time I visit Kotka, which is a part of my childhood memories, I feel like I’m home. It’s not the city. It’s the sea, the flat terrain of the coast (the ancient seabed area), the smell of the sea, the fact that where you have sea you have this invisible route to anywhere with the feeling that you are free. For so many years I’ve lived in the middle of Finland and I’ve noticed how much I miss all those coastal kind of things. Maybe I’ll get the sea back, soon. Okay, enough of the poetic thoughts. So I visited Kotka and I know I’ve been telling about it’s awesome parks in other blog posts as well but they are so amazing in each season. All the autumn colors I witnessed with this turn were so beautiful. I really love the plant combinations, the use of different grasses within flower beds. Just look at these! If you’re visiting Kotka, check these parks out: Sibelius park (Sibeliuspuisto) Isopuisto …