Welcome to Villa Emilia (My Woodland Garden), a photography blog with a slant towards gardening and nature. An amateur gardener and photographer, I hope to share beautiful moments with you through pictures. Let me know if you like them!

Kommentit suomen kielellä ovat erityisen tervetulleita! - Puoi commentare anche in italiano!

Thank you for your visit.


Goodbye, April!

In our part of the country, April was coldish, rather cloudy, very windy... Spring didn't spring. 
Here are some highlights of my April. 

you can find her April Collage 
and links to many others.

Above is the original version of the collage. This is how I see the world, with much colour.

In some programs the colours looked even too bright and I toned them down a bit for another version. Do you notice any difference? Which one do you like more?

And this is the artistic version... :D

Have a beautiful May!

PS If you are interested to see how it looks here now, here's a photo taken about one hour ago. :)


Signs of spring

Very shy signs of spring in Eastern Finland...

... and, once more, a very cute little squirrel:

Waiting for spring

Recently I have asked myself if blogging about gardening has any sense here where we still don't have any spring flowers blooming... and it's soon May! Of course I'm not going to give up easily, but for today's post I picked some old lupin photos, and added some recent photos of other things.

I adore Lupinus x regalis:

Some "passport photos" of lupins. :)

Participating in

The following photos have been taken in these days. Clouds are fascinating, aren't they?

The ice usually starts melting from the shore towards the center of the lake. This photo shows the border of the ice and a stretch of open water (finally!) near the shore.  Evening clouds are again reflected in still waters...

Ice art... by Nature.

I so wish this couple decided to nest near our home.

Common reed is definitely not one of my favourite plants, and now I found the dry stems between me and the birds. It's the first time I got so close to whooper swans, and I surely didn't want to disturb them by looking for a better spot for taking photos. Hiding behind the plants with my camera, I was feeling like a paparazza... :)

Cygnus cygnus

Have a lovely week!


Five on Friday

Hello! It's Friday and time to participate in Amy's Five on Friday!

This time I have five happy/fun things from the past week to share:

1. Flowers in the home. First I intended to post a photo of a potted lily blooming, but its flowers are orange, and I like pink so much more...

2. This is a lettu. It's a small, thin pancake cooked in a pancake pan. (We eat also larger-sized pancakes with lacy edges that are cooked in a regular frying pan.)  These pancakes are usually served with berries or jam, fresh fruit, ice cream, or whipped cream. I have decorated this one with a frozen strawberry. Isn't it cute!

3. In our family, we seem to like the good "old-fashioned" printed magazines. When my brother visits us, he brings some of his magazines (subscribed to or bought) for us to read. The topics are, for example, astronomy (everybody is interested in it) and science, cars, computers, and fishing, and sometimes I'm jokingly asking whether he has forgotten the ladies of the house. Last week he didn't! This one is a special gardening issue of a home magazine, and it's lovely. There are beautiful articles about roses, peonies, and lavenders... ♥

4.  The weather is cold, but there is so much light already!

5. Now I can hear you asking: "What? Another sunset, not again?!" Yes, but not just any sunset. By now the sun sets close to northwest. We always see the sun set behind the lake, in midwinter in the southwest... and we love to observe how the sunset gradually moves towards the north when the spring advances.

Those were my five things... but I must add some more photos, even though of a poor quality. Please, Amy, don't disqualify me!

Yesterday morning we were greeted by this view, it was snowing and sleeting again.

We had a visitor too, a mountain hare, in transition between its two coats. Notice the funny-looking white ears!

As you can see, he/she has a perfect camouflage for our weather conditions. :)

Happy weekend!


Farewell, dear C2-05

It starts to be time for me to upgrade to a new mobile phone. I wanted to keep the photos taken with my old, little Nokia phone and transferred them to my computer.  Here are some of my favourites... depicting once more the Stairs of Harju, in Jyväskylä.  Or rather, the lovely nasturtiums planted there to adorn the steps.

This is my favourite colour:

You can find rhododendrons too...

This photo is called "Anarchy in JKL". At Harju, the park benches have been painted in dark brown. One morning in autumn, I noticed that somebody had spray-painted one of the benches and the litter bin next to it... and they looked just cheerful...

Fortunately I took some photos, because after one or two days they had been repainted with the thick brown paint. Was the colour too whimsical for the Maintenance Division? To be fair, I must tell that all the benches were painted, perhaps it was to be done before winter. It was a pity, however; I would have preferred benches like this.

What kind of benches would you like to see in parks?


Pete and co.

This is Pete, a dear friend of ours. If he spent his summers and raised the family in an English-speaking country, his name could be for example Phil, Phil the Finch, or perhaps Charlie the Chaffinch. I will tell you more about him in another post.

A Finnish proverb counts "the days to summer" by following the migration of some familiar small bird species: "A month from a skylark, a half from a finch, a little from a wagtail and not a day from a swallow."  Well, the finches have arrived and are singing their hearts out, but the weather is still cold.

In these days I have managed to take some animal photos and can participate in

Eileen's lovely link party Saturday's Critters!

Almost everybody loves blackbirds (ours is Turdus merula), especially because of their lovely, fluted, melodious song. They have become more common where we live, which doesn't make me completely happy, since they eat (a lot of) our friends earthworms.

I have already posted several photos of squirrels. (Sorry!) I like the tender light and colours of these pictures. Click to enlarge!

Most of the photos of this post have been taken through a window.  The timid whooper swans move quickly away if I go out and try to get closer.

This is how a Finnish spring morning looks like. :)

One of our squirrels looks slightly wet too.

Some brave flowers can already be kept outdoors...

... and inside the home a pink pelargonium is blooming.

Participating in 


as well as

♥ Have a beautiful new week! ♥


Of this and that

A cute little pelargonium is opening its first buds. (Click to enlarge.)

There isn't much to see yet, in the garden and surroundings. First I thought these tulips are the only signs of spring...

... but then I noticed that the lupins, my faithful friends, are coming up!

I like the picture above.  -  In the following day, I noticed that there are also brave little baby lupins coming up. I decided to add one more photo (below) and to link the post to Susanna's MakroTex challenge. This week's theme is April. (The next week's theme will be "Treasure". That sounds like fun!)

Anyhow, I had decided to do also something a little bit different today. In many blogs, there are posts about the blogger's favourite cosmetic products.  Here's my top 5, the products I just couldn't do without! (NB There are no advertisements on this site and the opinions expressed are my own.)

The lavender essential oil hand cream by L'Occitane en Provence, the mascara and automatic eyeliner for sensitive eyes by Lumene (a Finnish manufacturer), the BB day wear cream by Estée Lauder, and the lavender perfumed talc by L'Erbolario:

The Italian L'Erbolario is one of my favourite cosmetic companies for at least two reasons: many of their natural and plant-based products are really good and the company adheres to the "International Humane Cosmetics Standard: Stop the tests on animal".   -   Is your favourite brand cruelty free? See http://www.gocrueltyfree.org/search?country=231.

When I was into fashion and beauty, I decided to make my Monday collage of my favourite gardening apparel... :D

Shirt: Ralph Lauren Denim&Supply. Wellies: Ilse Jacobsen. Jeans: Tommy Hilfiger.

Do join us for

at Judith's Lavender Cottage!


Mosaic Monday

Hello, all! I hope you have had a joyful Easter!

In my first mosaic, there are still some photos of the Spring Fair.  Among the cut flowers for sale, there were especially tulips and roses. You can also see the pretty hellebore and some of the lavenders I bought... and my new walking length umbrella! :) The rain had been predicted for the weekend and I had a light folding umbrella with me. I happened to notice these  -  and wasn't unhappy at all that it was raining when we left the Exhibition Centre. The colour is not the best, but I like the tulip print and the large size. 

This is my Easter mosaic. For us, the colours of Easter are yellow and light green, with some other cheerful colours added.

Joining Judith


Thank you for visiting! Have a happy week ahead!