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!

Thank you for your visit.


The first snow

In Eastern Finland, the first snow fell this year as early as in September.  The snow was very wet, but it did stay on the ground for one, two days. These waterbirds were photographed through our living-room window. I believe they were gathering together before their autumn migration, and I certainly didn't want to disturb them.

Speaking of snow, this book is a must for all lovers of snowflakes:

The Snowflake. Winter's Secret Beauty, text by Kenneth Libbrecht and photography by Patricia Rasmussen.


Yellow leaves and yellow tomatoes

It looks that this year we will not have very brightly coloured autumn foliage, at least in these parts of the country, perhaps because of the many weeks with no or very little rain... The leaves of many deciduous leaves simply turn brown, become brittle and fall off.  This photo of a Sorbus aucuparia was taken last year. I like the uncropped photo

... and I like the cropped versions as well:

In our small greenhouse, we grow red, orange and yellow cherry tomatoes. The yellow ones seem to be the most vigorous and high yielding this year.

Don't they look round and cute and delicious?


Thinking of Christmas - Be a friend!

Two days ago, in one of the gardening blogs I follow, there were delightful Christmassy photos, and in fact, there are now less than 100 days until Christmas, a fact that hasn't gone unnoticed by many lovely Christmas blogs. In one of them, I found information on a Finnish campaign called "Ole ystävä" (Be a friend). Getting involved is very simple: by yourself or with your group, you craft handmade Christmas cards that will be then delivered by the Red Cross to lonely (elderly) people. A card like this can be the only card these people receive. Perhaps sending Christmas greetings is not yet "being a friend", but it could be the first step of becoming, for example, a trained Red Cross friend visitor volunteer.

Monen mielestä on varmaan liian aikaista puhua joulusta, mutta löysin eräästä joulublogista kampanjan, johon voi osallistua ainoastaan 29.10. asti.  Suomen Punaisen Ristin Ystäväpalvelu, askartelulehti "Taika" ja Koukussa Kortteihin ry järjestävät tänäkin vuonna hyvän mielen joulukorttikampanjan, johon osallistuminen on helppoa:

"Tee oman näköisesi joulukortti ja kirjoita sisään jouluinen tervehdyksesi sekä oma allekirjoituksesi, esim. Anne Espoosta. Spr:n vapaaehtoiset kuorittavat kortit, joten korttien mukaan ei tarvitse laittaa kirjekuoria. Postita tekemäsi kortti/kortit viimeistään 29.10.2014 Taika-lehden toimitukseen. Kortit menevät SPR:n välittäminä ilahduttamaan yksinäisten vanhusten ja muiden yksinäisten ihmisten joulua."

ja sitten vain tekemään hienoja joulukortteja!


Change of residence

In the last few years, one of my favourite places has been Harju, “The Ridge”, a landscape park in the centre of Jyväskylä. I have loved jogging there, enjoying the bright summer mornings and darkening autumn evenings, smelling the fresh air, admiring those that run and look really sporty (in a town with a Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences you can see many of them!)... and just walking peacefully, lost in thought.  I have loved you, Harju, but now it's time to say goodbye.  Stay well!


Autumn colours in September

Uh-oh, an image that is mostly out of focus...but the colours are pretty, aren't they?

Have a lovely weekend!



I never seem to tire of taking photos of these plants.  Faithfully they continue flowering, in spite of hot weather, rain, or approaching autumn.

Kokeilin tänä kesänä kosmoskukkia ensimmäisen kerran. Outokummun Agrimarketista ostamani punakosmokset olivat iloinen yllätys. Ne ovat kukkineet koko kesän, helteistä tai sateista kärsimättä, ja uusia nuppuja tulee koko ajan.  Ensi vuonna yritän löytää muitakin värejä!


Autumn must-haves (in Italy)

In Italy, Chrysanthemums are used mainly on graves, and thus available in many colours and forms in late October, before All Souls' Day  (Commemorazione dei defunti) on 2 November.  I used to enjoy them as ornamental plants for the terrace as well, hoping for sunny days, since in wet weather grey moulds can attack Chrysanthemums very badly.



We had a Hibiscus syriacus in our garden in Italy. I find it very attractive... well, I find most plants and flowers very beautiful...  Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is very pretty as well.  During the summer months, the plants were kept outdoors...

...and in October it was time to take them inside, where they surely didn't cease to delight:


On a cool autumn evening

The leaves of the common reed are turning yellow:

The porcini look just delicious, as always:

We received the shrub below many years ago from an elderly neighbour, by now already passed away.  It's autumn colours are incredibly beautiful. The plant is probably very common, but unfortunately I don't know it's name. If you do, please let me know!