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.




In general, my aim is to post photos that depict our landscapes and plants as they are at present, during the current season, but there are moments in winter when the craving for green takes over. The past week was cloudy and grey, the temperature 2 °C (ca. 36 °F); some fresh snow has now fallen overnight. There are two sunlit photos at the bottom of this post, but they were taken last week...

Browsing through my pictures, I noticed this one (already posted in the past).  I like it. Our landscapes are so flat that I find even tiny little hills and slopes very attractive. :)

"Much of the geography of Finland is explained by the Ice Age. The glaciers were thicker and lasted longer in Fennoscandia compared with the rest of Europe. Their eroding effects have left the Finnish landscape mostly flat with few hills and fewer mountains. Its highest point, the Halti at 1,324 metres (4,344 ft), is found in the extreme north of Lapland at the border between Finland and Norway." (Wikipedia)

In this old post, I have written a little bit about the last glacial period and my favourite landscape park, Harju.  Some photos of Jyväskylä (my previous hometown) can be found in this post or clicking the label "towns".

I loved my walks on Harju, especially in spring:

The young leaves of the larch were not green yet:

Later its foliage changed to brilliant lime green. ♥!

The two photos below are perhaps less interesting, but there are three things I love: trees, green grass, and gentle slopes.

Scots pines and silver birches, two typical species.

Joining  Judith 

Joining Karen

Happy Sunday!


Friday greens

I know it's February. It means that we are supposed to have a lot of snow. Yet, there are moments when my "deficiency of chlorophyll" feels almost too much to bear...

Then I noticed that Gunilla participates in a lovely link party called Friday Greens. Exactly what I needed!

Of course I would like to participate using a recent photo, but I find for example this one more inspiring...

It is actually one of my favourites. It was taken in May, on a cloudy afternoon (in Central Finland). The bluish tinge in the background is just the gravel path, but I think it adds some mysterious atmosphere to the shot. :)


February snow

In the southern parts of Finland, they already see crocuses push through the soil, but we are still in full winter. Lakes are covered by ice and snow.

The snow glistens like diamonds.

You can see snowmobile tracks...

... snow removed from roof...

... snow and ice everywhere!

But the beautiful sunsets tell Spring is on its way... Or at least this is what I like to believe! :)


Happy Valentine's Day!

14 February.  In Finland, the day is called "Ystävänpäivä" ("Friend's Day") and is indeed (more) about remembering friends than connected with romantic love. It's actually quite nice - you can do either way or both! For someone like me, that likes flowers, chocolate, hearts, and pink, Valentine's Day is a lovely holiday.

Warning! This post contains shamelessly romantic and naive images and texts!

"It's Valentine's Day. Taking his courage in both hands, Mr Spinotto is bringing a bunch of beautiful flowers to Miss Spinetta.

Oh, he wouldn't have needed to worry... Miss Spinetta is more than delighted!

To make a long story short... they were wed in the woods, under some old birches in tenderest early leaf, at dawn when the light wind gave a graceful, dancing movement to the pale daffodils growing on the glade.

The lovely couple are now off to their honeymoon and towards new adventures... and of course they lived happily ever after."

(We have received the figurines "Spinotto & Spinetta" (by MariCart, Italy) as gifts on different occasions.  The images behind the figurines are from The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden.)


Hugs to you all!


Friday thoughts

Fabulous Friday or Felicitous Friday...

I have noticed that many lovely blogs participate in different kinds of "Five on Friday" or "Friday's Favourites" themes or features, and I hope to join in as well, in future. For today I have made a list of five things that made me happy during this week - there were many of them:

1. Health. What I was afraid could be the seasonal influenza, might indeed be the influenza, but with symptoms alleviated by the vaccine. A great excuse for having a nap or going to bed early. :)

1. Health. Eating these is not good, but looking at them is invigorating.

2. We still haven't seen much sun in this part of the country, but at least we have had some days with pleasant temperatures.

2. Spring is on its way.

3. Seed packets hold the promise of spring.  This lavender should survive in our hardiness zone. (From Exotic Garden.)

3. Time to sow.

Lovely lavender... What is funny in the (old) picture below is that it was a photo of me watering the shrubs. A little bit of skillful retouching... et voilà, Mrs Woodland has disappeared... :)

4. Inspiring plant catalogues keep arriving.  In this one (of Garden Center Kauppila, in Turku) there are for example Petunias in lovely (new) colourings. I would love to mix these colours...

4. Inspiring plant and seed catalogues.

5. ... a little bit like Nature does:

5. So much beauty in the natural world!

Joining Karen


Saturday's critters

The squirrels that visit our bird feeder have become even too tame and fearless.

Once more I went out to scare them at least a little bit further away from the feeder, but they didn't look very frightened.  Well, actually they do look rather cute...

The weather continues to be grey. I'm really looking forward to sunnier days when the photos will be less gloomy...

Joining Eileen

To see a lot of great animal shots, check out the link above!


More tulips

Who wouldn't love tulips?!

When you say "tulip", you say "Netherlands", of course  -  but also here in Scandinavia, we try to do our best. In these more or less drab and dark winter days, we just love to have them at home. I read somewhere that during these months over one million cut tulips are sold in Sweden every day, and that the Swedes, followed by the Finns and the Danes, would be the most tulip-loving and tulip-buying people in the world. 15 January is Sweden's national Day of the Tulip!

Of the tulips sold in Finland during January to April, more than 50 million are grown here, even though the bulbs come from the Netherlands. According to the today's newspaper, pink and yellow are the most popular colours and white is becoming more and more in vogue.

I'm good at buying tulips, but have little experience in growing them. In Italy, we had planted about two dozen bulbs of 'Queen of Night'. The plants, rather surprisingly, thrive despite the heavy, clay soil (improved using traditional methods).  They seem to persist from year to year and even increase, slowly but steadily. The site, lining garden stairs, is sunny and warm and becomes dry (but baked dry!) in summer.

As to our garden in Finland, last autumn I planted bulbs of the following cultivars

'Queen of Night' (single late)
'Shirley' (single late/Triumph)
'Angelique' (double late) and
'Mount Tacoma' (double late),

and I really hope I will have photos to share with you next spring! :)

Perhaps I lack imagination, but I especially like the simple, upright goblets of the single-flowered tulips.

The colours vary from lovely tender shades to bold, vibrant colours... and they are all so beautiful!
(Well, unfortunately not in the mosaic below.  The photos were taken yesterday, a thickly-clouded and dark day. I tried to edit the colour tones, result of the artificial light, but am not very happy with the outcome. Sorry!!)

Like every Sunday evening, 
I participate in "Mosaic Monday", the link party, 
Visiting her blog, you can find her beautiful collages and links to many others!

PS Since I find many KEEP CALM posters really cool, I thought it would be time to finally start creating some of my own. On the website they say it's very easy. You just enter the saying of your choice, choose some simple options, and "before you can say 'coalition government' you'll have your very own Government-approved motivational slogan"... :)

Then, however, I found this lovely image (http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-and-love-tulips-4/).  My LOVE TULIPS poster surely couldn't have been any prettier...


Have a beautiful new week!