Home and Garden

Kate and Pekka’s Garden in Finland


Today we’re going to Finland to meet Kate and Pekka Schneider.

We wrote for the first time to submit photos in February 2017 (A special property in Finland). It’s a couple of years later and we’d like to give our fellow gardeners the opportunity to see how things have turned out since those early years. Visit us in Finland from the comfort of your home!

We continue to create new bed spaces, which often include redesigned hardscapes and bars. Now that most of the conifers and trees have grown to a certain size, I have started planting masses of perennials between them: nepeta, salvia, flowering lilies in spring and summer, and various varieties of hosta in the more shady areas. At different intervals during the season we are fascinated by color, fragrance, shape and texture.

The plant sample list has blossomed! There are now over 200 items in the rose gardens. Midsummer is a wonderful time with the aroma of roses wafting in the air. Later on, the abundantly placed hydrangeas steal the show with huge flower heads that can be seen across borders. (We have more than 170!) With Finland’s late summer sunsets, it’s possible to attend late evening.

I’ve scrolled through hundreds of recent photos in hopes of finding matches with those photos from 2017, but it has proven very difficult. I’ve included several photos that demonstrate our luck and provide excellent examples of what we’ve achieved.

Paeonia ‘Coral Charm’ (Zones 3–7) has been amazing year after year. Wonderful!

Hydrangea paniculata in the spotlightA recent view, similar to the 2017 submission, shows Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ (zones 3–8) in full summer bloom.

Early spring in the Finnish gardenIn this spring 2020 view of our backyard, the hydrangeas have been pruned (I prune all of our ‘Limelight’ and ‘Annabelle’ near the ground every couple of years) and the entire yard has been cleaned up after the winter. Here you can see Picea conica ‘Glauca’ (zones 3–6), Thuja occidentalis ‘Holmstrup’ and ‘Smaragd’ (zones 2–7) and Acer platanoides ‘Drummondii’ (colorful Norway maple, zones 3–7).

empty gardenThis August 2015 photo of the same location is a reminder of what was here before we got there – not much!

Garden beds around a large birchIn our side yard there is a large birch tree in the middle. These beds are the result of enlarging a previous bed in the same place. This bed has received the most redesign of all the other garden beds. We have enlarged and reshaped this bed four times. It’s ready now!

pink liliesLilies! An unknown variety.

Winter afternoon sunsetA winter afternoon sunset as seen from the terrace

snow covered gardenWinter snow in our side courtyard facing south-east. The green grid bears the rose ‘Ghislaine de Feligonde’. In the background are ripe apple trees. The black trellis overlooks a pond and supports the Prince’s Trust rose.

We are now entering our fifth year at Vanha Talo Suomi. We couldn’t be more proud and delighted with how well our garden worked. In addition, we are very grateful for the enthusiasm our garden has received from visitors from near and far and look forward to the next time we can open the garden to the public for the Open Garden Day (Avoimet Puutarha in Finnish ).

You can find more information about the Schneider’s garden on their website.

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Submit 5-10 photos to for submission [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We would like to hear where you are, how long you have been working in the garden, what successes you are proud of, what mistakes you have learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants or funny stories from your garden.

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Robert Dunfee