Archives for category: Travel

We took a trip to see another garden a couple hours north of here in Ockelbo – Wij Gardens – famous for the northern aspect of it’s ‘Forest Garden’, a long rectangular show garden at the entrance. It uses material and plants from the area like fir, pine, birch and spruce trees, bog plants and local plants and weeds, as well as stones, iron and timber from the vicinity.

Birch in the forest garden
Ockelbo is famous for it’s iron works. 
A bog in an iron ‘pool’
Sitting stones
A stonewall in rebar net
Fixing up
Stone flow
The pine alle
There is much more happening and a lot more to see here at Wij Gardens like the rose garden, the horticulture school, the estate buildings, the old iron works, the kitchen gardens, the pedagogical garden for kids, the restaurant and more. But those are other stories. 

It’s nice to be home again. The garden looks good. 


9 days of new growth. 



But I could complain, the weeds have been growing even more so, the rabbits and deer have been feasting too, and my hay fever is worse than ever after the period of relief up north. 

But why complain!


It’s time to leave again. After leaving Abisko we met up at the old homestead outside of Pajala, where every year there’s the Pääjärvi family reunion. About 30 make it – young and old. It’s also time for the Pajala market where we meet even more friends and relatives. 


Now it’s time the leave and get back our garden. 

Everything and everywhere is spiffied up and closed until others come for a weekend of calm later. 

Here are some pictures from the after. 

Our room


The bathhouse/sauna where hours are spent getting a super steam bath and listening to stories of the oldtimers. 


The woodshed with newly cut wood. 


The side of the house that got repaired and a new facade, damaged in a winter stormed. 


Where the tent camp was. 

The fire pit where evenings are often spent, grilling sausage, singing, dancing and veiwing the midnight sun – when it’s not raining too much. 

Kind of calm and quiet now. Only the surrrrr of mosquitoes (not so many this year).

It’s time to leave Abisko Lodge. I didn’t see any midnight sun this time – everything was green and grey and cold and wet. But it was wonderful to get close to wilderness and wander and get tired and wet and then return to the warmth of the lodge fire and meet a bunch of fellow wanderers. It’s my type of pilgrimage. 

I should mention, they even have an alpine vegetable garden for the restaurant, and the food was excellent. 

And my own cooking too.

In case anyone wants to try this delicacy:

My favorite vegetarian sausges, on Finnish ryebread covered with dark tahini and cheese. I only wish I had had som Kimchi to top it off. 

Oh, and a wad of paper towel and clear clean mountain water. 

Another day of hiking – hardly any rain but no sun either. Today I went halfway to Kårsavagge cabin. Wet feet but otherwise –

Exhilarating!






Across the bridge, then back to the fire at the Abisko lodge. 

A day later. After a stressed out day of weeding and putting the garden in order and then an all night train trip, I’m in the mountains of northern Sweden for my annual hiking vacation. I’m at Abisko mountain lodge this year, hiking in the rain and cold.





I’m already back at the lodge drinking coffee beside the open fire warming up and drying off. 


Now for a sauna to warm my bones and a reindeer meat dinner. 


My new favorite garden tool is called a Hori Hori in Japanese (dig dig). I got it at the garden show in Seattle in February. 


It’s fabulous! It has a large stainless steel blade with sharp point and edges, one serrated. It even has a depth measure in inches. 

An easy thrust goes deep and gets a lot of weed root. It’s great for micro weeding on hands and knees – it acts as a hoe, but more quick and accurate, and even as a brush, lopping off tender weeds at the root. It is also good for digging, planting and can serve as a machete. 

I didn’t cut off one pumpkin plant, which I often do hoeing.

The garden is now as ready as it can be for me to be able to take a vacation to northern Sweden. 

We are getting the garden ready – a thorough weeding, hand tilling, covering from pests, and mulching – in order to be able to leave it on it’s own, while we take our yearly vacation to northern Sweden. 

I call it micro weeding because we get down on our hands and knees and pick even the tiniest weeds along wth the the big ones. 

We’re getting ready to travel back home – a few stones and plants richer (as well as a lot of other stuff and experiences too). 

Some last picts;

Seaweed washed up and dried (slejke). I wish I had a truck load for the garden.
 I did get a bag full tho. 
Good enough to eat I bet.  

  

On an excursion to southern Gotland this morning we found some stuff to take home. 

A nice piece of sandstone to carve.  

Some wild seedlings of a local maple. 
 And some roots of wild horseradish and  a wild garlicy leek called kajp (very tasty). I hope they like my clay soil.