Welcome to the wild garden of Villa Hattarala and inside the sheltering walls of the pink, 85 years old house. This is a journey to garden life and to colourful, everyday life in our wooden house. I am your tour leader Mika. At your service during the journey are also my spouse Antti and our dogs Miss E and Mr P. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride with us!
So we are talking about gardening. I, you, we. People who love it and sometimes even hate it. Yes, there is no love without hate or hate without love. And hey, honestly, each one of us are in a war in our own gardens. The enemy? Time, weather, a bug or an army of them, dandelions, never ending dreams and plans and to-do-lists... But then, without the enemy what's left? Peaceful and quiet eternity? Enjoyment? Future without surprises? Pleasure? Stability of beauty...?
I choose love AND hate.
My gardening is not just cultivating the plot. Garden for me is like life itself. It is full of different periods, happenings, corners, atmospheres, responsibilities, rewards, births and deaths, communication, encounters. And I do not mean only the flowers and other plants. I mean the wholeness. The space. To be part of it. To be and live in it. With it. In other words: I want to extend my living space from inside the house to outside by gardening my garden. And remembering these two spaces are different yet similar.
When I enter this outside space called garden, I want my enemies to accept me and me to accept them. Gardening is like a journey into a strange culture and I am a turist wanting to learn to know that culture better and even learn something new from it - take something back home with me. I want to have a role in my garden. Equal role. I want to take risks. I want to try and do things my way and learn the language of my garden. Speak it. And at the same time I'm trying to remember that this world is not perfect as we understand the word. In the garden I can't act as a superior being or otherwise my gardening experience will collapse. First steps in a strange culture has to be taken with respect.
Art of gardening. Work. Sweat. Success. Disaster. Starting all over again. Continuous observation. Adaptation. Art comes from a signature - my signature. I need to leave my footsteps there, as I don't want to be just somebody. I want this garden to remember me as I remember it. This is also my living environment and I want others to recognize it. I want to try new things, make inventions, use craftsmanship to create something interesting and personal. All this is possible if I am ready to work and make sacrifices and be humble in front of my garden.
And remember, garden and gardening do need care. If you don't care, what is the use of having one - or do you enjoy sitting there on a garden chair watching the chain reaction of birth and death. Just sitting there and then one day noticing you no longer excist for your garden. Noticing it has forgotten you.
For me gardening is living. It's part of my life today, tomorrow. And as I love (and hate) my life so do I love gardening. Hope one day I can truly say: I had a good life and did my best with my gardening.