A day at Botanic Garden of Helsinki

The location
Today I visited the Botanic Garden of Helsinki. It is located in the heart of Helsinki, just next to railway station. The weather was perfect for my visit. Sun was shining and the air was crisp & fresh - just like it should be in the autumn. At this time of the year the garden is also very peaceful. I met there more birds and squirrels than other human beings. All this was perfect for me as my idea was to walk around with my plant list and my camera making notes and taking photos. And without any extra interruptions. We will have an exam in less than two weeks time at the college and I really needed some exercise.

Main Garden behind a bush
Autumn is here as I have told you earlier. This means the nature is no longer in full bloom but preparing itself for long and cold winter. Flowers have mainly withered and trees have dropped a lot of their leaves. But there is this phenomenal symphony going on with autumn colors (ruska). This symphony filled the air today. Or what do you think?

Cotoneaster lucidus
Sorbus alnifolia
Aronia x prunifolia
Ribes aureum
Sambucus nigra
Sambucus nigra
Juglans mandchurica
Acer ginnala
Ulmus laevis
Viburnum lantana

For the exam I should learn to identify 125 plants (trees, bushes and climbers) and name them both with Finnish and scientific names. Today I learned a lot, but I still need to do another visit next week. My camera battery ran out today after heavy 3 hours use and after that it was no use staying any longer. There is about one  quarter of the garden still left to be examined. I do hope I'll have time next Friday to visit the place again.

In the end of my viisit I had a great pleasure meeting with this gentleman. A total stranger to me. His story was touching and his words full of wisdom. Hope life can teach me the same way.

The gentleman

He is 85. He used to be an engineer. Retired nowadays. Recently he got interested in trees. Spends time walking slowly around the garden and picking up some tree seeds. But he is slow with learning new things. On the other hand he has all the time in the world. He in not in a hurry, not anymore. He asked my help to identify one tree he had seen earlier. With tremulous hands he took his digital camera and started to look after the photo he had taken. It was 'Juglans mandshurica'. Great, old individual - just like that gentleman. With those tremulous hands he took a piece of paper and a pen out from his pocket and wrote down the name. He was hoping he would be able to read his own writing later. At home he would then check it from his 90 years old encyclopedia. Gentleman wanted to learn something new. He still has time. So do I. So do we all. Let's not waste it.

Such a great day with such a great ending!


- Mika -

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