Thursday, July 24, 2014

Free Baltic Photo Tour: Thoughts of a Master Gardener

Yesterday’s posting featured Baltic container gardens.  Today’s posting includes 12 miscellaneous photographs of scenes that this Master Gardener found thought-provoking.  I took the photos last month on Ellen’s and my tour of ancient Baltic port cities aboard the Oceania Cruises “Marina.”

Do Baltic peoples prefer brilliant flowers
as an antidote to their long, dark winters?
Flower shop in Tallinn, Estonia

Streets can be permeable, right,
to absorb rain water and protect waterways?
Tallinn, Estonia

Aha! Finnish gardeners "enjoy" dandelions too!
Porvoo, Finland

Can you imagine the garden that must
grow behind this garden gate and wall?
Porvoo, Finland

Latvian legend says if you find a fern in bloom
in the forest, you'll have good luck forever.
Does this qualify?
Park in Riga, Latvia

Many cultures still celebrate natural events
such the summer solstice, as these
decorations in Riga, Latvia, attest

What flowers do gardeners in northern countries
buy for their gardens at the plant market?
Helsinki, Finland

And what herbs do Finnish gardeners plant?
Cilantro, chives, basil, parsley....
Helsinki, Finland, plant market

"Grow local, eat local" is
apparently also a popular trend in Helsinki

The Finns apparently have figured out
the key to sustainable deer management.
Fast-food stand at Helsinki outdoor market

Was I the only tourist to pause at a window to take a photo
of this stunning rooftop garden at the Hermitage,
St. Petersburg, Russia?

I don't pity the German aristocrats who in centuries
past admired the garden from a window of the castle
at Schwerin

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Free Baltic Photo Tour: Container Gardens

Time to clean out that purse?
Helsinki restaurant sidewalk table container garden

Visiting Baltic countries and their ancient ports via the Ocean Cruises “Marina” last month provided Ellen and me lots of photo ops of intriguing architecture, collections of art and other exhibits in world-class museums, and even a statue of Czar Alexander II topped by a resting seagull, but it suddenly dawned on me several days into the trip that I was spending some of my most relaxing moments taking photographs of what for the lack of a better term I’ll just call “Master Gardener Shots.”

I’ll post the photos in two parts.  Part 1—this posting—includes 10 photographs of container gardens, which add greenery and towers of attractive color to cold gray cobblestone and granite centers of many ancient Baltic cities in such countries as Finland, Lithuania, and Latvia.  My only regret is that I had to “click and trudge on” and couldn’t stay for a day or two to meet and chat with those who care for the containers to learn more about these beautiful creations.

My garden boots have high tops, so this won't work for me.
Helsinki restaurant container gardens
Part 2—the next posting—will include miscellaneous photos that I found eye-catching or thought-provoking.  I hope you enjoy each photo and that it sparks a daydream about your own gardening adventure.

Petunia towers liven up the town square
in Klaipeda, Lithuania

Geranium tree in Klaipeda, Lithuania

Flowers separating restaurant seating from street,
Riga, Latvia


Geranium trough in Riga, Latvia

Containers used to expand restaurant into street,
Riga, Latvia

Containers separating outdoor market from
sidewalks and streets, Riga, Latvia
Containers separate large restaurant and traffic
in Riga, Latvia
Grass--the ultimate cover crop for a container garden?
Restaurant, Riga, Latvia

Yes, I did take a photograph of a Finnish seagull
 visiting the statue of Czar Alexander II