Finland, July 3

Day 2, after a late breakfast, Peter takes us on a tour of the arboretum.  Spring 2017 arrived a few weeks late for Finland, so most of the azaleas and rhododendrons were still in colorful bloom

Arboretum Mustila is an arboretum near Elimäki in southern Finland. 

Peter T., our tour guide explaining how these cultivars were bred.


Arboretum Mustila is especially famous for its rhododendrons and azaleas. In June a colourful sea of flowers can be seen in the Rhododendron Valley when hundreds of different species and hybrids are blooming.

Azaleas in every color!


Rhododendrons on display!


Finland’s 100 year anniversary Independence tree

Due to the Northern Crusades and Swedish colonization of some Finnish coastal areas most of the region became a part of the Kingdom of Sweden and the realm of the Catholic Church from the 13th century on wards.  When Sweden lost its position as a great power in the early 18th century, Russian pressure on Finland increased, and Russia conquered Finland in the 1808–1809 war with Sweden.   Following the Swedish defeat and the signing of the Treaty of Fredrikshamn on September 17, 1809, Finland remained a Grand Duchy in the Russian Empire until the end of 1917, with the czar as Grand Duke.   The Bolshevist government of Russia led by Lenin approved Finland’s independence. The Finnish Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Parliament of Finland on 6 December 1917.