Tag Archives: Floristry & Horticultural Business

Coutances calling

Almost two weeks have passed. There has been some new jobs: I have been working at the potting machine and planting seedling for the early spring market, and watering plants in the tunnels and in the shop. I have become pretty independent in my tasks, which is nice.
This place is a school. There are students of different ages and levels starting from youngsters of the third grade in high school (it takes 4 years in France) and those at the basic level of the professional college to young adults doing a two year extra course after the basic education. I have had the opportunity to work also with various classes doing different jobs under the supervision of their teachers. It has been very interesting to follow the teaching, and the students working. One time, for instance, the teacher explained the principles of watering and showed very precisely how it should be done. And then every student had a little parcel to water, and everybody followed attentively. It was interesting for me too to watch and learn!
As an extra treat, I have had the opportunity to take part at two floristry lessons. We made vertical arrangements in a sponge with three different dahlia-flowers: one big, three medium-sized and five small ones. The principles were, of course, but the working was very different. Where we, there back home, are given very free hands to create our own vision of the work in hand, here we had to follow instructions very stricktly. The aim was to produce ten or twelve exactly similar arrangements, only changing the choice of flowers used. We didn’t, of course, quite succeed It was really interesting and nice, and it was, actually, quite a difficult task to choose the flowers among 300 different varieties so that they would match nicely together and behave like wanted in the arrangement.
Tomorrow I’ll be off with the extra course students to visit the Ernest Turc enterprise, a big producer of different kinds of plant material, at least seeds and bulbs. They have, for instance, created the dahlia Normandie.

First week in Coutances

My first week in Coutances is behind. In the begining I was exhausted in the evenigs, after dinner. I guess it’s because there was everyday so many new things to learn and people to meet. Now I feel like I had stayed here for ever!

I have been working in the greenhouses and in the dahlia field. I have been picking strawberries in one tunnel and collecting Alstroemeria flowers in an otherone. I spend one and a half days cleaning the strawberry plants. There were quite a lot of fungus spreading there, so I tried to do the job properly.

Alstroemerias are nice. They grow in the real soil in a tunnel, and the oldest ones have been there for over twenty years. Only the very tall ones are collected. Small ones and the ones having only a few flowers are thrown away. My heart is crying! But I understood it better when I got some of the not so good ones to decorate my room, It wasn.t easy at all to arrange them nicely.

I have also arranged things in the shop of the greenhouse: organising plants nicely, writing name and price tags, cleaning faded flowers.

And then, of course, I have been a little in the dahlia field. It is quite a big area full of dahlias. All the different colours, all the different shapes. It is amazing! And all of it has been organised, planted and taken care of with students of the school. The Dahlia Festival was opened on Saturday afternoon. At the same time a new variety of dahlia was launched and baptised: it is called Normandie, and it is brilliant, pale yellow, like the famous cream and butter of Normandy.

Next time I will try to add some photos. For the moment, it has been enough to find out about the wifi, to be able to post anything at all.

Towards Normandy, France


My name is Leena. I’m studying horticulture at the Jämsä College. In a few days I will be heading towards Normandy, France, for a training period of 4 weeks.  I will be living and working at the Horticultural College at Coutances. There is a botanical garden and a Dahlia Festival going on. Sounds wonderful to me! At the moment I’m feeling quite nervous although I’m sure everything will be fine once I get there.

Long time no seeeeeeee


Yeah so…. My laptop died. And now it’s back to life again! Kind of…

Time is flying when you have a good time, yeah? My time here in England is so perfect and happy and I just realized that next week I’m going back to home…..

I’ve done lot of work and when you have lot of work you work hard right? So when I work hard, I play hard. And that’s exactly what I have done!

My co-workers are really nice and I get along with them really well! I feel like at home and I’ve learned quickly how everything works. Today I got a lot of compliments from my boss because I understand and get the hang of things really quick.
My work basically has been just planting and potting. Cleaning and watering. I also managed to burn my back at work.

On weekdays after work i’ve watched netflix or strolled around town and read a book. On weekends i’ve tried Chichesteris night life and visited Bognor a lot because my friend lives in there. Next weekends plans are to go to see what Brighton looks like!
I was so worried that my english wasnt good enough here but everyone understands me really Well and I understand everyone. So sad I need to leave as soon as I feel totally comfortable here. But I will have unforgetable memories with me.



This is my favorite glasshouse <3


love, Minnameeri

Getting Stoned

Good morning, I still don`t understand how god morgon is supposed to be pronounced. Even though I have said it several times every morning. And this morning is the morning I don`t anymore wake up for work in GardenWorks.

So I spent 3 weeks working in this gardening company called GardenWorks, which maintains and builds gardens for all kinds of customers. Let`s just say this first: this is a company I can recommend if someone is looking for a place for work or practise. From the first day on, I already got to do just the same things as the actual workers do.

These weeks included planting, sowing, a bit of lawnmowing and risusavotta, and a lot of stonework! Actually I don´t even try to list every single different kind of task I did. One day we even took a flagpole down, And the other day we lifted it up again. I was suprised that on the first day I already laid some paving stones. Which was nice. During this practise, I was allowed to use many machines and tools the workers needed in their projects. I will post pictures when technological conditions allow it. And even risusavotta can be educative; if the trees happen to be something You don´t meet in Your home forests.

It was pure pleasure to work in +25c sunshine weather for many days. Well, I have to admit that at some moments it was a bit exhausting. Lately I have spent my freetime mostly by exploring the plants this local area and school garden contains. And of course hanging out with friends, and doing some gardening with them.

Factory Work In a Nursery

Hi, again. I have been listening to Danish language for 5 weeks now. It is still a mystery how they pronounce their language. Even though  I have worked for the last two weeks mainly with Danish people unlike in the greenhouse, which will be the next subject.

I spent 3 weeks working in a company called Graff Kristensen, which is huge  hibiscus plantation, at least in my point of view. Well, I guess anyone could consider it huge, because it contains hundreds of thousands of plants at all times. Most of them are grown from cuttings which are originally from Vietnam. Reason for this is that the mother plants are better in Vietnam´s sunshine. The cuttings are brought by aeroplanes to Netherlands, and then by trucks to Denmark. Six months after their arrival to this nursery those cuttings have become nice hibiscus flowers, which shall travel all around the world. This coming of cuttings and sending of final products happen weekly. This is a lot of energy spent on producing dying decorations. Just think about an aeroplane with a cargo of cuttings for a decorative plant.

Back to more usual issues; I enjoyed my time working in this greenhouse, and I am thankful for the people there. I now have the experience of almost every kind of practical work in an industrial scale greenhouse. I had good guidance to the greenhouses practises and introduction to their company.

Hibiscus is a nice looking flower, and you can use it in infusions and it has also other ways of use. You can find more information about it if You can read this. I don´t recommend to use these ones which are grown for decorations, because of the wide range of chemicals sprayed on them.

Despite the sickness, I’m finally here !

Hello! It’s Minna writing here. I arrived today to Chichester. I am twenty years old horticultural student from Jämsä college.

My flight left from Finland at 8.45 local time.  I was arriving to Gatwick airport at ten o’clock. Traveling by bus and plane was easy because I slept all the time.

I was SUUPER scared to do all this alone, but everything went very well. I found easily my train to Chichester and the college was so near the train station. Last week I was in Turkey and I became very sick there. (and I’m STILL sick. ugh.) I have lost my voice and when I try to speak it sounds more like fifty years old man who has been drinking whiskey all his life….

Anyway ! I was too excited to stay at the campus so I went to the city … and OH MY IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL. I think I’m already in love this place.

chichester cathedral


I hope I will have some fun here!  Tomorrow I’ll start working at west dean gardens!

Love, Minna

Our first week in Jyväskylä

by Spanish students of Agrària IES Felenitx in Mallorca. See also their school blog.

First of all, we want to introduce ourselves, we are three students from Mallorca (Spain) that we have come to Jyväskylä for an Erasmus+ program. We study different professional training in Mallorca and we have come to Jyväskylä  in order to do our job training for one month. Two of us study gardening and the other one study bakery.

In this first blog, we will explain the first week of the gardening students:

On our first day, Jari Järvenranta came to pick up us in our residence, and then we went to AO and we met Susanna Leinonen (our tutor). During this month we will do the garden maintenance of different AO campus.

The second day, we went to visit Jämsä college. We think that college has a really good installation. We met there another student from Mallorca that he is doing his practical training about physical activities.

The third day, we started our practice in Jyväskylä. We did nice arrangements.

The fourth day, we went to a green house in Muurame “ Ritun Puutarha”. We spend a really good time and we hope to come back there.

The fifth day, we did diverse garden maintenance in Viitamieni campus.

We spend a really good week!



Goodbye to Denmark

Today is my last day in Denmark. I sit in a hotel room in Billund thinking the time I spent here. The pictures are more than words, so I show some of my good memories in pictures.

Riding tour with Icelandic horses. Seldrupgård, Beder.

Aarhus – European Capital of Culture 2017

Den Gamle By (The Old Town) is a national open-air museum of urban history and culture in Denmark through three decades. The best museum I ever visited!

The Botanical Garden and Tropical Houses are near of Den Gamle By in the centre of Aarhus.

Aarhus Cathedral is the longest church in Denmark and it seats 1200 people.

Wonderful Copenhagen.

Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.

Watch and see and learn …

That is how my boss Per says when he wants me to learn something new. I’ve had the opportunity to do all kind of jobs in Violen and  I’ve learned a lot during these weeks.  All floral work has become familiar in a fun and “hygge” way.  I’ve taken hundreds of pictures and some videos too. Now is the last practice week and I’m returning to Finland this weekend. I bring good memories and a lot of experience with me.

Cut flowers and some bouquets I’ve made.

Funeral wreaths.

Wreath to honor of the newly built house is a Danish tradition.