This is seriously my new favorite place in Finland. My husband is a huge gardening nerd, he loves everything that contains chlorophyll . In stark contrast to me, whoÂ forgets to water even flowers I get for Mother’s Day. I’m hopeless like that. He’s been talking about that Arboretum place somewhere off from Kouvola and I was like yeah, yeah, we will go. Some day. You could tell I wasn’t super excited, because it’s you know, plants. But somehow this weekend we just got up and went to check it out. Turned out there wasÂ Lähiruoka messut (could be loosely translated as “food from nearby market”) going on at the same time just next to the Arboretum. I was actually more excited about that part, but then all of the sudden I wasn’t because we forgot to stop at the ATM and get cash. Duh. There we were- surrounded by all the glorious food and unable to buy anything more that a pancake for Inkku using the few coins we scraped from our pockets and wallets. Car was at a parking place a bit further off, so finding an ATM would be a biggish operation and we decided to forgo it. Which set me in a grumpy mood at first, because I started to get hungry. I’m not a nice person (to put it mildly) when I’m hungry :D So after salivating all over the great food we learned our lesson and went forward to explore the Mustila Arboretum. And there it was. Magic. Lovely cafeteria in an old log house. Mushroom exhibition. Mushroom bar selling pies, pizzas and soup. Sausage grill and coffee from iron pot. A band with accordions and violins. And the forest. Oh, the forest. The name “arboretum” doesn’t do justice. At least for me, first association when I hear “arboretum” is a meticulous garden with pebble stone paths and single exhibits of fenced exotic trees and bushes. Nature tamed. This was so so different. Wild, untamed, luscious. If there was a rhododendron stand, it was a whole valley. Native Finnish plants mixed with the exotic. Huge, tall Serbian spruces hugged by maples. Oaks and magnolias. It started over a 100 years ago as a test site for exotic coniferous species and I suppose it just… exploded. It’s absolutely magnificent. We are soooo going to visit again. The fall’s colorful season is just starting now. And I truly cannot wait to see it in spring time with all the flowers blooming.