Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sipsalo, again

Visiting Sipsalo with Arno Kasvi. Photo by Jori Liimatainen, Turun Sanomat.

The most difficult things to write about are always the things closest to your heart. So almost for a week, I've been pondering what to write about my visit to Sipsalo, Pehr Kalm's experimental gardens near Turku in Finland. Sipsalo was all that I had expected, a first rate cultural, historical and botanical site that should clearly be protected and saved to the coming generations. I cannot thank enough Arno Kasvi, the retired head gardener of the Botanical Gardens in Turku, for taking me there. Arno is a national celebrity within gardening in Finland and I can understand why; he is like a fireworks of botanical and historical knowledge and ideas, and I truly enjoyed my day of discussions with him. Thank you once more, Arno, for a wonderfully interesting day!
Intentionally, I haven't been writing about Sipsalo on my blog even if it has taken a lot of my time since mid-September. I have contacted experts and professionals both in the US, in Sweden and in Finland, trying to give and get information which would lead to Sipsalo's protection. My parents and especially my architect sister Hanna have been working all their contacts for getting more information and details, and delivering these to persons concerned with saving Sipsalo. There has been a lot of interest for this, and now, there might be (and hopefully I am not all too optimistic) an excellent candidate for buying Sipsalo, a cultural organization that I think would give a safe future for this sensitive, historical environment.
The main newspaper of the South Western Finland, Turun Sanomat, source of the first article about Sipsalo which I included in my previous post, promised to publish an article about Pehr Kalm that I wrote for them. I spent a lot of time researching it, and included comments from some leading Linnean and Kalm experts in the US and in Sweden. Then the story took an unexpected turn: instead of publishing my article, Turun Sanomat took some of my materials and made their own story of them. In addition, they interviewed me while I was visiting Sipsalo with Arno. In the positive side, Sipsalo got a full page of media, and it hopefully was a small step forward in saving Sipsalo to the future generations, but I feel a bit sad for 'losing" my story and ending up on the pages as some kind of a curious, international garden traveller. I am still hoping that my original article will be published as promised, but haven't heard anything from Turun Sanomat for some days now.
For the moment, I am not sure what step to take next, but I strongly feel that I am not quite done with Sipsalo yet. There are so many possibilities to explore. First I have to sort out all my pictures from there, and show at least some of them here on my blog. After that... I don't know. But give me a couple of days, and I'll be back with some beautiful images and hopefully some well chosen words to complement them...
Check out the Turun Sanomat article with Arno Kasvi and me here. I am not a keen media person and 'self promoter', but I just thought that publishing this link had its place here and now as the Sipsalo project is developing further.


Ruben said...

Vilken beundransvärd insats du gör för att bevara trädgården. Hoppas verkligen att allt går vägen!!!! Det vore verkligen en dröm att få se trädgården i så gott skick som möjligt. Fascineras av "lärjungarnas" intresse för botaniken och den energi de lade ner under sina resor ut i världen. Och vilket fint komplement till Linnés Hammarby det kunde bli. Faktiskt av samma dignitet! Håller tummarna att allt går i lås och tack för att du engagerar dig!!! Ha det gott! /Ruben

nilla|utanpunkt said...

Vilken otroligt märklig behandling av tidningen, helt oacceptabelt! Tycker du skulle protestera å det vildaste. Om de håller sig undan skulle du kunna använda materialet och visa det för någon annan, mer seriös tidning, som vet att respektera ditt arbete.

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Tack, Ruben... lite undrar jag vad jag håller på med, men jag kan inte hjälpa att vilka få detta bevarat, historian av Sipsalo är så otroligt intressant!

Och Camellia, jag hoppas på att få någon annan tidning att nappa... man får se. Men visst känns det tråkigt med denna konstiga utveckling! Ha en trevlig helg.