Saturday, February 26, 2011

The timeless grounds of Pukkila Manor

The kitchen garden at Pukkila, or Buckila Manor, with horseradish and cardoons growing in front of old fruit trees.
While browsing through old photos, I stumbled upon some of Pukkila (or Buckila in Swedish) Manor, one of my favorite places near Turku in southwestern Finland. This beautiful estate and farm was named after the Bock family who owned it from 1540s until 1720s. In those days, Turku (or Åbo as it is called in Swedish) was the capital of Finland that formed the eastern part of the kingdom of Sweden; several members of the Bock family worked as high officials for the King's administration.
Cabbages and onions take the front stage at the Pukkila gardens. Fire-engine red bee balm (Monarda) and other ornamentals can be seen nearer the house.
The current, red-painted manor house with a heavy mansard roof was built in 1762. In its dignified simplicity, it is a handsome representative for the pared down Scandinavian rococo style typical for the period. Its deep red color is called 'Falu red' or Falu röd in Swedish, and it was used to imitate the fine brick houses of Stockholm and other larger cities (later, this copper based color became extremely popular and was used to paint smaller houses and even barns, a custom that Scandinavian emigrants took with them to their new homesteads on the other side of the Atlantic). Today, Pukkila Manor belongs to Finland's National Board of Antiquities, and it is meticulously restored and furnished as a 18th century family home.
Entrance through the red picket fence to the kitchen gardens; tall hop-poles against the fields (I compressed these pictures for years ago so their quality is unfortunately poor).
The gardens of Pukkila are skillfully tended and planted with herbs, vegetables and flowering plants that were popular in the 18th century. Old fruit trees and red-painted picket fences surround the lush kitchen gardens where cabbages and root vegetables play the leading roles once again. Sturdy hop-poles stand in attention against wide grain fields that separate Pukkila from the bustle of the surrounding world. Just some 20 minutes from the city centre, time seems to have forgotten its duties in Pukkila, making it an excellent destination for gardeners who are fond of time traveling.

A well and outbuildings for housing workers and other personnel at Pukkila.

PS - Turku is a little, historic town where I spent the formative years between 11 and 22, and despite the many places I've lived in since then, I still usually call it my hometown. I've posted about some other favorites as Luostarinmäki, Sagalund and Källskär, just a few amongst many beautiful places there. This year, Turku shares with Tallinn the well-earned honor of being the European Capital of Culture, so despite the somewhat poor quality of the pictures, I wanted to show what kind of lovely scenes are waiting if your path ever takes you to the southern shores of Finland.


Ruben said...

Thanks Liisa! Another interesting post about Turku/Åbo surroundings. A journey over the Baltic this summer is a must!!! I´ve only once been to Turku/Åbo, and late to the ferry, I didn´t have much time to really explore the city.
Have a nice week!

HA said...

Wow, my neck of the woods ;-) or not exactly, I guess it's a two hour drive, but still close in comparison. Thank you for that report, I might visit :-)