Soldanella montana - Alpine snowbell (mountain snowbell)

The cute little Alpine snowbell is native in the mountains but it thrives also on flatlands. The most crucial prerequisite is sufficient shade. The leaves of the Alpine snowbell are reniform, thick, stiff and evergreen. Conifers provide the best cover especially in spring when deciduous trees are still bare and the sun shines brightly. In sunshine the leaves of the Alpine snowbell become pale and may suffer from brown, dry spots.

Pinus peuce - Macedonian pine

Macedonian pine seeds were first received at Mustila in 1907 from a Bulgarian forester. They had been collected in the Rila Mountains which, despite their southern position, have low average temperatures, and where the snow only melts in June. The species grows in the Balkan mountains as a relict from before the last Ice Age. In addition to Bulgaria and Macedonia, it also grows around Lake Prespa in Albania.

Juniperus communis - common juniper

Juniper has the greatest range of any conifer. It grows on all the continents of the Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic tundra to the semi-tropics. This demands great adaptability to varying conditions, and juniper is indeed undemanding as to where it grows: from almost bare rock to nutrient-rich groves.

Juniper’s habit varies: creeper, shrubby or erect, sometimes even tree-like, with other intermediate forms. Particular forms are also selected for production and sale as “varieties”.

Kalopanax septemlobus - tree aralia

Tree aralia, the only species of the genus, is the plant equivalent of the Amur tiger. It has adapted to the freezing winters of the forest zones of north-eastern Asia although it looks more like a plant of the tropical jungle. To Finnish eyes it resembles the indoor plant fatsi (also called Japanese aralia or castor oil plant, Fatsia japonica), to which it is related. In its native habitat it grows into a massive 30-metre tree, whose trunk can exceed a metre in diameter. The trunk it covered in stout prickles, as are the branches.

Weigela 'Eva Rathke'

These weigelas are handsome shrubs when they flower in June. They are crosses between W. florida and W. praecox. The variety ‘Eva Rathke’ has exceptionally dark and showy leaves, and the trumpet-shaped flowers are carmine.

Without snow cover the weigelas are cold tender even in the south of Finland, but usually new growth sprouts from the roots. At Mustila ‘Eva Rathke’ has survived under the snow for decades on the protected Terassi (Terrace).