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Exotic plants putting down roots in Finnish gardens

A project running in seven Finnish cities aims to reconcile southern plants with northern climes.

Image: Timo Leponiemi / Yle

Plants such as grapevine, Japanese wing nut and honeysuckle may soon be a common sight in Finnish home gardens. A project by the registered association of plant nursery growers, Taimistoviljelijät, and seven Finnish cities is observing the survival rate of flora hailing from milder climates.

The association's director, Jyri Uimonen, says that the past 10-15 years have seen considerable revisions to so-called hardiness zones, meaning geographical areas where certain plants can grow. Some southern plants are inching further and further north.

Plant breeding and climate change have contributed to this phenomenon.

Now, the town gardens of Riihimäki, Tampere, Kuopio, Seinäjoki, Joensuu, Oulu and Rovaniemi are playing host to southern vegetation. The results are apparently promising—and the project hopes to inspire home gardening enthusiasts to branch out to some new varieties of plants.

“Certainly, increasing the array of plants is the common goal of nursery growers, as well as these participating cities, [and] those who work with plants,” says Uimonen.

Sources: Yle

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