Espoo City Garden
Espoo City Garden is always open for all of us.
The park area of the City Garden is called a specimen garden. It is an open park and recreation area for everyone, where you can explore both familiar and rare broadleaf and coniferous trees and ornamental bushes. The construction of the area started in 1989.
The park area is about eight hectares in size and contains a large number of plants that thrive under Finnish conditions, which can be viewed on the paths and grass fields of the area. Plants can be found throughout the entire area of the specimen garden.
Summer flower and herb beds
During the summer, you can admire vines, new summer flowers and classics. Some flowers are under test cultivation for the city’s summer flower beds. On the herb side, you can explore edible plants and vegetables. The gates are open to everyone, and you can walk around in the area or eat your snacks in the shadows of the vines.
The garden playground was completed in honour of the Green Year 2000. In addition to traditional swings, climbing equipment and a sandpit, the playground includes playful wooden figures manufactured at the wood workshop of the City of Espoo.
Pine tree park and stone garden
A Japanese-style stone garden is spread beneath a large pine tree growing on a rock. Its special attractions include the magnificent Norway spruces and the large hemlock.
In the orchard, apples, plums and pears are in flower in the spring, and their fruit can be tasted on a small scale during the autumn. Some of the apple trees are more than 50 years old. In the landscape field, meadow flowers provide a burst of colour in the summer, attracting butterflies, bees and other pollinators to the garden.
Storage and procurement
The City Garden has a warehouse serving the needs of street constructors and landscapers as well as the city’s green area maintenance and other units. We store play equipment and rubbish bins, among other things.
The City Garden invites tenders for, purchases and stores, for example, garden fertilisers, soil, plant protectants, mulch, summer flowers and bushes, perennials and small seedlings of street and park trees used by the City of Espoo.
Composting and production of soil
The City Garden has been composting horse manure and garden waste for 30 years. The current compost field was introduced in 2003. It spans 0.7 hectares.
Plant residues and horse manure, as well as litter materials in manure, such as peat and straw, are composted on the compost field. During composting, sand and peat are added.
Horse manure is brought to the compost field by several horse stables. Written agreements have been made with all stables, and bringing manure in is subject to a charge. Garden waste is brought in by the city’s own units.
The compost field processes up to 4,000 tons of horse manure and up to 3,500 tons of garden waste per year. The quantity of soil produced each year is approximately 4,000 tons. The operation is in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act.
Street tree production
Large street and park trees are grown in the City Garden for the city’s own sites. Co-operation is done with designers, street constructors, landscapers, green area maintenance and contractors.
The size of the tree production area is six hectares, and the average number of trees growing is one thousand. The most common trees we grow are different varieties of oak and linden, horse chestnut, Norway maple and fluttering elm.
We develop our activities by experimenting with new tree species that are resistant to disease and meet the needs of the future in the changed conditions caused by climate change.
Production of seasonal plants
We grow part of the city’s summer flowers and make summer flower plans for the green area maintenance units.
We have a greenhouse built in 1995 with a floor area of approximately 500 square metres. The City Garden produces smaller batches of summer flowers, new species, modules, rootstock and large, winterable central plants itself.
The wood workshop is part of the City Garden, and it produces various products from wood for the needs of the city and its residents.
The best-known product is probably the Tapiola bench produced since the 1960s. The benches are manufactured and spray-painted at the workshop. The main colours are white, green, red and orange.
Our city has a number of playgrounds for which we make storage boxes for play equipment and colourful animal-shaped wood sculptures. In the sculptures, the only limit is imagination. They bring joy to many children from generation to generation and are very popular play equipment.
The wood workshop also produces signs for the city’s nature trails, dog parks and allotment gardens. In addition to this, the workshop’s duties include a lot of repair work and the manufacture of changing rooms, terraces and storage buildings.
The Espoo City Garden and its location began to be considered in 1974. At the same time, urban planning of the Kauklahti district and possible expansion of the industrial area were also being considered. At the suggestion of landscape architect Aina Harju-Söderberg, planning began for a city garden between the Kauklahti industrial area and the Central Park.
City gardeners began to explore the Vanttila Valley in Kauklahti. These pastures were originally owned by three farms. The farm on the side of the Espoonjoki River was called Ervast, the middle farm was Jofs, and the farm on the side of Kivenlahti was Smeds. At that time, Ervast and Smeds were already owned by the City of Espoo, but Jofs was owned by the estate. Between Jofs and Smeds, there was also a small, 0.5-hectare Vingåker plot.
In March 1976, the Espoo Technical Department proposed to the Property Committee that the planned area be reserved for the City Garden and that the private land areas of Jofs and Vingåker be redeemed to be part of the garden.
In spring 1976, the operation of the City Garden started with the cultivation of transferable lawn on the fields of the Smeds farm. Trees and bushes that had to be removed elsewhere to make room for the city infrastructure were also transferred to the fields. In addition, smaller seedlings were planted for further growing. The area was home to an old barn, which was refurbished into social premises for the staff.
With the expansion of seedling cultivation, the fields were renovated and drainage was set up to improve the conditions for cultivation. In 1979, the city acquired the Jofs farm. Some of the old buildings had to be demolished because of their poor condition. The main building was being designed as a course facility for the street unit, an official residence and an outdoor base and the entire farm as a domestic animal farm. However, the Technical Department reminded the designers of the proposal made in 1976 to organise the facilities for the use of the City Garden.
The Jofs main building was renovated for the use of the City Garden in 1981 and 1982. Soon the owners of the Vingåker farm also wanted to sell their plot to the city. In the autumn of 1982, the land was in the use of the City Garden.
The general plan for the City Garden building area and the design sketches for the wood workshop and the warehouse building were approved by the Technical Services Committee in June 1983. The opening of the wood workshop was celebrated in the spring of the Green Year 1985. The warehouse buildings were completed the following year. The new social premises were built in 2003.