PHOTO 1: So where should I go first? The aiand (garden centre, from the word aed = garden, also fence), where they sell suve/lilled (“summer flowers”, annuals, also ühe/aastased), lille/taimed (flowering plants), lille/amplid (hanging baskets of flowers), kasvu/muld (“growth”/gardening soil) and köögi/vilja/taimed (vegetable plants) kasvu/hoonesse (for the greenhouse).
Or should I turn right in the direction of the võõras/emad ("stepmothers", i.e. pansies, also aed/kannikesed, “garden violets”) and puu/kool (literally tree school, i.e. nursery), where there are roosi/istikud (rose seedlings), püsi/lilled (perennials, also püsikud because they last, püsivad), ilu/puud and ilu/põõsad (“beauty” / decorative trees and bushes), heki/taimed (hedge plants), vilja/puud (fruit trees) and marja/põõsad (berry bushes). And in teenie-tiny print – yes, this is a silma/kontroll (eye exam) – köögi/vilja/taimed (vegetable plants) ava/maale (for your garden, plot of land).
Estonians say they can’t wait to dig their fingers in the earth and get them covered in soil: „näpud mullaseks”.
PHOTO 2: Without even trying, without going to an aiand to buy baby plants – NAAT (ground elder) and NÕGES (nettle, stinging or otherwise) just pop up on their own; here beneath a hekk (hedge) in Põhja-Tallinn. The first are the most tender and packed full of vitamiinid. Make sure they’re still krimpsus (wrinkled, unfurled) in the case of naat, and the nõges is preferably still young. Perfect for salads or straight into a mug of tea. Kõrve/nõges (stinging nettle) can be tamed with a shock of hot water or steamed. Pista kotletti! Put some into your hamburger patty mixture, if you’re an omnivoor.
Riina Kindlam, Tallinn
Ehatare Retirement and Nursing Home has summer student positions available for post secondary students enrolled in
• Activation/Kinesiology/Pre-Med programs
Summer student position also available in our Maintenance Department.