Finns are getting ready to celebrate the summer solstice, a festival of nature, magic, and the midnight sun. Inspired by a beloved Midsummer tradition, we listed seven Finnish wildflowers and paired them with vases from our selection. Read the story to learn more about the tradition and see what combinations we came up with!
MIDSUMMER CELEBRATIONS ARE a beloved Nordic tradition that takes place around the summer solstice when the day is longest in the Northern Hemisphere. In Finnish folklore, Midsummer is seen as a potent, magical time when rituals like special spells and charms can be used, for example, to predict the future. Many of the little rituals have something to do with finding a partner – Midsummer has also traditionally been a festival of fertility.
Although these days it is rare for Finns to roll around naked in a rye field on Midsummer Eve in the hopes of making your crush like you back, some Midsummer traditions are still an important part of the festivities for many. One of the traditions that still continue today is the ritual of picking seven different flowers and putting them under your pillow on Midsummer Eve to see your future spouse in a dream.
Inspired by this little Midsummer ritual, we listed examples of Finnish wildflowers that you could collect under your pillow. And if you would rather just put the flowers in a vase, we also selected a beautiful vase for each of the flowers. Check out our campaign to find a new favorite vase that will make you happy even when Midsummer is over and the days start getting longer again!
Teeny tiny forget-me-nots grow near brooks and streams and other humid spots. The charming flowers are perfect for love spells: as the name suggests, forget-me-nots are a symbol of faithfulness and true love. The geometric shape of Iittala’s Ruutu vase adds a nice contrast to the delicate blue flowers.
Growing on the side of the road, in clean-felled areas and, well, practically anywhere, fireweed should not be difficult to find. The flower is often seen as a bit of a nuisance as it seems to grow even too well in places where it is not wanted. Considering this, fireweed might seem like an unusual choice to put in a vase, but that is kind of what makes it so alluring! Muuto’s Kink vase is also unusual in its shape, so the two make the perfect pair.
The playful Balloon vase is part of Normann Copenhagen’s Tivoli collection that was inspired by the joyful atmosphere of the Tivoli fairground in Copenhagen. We like the combination of the bulbous vase and the blue-colored harebells that, like forget-me-nots, are suited for Midsummer charms due to what they symbolize: the harebell is seen as a token of devotion and eternal love.
Another flower that carries a secret meaning is the daisy: as kids, many Finns have used the white-petaled flower for the “loves me, loves me not” petal plucking game. Daisies also represent joy and happiness, and a similar sense of cheerfulness is present in Georg Jensen’s Alfredo vase. Did you know that the vase’s green hue was created exclusively for the brand?
• Georg Jensen’s Alfredo vases >
Lily of the valley
Lily of the valley is a Finnish favorite both due to its intoxicating scent as well as its status as Finland’s national flower. The drooping, bell-shaped white flowers go beautifully together with the romantic blush hue of Raawii’s Strøm vase, both a perfect match to the ambiance of Midsummer. Make sure to keep the flowers out of reach of children or pets, though, as lily of the valley is a poisonous plant.
Menu’s Troll vase was named after a famous Norwegian painting in which the mythical water creature Neck (Näkki in Finnish and Nøkken in Norwegian) lifts its head above the water. What better choice of flower for it than one that grows in the water, water lily! The scientific name of water lily, Nymphaea, also comes from mythology, as it is based on the name of Greek deities known as nymphs.
In recent years, Marimekko’s Urna vase has become a modern classic in its own right. We paired the striking large vase with a flower that is just as striking and large, yellow iris. In addition to growing in nature, the plant is also a common sight in many gardens. If you plan to pick a yellow iris to put under your pillow, make sure to ask for permission if it’s growing in someone’s garden. Also, check if any of these flowers are protected in your area before picking them!
Vases for summer flowers
• All vases >
Text: Emmi Ratilainen Illustrations: Fanni Vapola