The unique composition of Helsinki's parks, with their species from both Western and Eastern Europe, is the product of hundreds of years of efforts. Finland's harsh climate, Helsinki's eventful history between East and West, the fashions and fads of different eras and the changing needs and lifestyles of city residents are all reflected in the flora of the city's parks. We can be proud of the city's diverse range of plant species, which is an important part of the cultural tradition and the familiar cityscape of Helsinki.
The roots of the earliest plants and trees in Helsinki's parks go back to the 18th and 19th centuries, when gardening and parks in Helsinki began to develop into the Continental European style. Garden plants were brought to Finland mainly from Sweden in the 18th century, and then also from Russia, the Baltic States and Germany in the 19th century. The oldest plant treasures in Helsinki's manor parks tell of the gardening hobbies of their proprietors and the skills of their foreign gardeners. From 1889 to 2004 the plant diversity in the city's parks was enriched by the City Gardeners who experimented with ever greater varieties of species in the northern climate.