Sunday, 29 September 2013

Deer in the garden. What to do?

Really, I love to see deer in the "wild". But if deer are having your garden for dinner, that a whole different story. However, that is common practice in my village Oostkapelle.

Everyone has their own ideas how to frighten off the deer. For instance, CDs, human hair, plastic bags, flags or even so, a whole cage around the garden!

Deer also visited my garden. It appeared that they love rosebuds. To prevent this happening, I armed my garden with an electric fence. After sustaining several electric shocks during installation I finally had the fence working properly.

Alas! The fence did not prevent the deer coming back again. This spring they ate a trail through my tulip garden. What to do? No more tulips in my garden?

I was told that Gardener Jan Pouwelse ( was looking for gardens to spray with a new experimental drug against deer and rabbits. I was overjoyed to hear that my garden could participate in this trial. The product is called Rabbix and is manufactured by ECO style.( It dispels rabbits, hares and deer on the basis of smell.

Early July the product was sprayed on the hedge. At first, the packaging is firmly shaken. Thereafter all filters were removed from the spraying tank to prevent clogging. The drug has a peppery smell.

By the end of September I still have not seen a deer in my garden, even though they are spotted in our village frequently.

I very much hope that this product becomes readily available on the market for individuals soon. And please mister ECO style, in not to tiny packages?

Perhaps, Mother Nature may help a little in the future, because in Lelystad a dead wolf has been found??

“To all wolves”: take a left at Lelystad. Little Red Riding Hood is waiting for you ....

Open garden days click here 

Electric fence

Everyone has their own ideas how to frighten off the deer

Deer feces on the drive.

My tulips in full bloom....

The next day after the deer came along.

A deer during a winter walk in Oostkapelle

The new product

July, Rabbix is sprayed on the hedge.


Sunday, 22 September 2013

The holiday return. Tips to get the garden back on track.

"You probably never go on holiday during the summer?" I hear visitors often asking. On the contrary!

It's good to leave the garden every now and again. I love to visit other countries, to find plants and flowers I did not know of before. By doing so, some things become instantaneously obvious. If you see the murderously hot olive orchards in Italy, you understand why your olive tree at home is struggling. Even in the mild climate of Zeeland!

However, eventually you will have to return home. On the way back I was imagining what the garden would look like; as dry as a roadside perhaps?. Fortunately it was not that bad, but a lot of work was waiting for me. The luxurious life of "il dolce far niente" - the sweet doing nothing – was over...

Here are some tips to get the garden back on track after the holidays quickly:

First, throw away all fading planting of hanging baskets and plant containers. Believe me, those plants will never recover. Buy something new or store plant pots for next year
Mow the grass. Don’t forget to cut the edges otherwise it has no effect whatsoever.
Prune the hedges.
Cut the "Autumn" out of your borders.
And at last, sweep the paths.

By the time this work has been done, you're practically need a new holiday again!

                 Click here for open garden days: 
Il dolce far niente

Lucca. Roofgarden

Lucca. French garden with citrus trees

Must have Hosta. Hosta Royal standard

Olive tree in murderously heat

At home. Mow the grass.

These plants will never recover!


Thursday, 12 September 2013

Seeding bulbs.

Do not expect  from me any information about sowing bulbs, I prefer to order them at my regular supplier.( But if the bulbs themselves take the initiative ....

A few years ago I bought three bulbs of the pineapple plant, Eucomis bicolor.
‘Container plants’ was written on the package. I planted them in a pot and that summer they bloomed beautifully with peculiar, pineapple-like flowers.

That winter I have put the pot – with the bulbs of course - in the barn. Around the pot I putted some protection against frost bite , but nevertheless in the spring the bulbs appeared all to be frozen.

Next summer on the shell path I discovered a leaf of the pineapple plant. A spontaneous seedling? I wanted to dig up the seedling to plant it in a pot, but I forgot.

This year I saw even more seedlings. What is happening in my garden if I do not pay attention? This morning I counted 7 seedlings. And one has even started to flower!

So for everybody who wants to sow bulbs, throw the seed on the shell path close to your house and just forget them for a few years.

Who knows Mother Nature gives you a gift as well!

       Open garden days, click here.

Eucomis bicolor

Seedlings on the shell path.