Monday, 25 January 2016

Galanthus Dionysus.

The other day a radio program about Dionysus, the god of intoxication, triggered me. I have a snowdrop in the garden with the same name. What a coincidence!

In Greek mythology Dionysus is the god of wine, fun and dance. For that reason, Dionysus is usually depicted with a group of frenzied dancing women.

Frenzied women. That is something I have come across but for a different reason. Some years ago I visited the snowdrops event at 'Boschhoeve' on which I bought this snowdrop Dionysus.

Seeing snowdrops on a snowdrop event will quickly get you into a ”snowdrop intoxication." Only one thing comes to your mind is: mine, mine, mine! All around me I saw the same frenzy with other snowdrop collectors. I have not seen them dancing though, or it must have been a dance of joy as they could add a coveted snowdrop to their collection!

As mentioned above, I bought snowdrop Dionysus at this event. It has double flowers and grows quickly into a large clump. This makes it an ideal snowdrop for the novice snowdrops collectors.

Shortly (18, 19 and 20 February), the snowdrop event will be held again at the 'Boschhoeve’. If you love snowdrops, you really should attend.

I would love to hear about your frenzied snowdrop intoxication!

Galanthus Dionyssus.

A snowdrop like this.......

 ....... can make you intoxicated.

Galanthus Dionysus. Simple on the outside.

Double on the inside.

Several snowdrops in a vase. 


Snowdrop event.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Narcissus. You' re so vain.

As I look out from the kitchen window this Friday morning, I see a puddle in the garden. I'm not the least surprised, because it's been pouring all night. I sprint to the living room to see if there is more flooding.

It’s even worse. The tulips are up to their necks in the water. And my first crinoline daffodil in a puddle of water. Seeing my daffodil in that huge puddle and effectively staring at its own reflection, reminds me of the story of Narcissus:

"One day, Narcissus came to a sacred pond. He decided to take a rest and quench his thirst with the water there. As he bents over, he sees his reflection in the water, but he thinks it is a beautiful spirit that lived in the pond. So he sits there, staring in admiration at this appearance. He fell in love with himself.
He was not able to look away from the water. He stopped eating and drinking. So Narcissus pined away and died altogether. All that remained was a flower, which we still now as Narcissus."

This story is usually illustrated with a group of daffodils next to a quietly flowing river. Never in a huge water puddle as in my garden today!

I have to save my narcissus from admiring his reflection too much. So I grab my wheelbarrow and a bucket and start to bail out the water from my garden.

I've had my workout that day. I have carried out at least 30 wheelbarrows of water.

Fortunately my daffodil is in dry conditions again!

Archive photo. Narcissus 'Spoirot'.

My first Narcissus in a huge puddle .........

.....staring at its reflection in the water. 

After hours of hard labour, he is dry again.

I expect more rain coming.

The well is filled with water.

Next day.  This farmer is cleaning the drainage pipes to keep the land dry.

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Monday, 11 January 2016

DIY, an “alpine meadow”.

Last autumn I came across a discarded white garden table in the barn. That table would profit from a makeover. A promising experiment would be to make a table with turf on it.

I paint the table in a black colour. That makes it inconspicuously. Next I lay the turf on it. Mmm, I ponder, just grass isn’t that a bit boring? Maybe it would be a great idea to plant some bulbs too.

I have some Anemone blanda in my depot. They would look nicely on the table. I dig up some crocuses, which I have planted in the garden earlier and plant them on the table too. As I tell my husband about my experiment he suggests: "You can also add some snowdrops". My husband he is a genius. If ever he would start gardening .....

After planting all the bulbs I put the turf on top of it. (See below) Next I give it a good soak of water. The end result is a lawn one meter above sea level. With some imagination, you could call it an alpine meadow.

At this moment already some snowdrops have appeared in my alpine meadow. From the kitchen window I have a nice view on them.

Unfortunately I already had to cut the turf twice. This should be done by hand because with all the emerging bulbs I have to be cautious.

I could not have imagined that this winter, the grass of my alpine meadow would grow mountain high!

Autumn. This how it is made. I have painted the table.

Some plastic and crocks on the bottom.

A layer of drainage fabric.

Some potting soil.

Add some bulbs.

Lay the turf on top and cut to size.

Give it a good soak of water.


An alpine meadow......Just 1 meter above sea level!

Januari. Snowdrops are emerging.

I love viewing them.......

From the kitchen window.

And there is more to come....

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Monday, 4 January 2016

A new garden year

The first week of January; to me the start of a new gardening season! I pull out a new pair of gardening gloves from the package - new gardening gloves, befit a new gardening season - and go outside to check whether something is happening.

So far winter has been very mild. Sunflower seeds, which I have sprinkled for the birds, are sprouting in the lawn. There is also a small cyclamen flowering. The cyclamen is certainly sown by the ants. The seeds are covered with a sugary layer which ants are fond of. They drag the seeds, and eat the sugar coating on the go. So you find the cyclamen in the most unusual places.

Any other notable things? To my surprise a seedling of the Antirrhinum (Snapdragon) started flowering. A perennial in winter! Furthermore, in the picking garden, Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' is blooming. I bought this plant for just one euro in the bargain basement. The plant flowers exuberantly all year round. Now that's value for money!

Roses are still flowering repeatedly. I don’t know whether to prune or not. Under the withered asters there are snowdrops starting to bloom. Time to prune these asters. Because of all these little flowers doing there very best to flower, I want to enjoy them fullest.

The garden year 2016 has started. I'm excited already!


Sunflower seedlings.

Snapdragon, already flowering.

Erysimum 'Bowles mauve'.

Close up Erysimum.

Roses keep on flowering.

The first!

Crocussus emerging.


Roses, prune or not?

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