Monday, 25 July 2016

Gnoom Joop is grumping again.

Gnome Joopgrumpy as ever.

Hello, I'm back. Most of the readers of this blog have met me before, but for the new followers I will introduce myself: I'm Gnome Joop and I have been living in this garden for years.

Isummer the garden woman often goes on a garden trip. She leaves her husband behind; he is all alonePoor manAfter a long day’s work hfirst will have to dig up his potatoes from the garden to get a mealThere isome lettuce too, she says, before leaving.

All the garden work has been assigned to me. I gently nod when she enumerates the tasks for me to do: watering plants, mowing the lawn and cutting the hedge. Not that I'm going to do any of these tasks, I feel absolutely not compelled to do so.

Before she left she has pruned the geraniums. Large gaps of several square meters are visible now. I think she needs to reflect on this issueShe really plants too much of the same species

When I look up to the sky, I see hundreds of plumshanging. She has not thinned the plums and now the branches bend down dangerously. In a few weeks’ time the plums will ripe and the branches will break. You should hear her complaining by then!!

Let me check the Hydrangea’s. Wow, they are doing fine. Why does she leave now the Hydrangea’s are at their very best? Garden women, I will never understand them.

It is nice and quiet in the garden. Time to take a siesta on my favourite spot.

Maybe you want to take a look in the garden? After all it is not as nice as she tries to make you think every week.

See you all.


Why is she going on a garden trip.......

........ with a Hydrangea's like this?

Huge empty spaces after cutting back the geraniums.

Look at these plums! The branches bent over dangerously.

Digging up potatoes, not my job.

The lettuce looks yammie.

Fortunately she did not cut Geranium 'Summer Skies'. 

I like the clematis.

It is time to take a siesta! 
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Monday, 18 July 2016

Lavender and a garden women without a garden.

Do you know one too? A garden woman without a garden? Well, I do.

She lives on the first floor of a three story buildingShe is growing lavender oher windowsill. Because of her loving care and dedication all the seeds have germinated. The seedlings grow into long lanky plants. Of course these seedlings have to go outside, but whereto go?

She has a balcony, but it's tiny one and to make things worse, it is north facing. She stares into the garden of her downstairs neighbour with a sighThis garden is hardly ever gardened. It is unevenly distributed.

I offer her to plant the lavender in my garden for the time being. Then she may collect the plants in a later stage if ever she has a garden by herself. She accepts. The lavender is packed in the car, of course firmly strapped in the harness!

The lavender is planted in my garden with a lot of attentionWhen the garden woman without a gardenreturns to her apartment, she says goodbye to her seedlings. It is up to me now to take care of them.

This week I received a message from the garden woman without a garden. She has germinated lemon seeds on the heater. Ten kernels and they all germinated! Oops, lavender is one thing, but taking care of 10 lemon trees ...... that’s a different story.

It is time for this garden freak to move to a house with a garden. Otherwise, I will soon have to built a conservatory!

Windowsill  of the garden women without a garden.

Lemon seedlings.

Her baby lavender in my garden.

It will take some time to see them flowering.

I make a little flower arrangement.

And put it on het bed. Maybe she is coming soon.
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Monday, 11 July 2016

Through the macro lens.

This week a lot of traffic runs along my house. Usually it is not that busy at all, but the holiday season has arrived. In almost endless streams, tourists drive up to the beach.

In case you are planning your holiday too, it would be a good idea to cut back the geraniums before you leave. In the time you relax on the beach, the geraniums will regrow again. By the time you return, you will have a beautiful green plant again. That is if you do not return too quickly from your holiday!

Although I am still at home, I cut back the geraniums too. As a result of that my garden looks like a battlefield. Empty spaces wherever you look.

To provide you my beloved blog readers, still with some pretty pictures, I scrawled through the garden with my macro lens. As a result you won’t see the empty spots in the border. I am surprised to see how pretty the garden looks through my lens.

For those of you that go on vacation, I wish you a save journey.

For those who stay at home .......Enjoy your garden!

Papaver somniferum and Centaurea 'Black Boy'......

.........make a beautiful combination.

Centaurea 'Black Boy'

 Papaver rhoeas seedling.


Achillea millefolia 'Pink Grapefruit'

Campanula lactiflora and rosa 'Chapeau de Napoleon'


'La rose de Molinard'

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Monday, 4 July 2016


The week before the garden was open to the public, I pruned the yew hedges. Preferably this pruning has to be done around the longest day. Still, you may prune later in the season too. When birds are breeding in the hedge for instance, I wait until the little birds have flown from the nest.

As you may know Yew (Taxus baccata) is slow growing. It is evergreen and gives a lovely backdrop to your border. But Yew is also very poisonous and that is exactly the issue I would like to share with you.

Did you know that the poisonous needles of the Taxus are used to make drugs against cancer? Because Taxus baccata contains baccatin and that is exactly the ingredient used for chemotherapy. Of all the different varieties of Taxus, only Taxus baccata can be used for this purpose.

In our neighbourhood we even have a collecting point for the taxus pruning material. Maybe the same goes for your area too. For more information, please take a look at the (Dutch) website The yew needles are collected from June 15 until August 31.

It is important to collect the young shoots as pure as possible. Take care that no other plants mix with your yew pruning. That is a bit of a hassle, but for a good cause. After all, all of us knows someone close by, a member of the family, a friend or a neighbor with cancer. And no matter how small my contribution is, by donating my yew I try to do the best I can. 

I hope you can collect Yew in your country too. Will you help?

Yew. The new shoots are the best.

After pruning..............

.....the hedge looks neat again.

The collecting point.

The banner to interest others.

There is a lot of yew needed.

New followers a warm welcome.

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