Monday, 26 September 2016

Bulbs for Dummies.

Look at what I have bought at the market. It is a Colchium, autumn Crocus. It is a bulb that flowers without doing anything.

You do not need a garden, no soil; you don’t even have to water it. Place the bulbs in a bowl and that's all. The crocus-like flowers appear automatically.

Of course you can add the Colchium bulbs in autumn arrangement, together with the last summer flowers. Or place them in your grandmother‘s crystal wine glasses. Use your imagination. Opportunities enough.

When you decide to buy these Colchium bulbs, do buy some spring bulbs too. You certainly regret if you do not. What is spring without tulips and daffodils? Put these spring bulbs in the soil and wait. In spring you will enjoy your work.

Colchium, tulips or daffodils.  Well considered, all bulbs are suited for dummies!

Colchicum together with berries and the latest roses.

You can already see the flower. 

I love these Ampelopsis berries from my garden.

Colchium flowering on the market. 

Also pretty in the old wine glasses.

Tulips in spring.

Don't forget to plant them now!
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Monday, 19 September 2016

Flowers and veggies. A tasteful story.

In trendy restaurants nowadays it is very common to serve flowers with your vegetables. Flowers served on a plate together with vegetables. It seems a strange combination. But actually, these flowers taste pretty good.

On my turn I have done the opposite. This spring I sowed carrots amongst the flowers. Occasionally eating a carrot during the gardening jobs seemed very nice to me. Well indeed, a carrot every now and again is delicious, but the foliage is utterly beautiful too. But, I feel I have to do something with its wasted foliage!

I thought, flowers on your plate, why not put vegetable leaves in a vase? The decorative carrot leaves between roses and dahlias, it is just stunning! An additional benefit, the carrots leaves survive at least one week in a vase.

Following this success my imagination runs wild. How about putting the carrots in the vase too? Now that's original! To keep close to the theme I also pick a little bunch of runner beans leaves and some flowers of rucola. I arrange it all together in a beautiful glass vase.

Once you have seen the pictures, do you think this could be a new "flower-arranging trend" or is it just a figment of a wacky garden freak?

I wonder, next time you buy carrots, what will your response be being asked by the grocer: "Do you want the foliage off?"

Carrot foliage in the garden.

It is useful for flower arrangements.

In a pink combination.

Or use the foliage in a white combination.

Together with roses.

Carrot in a vase, why not?

Foliage of carrot and runner beans.

Rucola flowers.

Vegetables in a vase.

Flowers and vegetables, a tasteful combination.
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Monday, 12 September 2016

Zeeland heritage.

Every seven years our Zeeland barn dating from 1860 has to be tarred. This task is assigned to me.

Smearing out 20 litre of black timber coat is really not my favourite pastime. That is why I have been postponing this job for a very long time. More than seven years, I guess! Meanwhile several boards of the barn have to be replaced and also the gable ends need to be renewed. This summer I have been waiting patiently for the carpenters to arrive.

At last after the holidays, everything comes together. It is beautiful late summer weather and the carpenters came. There is a noise of cutting wood and the men hammer merrily on the boards of the barn. The gable ends are removed from the barn and a new one is made. "If you paint it quickly, we will replace them next week." And off they go.

I paint the gable ends in the traditional colours, black and white. Just like the Zeeland costume. Painting the white piping requires a steady hand.

To be able to tar the highest point of the barn, I rent a cherry picker. The colossus is parked on the lawn. For weeks I work, day after day, at the barn. My dry garden, has to do without me.

Last week, the gable ends were replaced. The men take advantage of my cherry picker. They like to go up and down. After the work has be done, the carpenters look at the construction of the barn. "Imagine we would build you a new barn Hetty. The same barn, only better. That would be a nice job! "

Yes, these craftsmen are happy to make me a new barn, but I'm just glad I can tick off the job. And, though I say so myself, Zeeland's cultural heritage is looking good again!

The barn has huge doors. We call it 'mendeuren' 

These 'mendeuren' have smal windows.......

.....and a smal door for quick excess, it's called the 'klinket'. 


The black barn makes a lovely backdrop for my roses.

The new gable ends.

After painting it black, I draw a line........

.....and paint it white with a steady hand.

The cherry picker on the lawn.

Here I am on the highest point of the barn!

The barn is now ready for the next seven years.

Some impressions.

I am very glad I have finished the job!
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Monday, 5 September 2016

The most beautiful flower in the world.

Last week I visited the hortus botanicus in Amsterdam. This old botanical garden is an oasis of peace in the busy city.

As I walk toward the pond my heart jumps for joy. The lotus is flowering! In my opinion the lotus is the most beautiful flower in the world. It has been at least 25 years since I saw a lotus flowering! I immediately sit down on the bench next to the pond and start writing this blog to capture this delightful moment.

The diameter of the pond is approximately 5 m. Dozens of dragonflies are flying across the water surface. Occasionally a cabbage butterfly swirls around. The lotus flowers gently sway back and forth in the wind.

Everything about this plant is beautiful. The stem of the circular leafs are, quite rare, in the middle. The leaf surface is waxy. The water droplets on it are shining like pearls. This particular lotus has a serene white colour. The extraordinary seedpods are visible In the middle of the flower.

These dried seedpods you sometimes find in flower arrangements. You can hear the seeds rattle when you shake the ripe seedpods.

You might be tempted to sow some lotus seeds, but unfortunately, that will not work for me. The lotus needs a heated pool of at least 20 degrees C. Even for the most beautiful flower in the world, I think that is too much of a hassle.

That's why I just sit on the bench.

Watching, and enjoying the moment!


Later, the seed pod....

..turns into green  

Seed pod, very decorative.

Droplets on the leaves.

The pond in the botanical garden of Amsterdam.

In my opinion, the most beautiful flower.

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