Sunday, 26 January 2014

Garden Tour in 2013. Great Dixter.

At this moment there is not much to do in the garden ...., so let us daydream a little,

I want to tell you about my visit to Great Dixter last year, the garden of Christopher Lloyd in England. It's mid-July, beautiful weather, and 26 degrees Celsius.

I wanted to see the old house first. Whilst I entered the ancient living room, I could imagine Christopher by the great fireplace writing his letters and books. The attendant pointed me to another room one floor up from which there was a beautiful view over the garden. The house was a joy, but the garden even more so!

I had visited the garden years ago. I noticed that the plants looking much neater than the last time I was there. They also looked taller and had nice bright colours. An exuberant celebration of plants in yellow, red, purple and white.

But there were also subtle combinations, for example, Geranium with Salvia and Nepeta in mauve tones. Also desirable species witch I had never seen before. For instance the soft pink Angel's fishing ( Dierama ) in the sunken garden .

Endlessly I wandered around this garden. How spacious the garden was, the large groups of plants, giving a lot of power. It almost felt like a very large painting by Karel Appel! (Dutch painter)

At the end of my visit as a souvenir I bought myself a plant at the nursery of Great Dixter. After much deliberation, I chose the yellow torch, called Christo 's Yellow Lightning. A Verbascum, approximately 1.80m high. It will look nice in my front yard.

Daydreaming is fine, but in every garden I also learn something of the owner. For instance the philosophy of Christopher Lloyd: Be creative and feel free to do what you like.

With this in mind, I ordered red dahlias ( Naomi ) and blue potatoes ( Bleue d' Atrois ) to combine with my pink roses!

                         info about my garden click here
Great Dixter. The house.

View from the first floor.

An exuberant celebration of plants.

Large groups of plants.

House and the garden.

Vegetable garden.

Nice bright colors.

I feel small.

It almost felt like a very large painting by Karel Appel.

Also subtle combinations.

Angel's fishing. Dierama in soft pink.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Spring fever in Januari?

Until now, the winter has been mild. Walking outside I can hear the birds singing. They make typical spring sounds. Do they already have spring fever?

To enjoy the garden I have to go down on my belly. Snowdrops are blooming in the front garden, the first herald of spring. These snowdrops are called Galanthus Elwesii. They are more resistant to dry conditions and are slightly larger than regular snowdrops. Galanthus Elwesii is showing off. I love that in this time of the year.

Soft pink cyclamen are blossoming under the plum tree. How cute do these little flowers look. In a pot, a little bit further away, I see a flower in the Lathyrus vernus. An unknown but fantastic spring plant. It will bloom exuberantly with the botanical tulips I have already planted. And under the yew hedge, even blooms a forget-me-not.

The green flowers of Helleborus corsicus has appeared at the side of the house. In a gap between the wall and the path, the plant has seed itself. A plant with initiative! To protect the pollen against the rain, the flowers of Helleborus are always faced downwards. As I lie down on the path, I can take a picture of the inside of the flowers.

I get no spring fever from laying on the ground, though. It is wet and cold.

However for my plants, I will bend over backwards!

                                               Open garden days click here

Snowdrops in the front garden.

Galanthus Elwesii

More snowdrops.


Close up.

Lathyrus vernus.

Under the yew hedge blooms a forget-me-not.

The green flowers of Helleborus corsicus.

The plant has seed itself.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The "golden" trowel.

I really love (garden) tools. On a garden fair I find it very difficult to overshoot a stand with good garden tools. However, a stand with shiny copper tools in the gardenfair of Beervelde gave me no trouble at all to pass by. Copper tools are for garden women with golden faucets in the bathroom, was my opinion. So I always gave the stand a wide berth.

This summer however, an elderly garden woman told me that working with copper tools took a lot less power. Less power? That had to be something for me!

So this Autumn I visited the 'Copper Traces’ stand on the garden fair Beervelde . I had a long conversation with Henny Schalen, the stand holder. ( She told me enthusiastically about her tools, which incidentally turned out to be made of bronze.

The advantages: It works easier because the material is thinner, it stays free of rust and copper tools enrich the soil with copper trace elements. Thus providing plants with essential nutrients.

Back at home I immediately put the trowel to use. And with much pleasure. It is incredibly thin material, yet very strong. Because of that it works very well in my heavy clay soil. The edges are sharp and that allows me to use the trowel for 'weeding' by keeping the blade in a very flat angle.

Who could have imagined that in 2014?

Back to the Bronze Age!

Copper trowels.

The stand holder at gardenfair  of Beervelde.

I bought the smallest trowel.

Monday, 6 January 2014

I love mosses.

Last week stormy winds has blown a piece of timber off the barn. I was surprised by the beautiful lichen that grew on it.

This piece of timber inspired me to take pictures of all the different mosses in the garden. I don’t have to search much because these are all over the place, especially in dark corners of the garden.

Moss is beautiful when the sun shines on it. I have found velvety pads, high and short pole carpets of moss, in all shades of green. I had to wait patiently with my camera till at last the sun shines on the moss. Like I said, moss grows in dark places.

I do not know the names of the mosses in my garden. But mosses have funny names like, White-tipped Moss, Rose Moss, Pincushion Moss. Or what about Haircap Moss? Just for the name you would like to have them!

Not everyone likes mosses though. Occasionally visitors have advised me to spray the mosses with vinegar. That is supposed to eradicate the mosses!

Thus being advised I silently think: there is no accounting for taste.

I love mosses!
                                        Open garden days click here

The barn

Piece of timbre blown off the barn.

Piece of timber with beautiful lichen.

Concrete ball with mosses.

Stone wall with moss.

All shades of green.

Paving with mosses.