Monday, 31 March 2014

Scent . Subtle or obtrusive?

In the garden the Iris flourishes beautifully. It is bulbous Iris aucheri, an unknown Iris, 15 cm high, a real beauty. It flowers in very pale blue, and has a green yellow stripe on the lower lip. In backlit the flower seems translucent.

To show how well these Irises are doing in my garden I have send a picture to my bulb supplier ( ). He replied: "Have you smelled the scent already?"

Well no, I did not. After all, when you try to make sharp pictures you should hold your breath. I did not notice any smell at all. To get familiar with the smell I pick one of those Irises from the garden and take it inside.

I take a smell on the Iris .... to me they smell like a spring meadow. My husband however thinks it's a combination of freesia and lilies. A subtle fragrance. It suits this light blue flower.

I go back into the garden and pick a bunch of different flowers. Then I try to describe the floral scent one by one. It is more difficult than you would imagine! I smell banana with a hint of lemon, vanilla and lots of lily fragrances. I place all the flowers in a tulip vase in the kitchen window .

When I go into the kitchen that evening, a heavy floral scent overwhelms me. It is a real explosion of fragrances. The lily scent of the daffodils almost gives me a headache.

Fragrant flowers are fantastic in the garden. But inside, some are just a little bit too powerful to in my taste!

                                   information about the garden click here:

Iris aucheri green/yellow stripe on the lower lip.

The flower looks transparant.

Pale blue Iris aucheri. 

Look at that! The more the better. 

An explosion of fragances in the kitchen window.

Old fashioned Narcissus 'Bath's Flame' in tulip vase. Strong scent.

Monday, 24 March 2014

No roses without aphids.

The roses in my garden are responding enormously to the sunny spring weather. Alas all those fresh green leaves are immediately covered with aphids. Fortunately I know an effective method to combat them.

In the early years of my garden career I had no green fingers at all. Therefore I asked my grandfather a tip how to combat aphids.

"Aphids?" My grandfather said: "You only have to be sure you catch the first one.” What kind of advice was that? A little confused, I went home. Catch the first aphid? There were thousands of them! As always I started spraying with a mix of alcohol and soapy water to get rid of them.

Because I am not a very patient garden woman however, after some time I stopped making soapy mixtures to combat aphids. As the garden progressed I simply did not have enough time to go on with that method. Nowadays, if I see aphids during my daily tour through the garden, I simply squeeze them between thumb and forefinger. By doing so you will have the plague under control within a week.

The other day I suddenly realized that that was exactly what my grandfather told me to do.   "Catch the first aphid".

I have been doing this for many years now. And is that not a very organic and eco way to combat aphids? Of course I am also helped a lot by the ladybugs, the great tits and the wasps. Those animals love aphids for lunch.

As I tell this story to the visitors of my garden they really are horrified. But I do not care because it works.

And pinching aphids, that’s what gives you really green fingers!

                                    Information about my garden click here:

Summer, Rosa Fatin Latour, without aphids.
Spring. Fresh leaves. Rosa Marie Pavic.

Dew on rose leaves

Aphids on a rose.

Help is on its way! Ladybug.

Monday, 17 March 2014

The first tulips. Short and snappy.

What a beautiful sunny week it has been. My early tulips started blooming instantly. This variety is called Tulipa Pulchella violacea, a botanical species.

I have planted these botanical tulips in pots together with Lathyrus vernus. Unfortunately, the combination I had in mind did not work out the way I had planned it. Whilst the tulips are in full bloom the Lathyrus vernus only just started flowering, with a single flower. But that should not spoil the fun!

T. pulchella violacea is a modest tulip, only 15 cm high. However, the tulip makes quite an impression with its fuchsia pink flowers. It 's a real “Barbie” colour. But then again at the middle of the flower there is a black heart. I think that's a great combination of Mother Nature.

Probably because of the heavenly weather, the flowering period of this small tulip only lasted ten days. A pity? Not according to a suitable line from a Dutch pop lyric that comes to my mind as a write this:

“Maar wat mooi is duurt maar even, dat is lang genoeg voor mij”.*)
(What is beautifully only lasts a short time, but that is long enough for me)

After all, we can enjoy the pictures endlessly!

(* "Engel voor een dag " from the Zeeland band BLØF

Tulip heart.

Tulip Pulchella violacea. Morning dew.

The combination I had in mind did not work out the way I had planned it.

Five pots filled with tulips.

I can't get enough of them.

Blue skies; short period of flowering.

Beautiful tulips, against the fence.

Monday, 10 March 2014

A 100 white crocusses.

Last autumn I have planted  a 100 white crocus in blue painted flowerpots. At this moment the crocus have started to flower. To get the maximum enjoyment of these I have put them outside on the table nearby the kitchen window. Thus we are able to have a look at them all the time.

In my enthusiasm, I dragged my husband to the kitchen window to admire my creation. "Do you like it?" I asked. "It is a bit too blue to my taste," my husband said. "There should be a white stripe on the pot."

Missing a white stripe? To check whether that was a good idea I took a white ribbon and tied it around the flowerpot. My husband was right. It looked much better.

"I should have to have a turntable to paint that white stripe on the pots", I said. "Take your salad spinner”, suggested my husband with a grin on his face, knowing that I had thrown that away 25 years ago. “Or you can use the drill, that rotates slowly too."

Whilst  my husband went away for jogging a few miles, my creative brain worked at top speed! The drill?! If I were to put the sanding drum on top of it, that would make a fine turntable. But will I be able to operate it with one hand and paint the pots at the same time? Maybe if I put the drill in the vice. That should work.

I clamped the machine in the vice. I had to level it at one side with a plastic tray and on the other side with a box of screws. Behold, my improvised turntable was ready to use!

Dear blog readers, I understand this will be abracadabra to you, so I took a picture for clarity!

I pressed the button of the drill with one hand and striped the turning pot with my other hand. It went better than expected! When my husband returned from jogging, the paint work had already be done.

And so I enjoy my white crocus every day. In blue pots with a machine painted white stripe!

                                    Information about my garden click here:


Crocussus Jeanne d'Arc.

On the table. 

Blue dyed pots.

With a white stripe.

They glow in the sun.

What you need to paint a white stripe on a flowerpot!