Monday, 28 September 2015

It's those little things...



The Hydrangeas in my garden always flower in pink. That's because of the clay soil we have here in Zeeland. My mother in law however, has another type of soil in her garden, so her Hydrangea flowers in blue. Secretly I envy her for those blue Hydrangeas.

Nowadays my mother in law finds her hydrangea has become too big. So it has to go. Every now and again a garden women just wants to have something else, don’t you agree? So together we went to the garden centre and bought her a nice white panicle hydrangea.

First the big blue hydrangea has to go, so we try to dig it out. Oops, the hydrangea seems to be deadlocked. We use all kind of tools - a shovel, a digging fork, a spade, pruning shears and even two loppers - but the hydrangea simply does not give way. At last the axe comes out of the shed and the hydrangea surrenders. No shrub can withstand so much "girl power"!

Of course I have taken some of the blue hydrangea flowers from the shrub to bring home. They are so colourful, it would be a shame to simply throw them away. Back home I contrive about what to do with the blue hydrangea flowers. I walk through my own garden. At once my eyes fall on the berries of the wild grape (Ampelopsis). The extraordinary colours of these berries will match the hydrangea perfectly!

I take a black bowl and fill it with a little water. Then I place the flowers and the berries on it. I think it’s the perfect combination, don’t you agree?

Those little things…. I can enjoy them tremendously!





Simple flower arrangement.


Unusual colours.


I love these berries.


Hydrangea and Ampelopsis together....


.... in a bowl.


What more can wish for?


Turquoise berries, they look unreal.


Ampelopsis at the pergola.


Pink is also beautiful




Enjoy those little things!

Thanks for hosting, 

Monday, 21 September 2015

DIY. Scarecrow.


Am I allowed to complaint? It's about the birds in my garden. They eat all the (my) fruit.

In June, they started eating the currants. Well those currants are rather sour, so I did not mind. Then they went on eating the strawberries, the plums and the grapes. And now they have started eating the apples. What to do?

I see the solution incidentally passing an orchard. They have put simple scarecrows amongst the fruit trees. I'm inspired. A scarecrow is the solution I am after!

Back home I start right away making my own scarecrow. Going by the motto “what do I have in the barn and can it be finished today” I grab two battens and screw them together as a cross. As one of my neighbours is selling ornamental gourds at the roadside, I buy me a large ornamental pumpkin, to serve as a “head”.

I cut a rectangular hole in the pumpkin and place the "head" on the batten. A few remnants of raffia can serve as hair. A hat is pinned on the pumpkin using two large nails.

Next the scarecrow can be “dressed”. Which kind of scarecrow would I prefer? Sporting? With a white running shirt it looks very flashy.

But there is more used clothing in stock. A gentleman scarecrow with a business suit? An old shirt and a grey striped jacket which calls for a different hat too, does the trick. Voila! A business scarecrow.

I'm getting more and more exited about my project.

However a casual look is more fitting in the garden I reckon. After all he will be there in wind and weather. So I give it an old raincoat and tie a nice scarf around his neck. That will keep it warm during chilly nights.

From my kitchen window, my scarecrow looks nice however not looking very fierce.


Probably the birds will mock me and still eat my apples!



Screw the two .. together like a cross.


Make a hole in the pumpkin.


Do you like this sporty type?


With the natural look.


Or do you like the business scarecrow, with a Stetson hat? 


I choose the casual look.


It does not look scary.


Scarecrow and Dahlia's.


The dahlia's flower abundantly.....


........also the grasses.....


......and the Surfinia's.




I have to agree, it does not look very scary....


Oh my apples!



Monday, 14 September 2015

Visiting a castle.


This summer, the owners of Slot Baarland visited our garden. They informed us, their castle garden would be opened during “Open monuments day”. Visiting a castle, that is an opportunity, you don’t want to miss! So my daughter immediately makes an entry in her calendar.

That is why we drove to Baarland last Saturday. It is about half an hour drive from where we live. We arrive early and it is not (yet) busy. My daughter has not seen the castle before and is enchanted immediately. I have been here before, but I am enchanted too.

First we walk along the moat. At the waterside, there are wide borders planted with large groups of perennials.

Crossing the drawbridge we enter the courtyard garden. This garden is close to the house. Yew has been pruned in classic shape. In addition, large rose bushes combined with perennials. Everything looks very tidy. It is a real picture.

We are noticed by the owners and we are invited for a coffee on the deck beside the house. Of course we accept! We have a nice chat about old houses, antiques and also about gardening.

Then it is time to go again. We say goodbye and whilst driving home, we try to imagine what it would be like to live there.


You see, the castle is for sale ......




The gate.


We walk around the moat.


My daughter and I are enchanted.


Large borders with perennials.


We see some lions....


We are crossing the drawbridge.


We see some nice details.


A bell with the name of the castle on it.


The courtyard garden.


It is very picturesque. 


Old-fashioned roses, 'Blush Noisette'.


We are dreaming.... Slot Baarland for sale.

Monday, 7 September 2015

A trainee in the garden.


My conscience gnaws, it's the beginning of September and I still have not divided the bearded irises. Luckily help comes from an unexpected source. My younger daughter will be in Zeeland for a few days. She would love to help me in the garden.

How I know the bearded irises should be divided? It's really very simple. These irises are visible from the roadside. As long as the people passing by cry, oh and ah and get off their bikes to take pictures of the irises, I know they are just fine. But if the bikers simply pass by it's time to take action. The Irises really have to be divided!

First of all, the whole area should be stripped clean. Then my “trainee” brings in the compost by wheelbarrow and we work it over it in the flowerbed. With two pair of hands this works really quickly.

Then we break the young parts of the bearded iris. The leaves have to be shortened in order to prevent evaporation. The remainders of the old irises are binned.

Subsequently we replant the flowerbed. Mind you the rhizomes need to stay above ground level. Finally the irises are watered and after that never again, because they love it sunny, dry and hot!

My trainee is still in for another job, so we pick the pears. Still not exhausted we decide to divide the Kalimeris in the backyard. Whilst - after replanting - I water the Kalimeris, my daughter quickly mows the lawn. Just before a severe rain shower breaks loose, we are ready!


Gardening is fun. But with a trainee in the garden ....... it is twice the fun!



Bearded Irises, not really overwhelming. 


The flowered before...


We have forked out all the Irises. 


My trainee brings in the compost.


Here she is leveling the surface.


We break of the young rhizomes.


The leaves have to be shortened in order to prevent evaporation. 



We have many many many young plants!


The rhizomes have to be above ground level.


Finished! The flowerbed with bearded Irises.


My trainee wanted some plants, for Guerrilla gardening!

Thanks for hosting Hakan