Monday, 30 November 2015

Between “pepernoten” and Christmas baubles.

It is the end of November and Christmas trees are everywhere. I walk along the shop windows with great pleasure.

There are so many different themes. Although the white Christmas trees are important, still the traditional Christmas colours like red, silver and gold are hot. In case you don’t like watching shop windows I have made a series of pictures of all the different Christmas trees I came about. They give me a lot of inspiration.

I finally purchased white snowy Christmas trees. However they will have to stay in the barn for a couple of weeks. Because in Holland traditionally, the Christmas tree is not allowed “in house” until after the Dutch Sinterklaas party (December 5th)

Nowadays we are building up to the Sinterklaas party. We eat ‘pepernoten’ (Pepernoten is a Dutch treat only used at Sinterklaas) and prepare the presents and the poems that go with it.

So first “pepernoten” and after that it’s time for the Christmas baubles! Only then I will reveal my Christmas trees.

Simple theme, white light and cotton.

Snowy tree.

A little odd, Delfts blue theme.

Traditionally, I like the  popcorn tinsel.


My favorite tree, exuberantly decorated in one colour.


What about this tree. Is it too much?

Lovely Christmas bauble.

This one is for the cup cake bakers among us. 

Gold and red theme, with a twist.

Cute bird.

Gold always right.

I would not buy this mouse, but for children....

Think about that, whilst decorating your tree.

You have to wait until I reveal my Christmas tree.

First the Sinterklaas presents and we have to eat some 'pepernoten'

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Monday, 23 November 2015

Pamela, what's in a name?

The other day I received an Amaryllis bulb from Jan Deen (my regular bulb supplier). "Pamela" he had written on the bag.

Pamela? What crossed the breeder’s mind naming his new Amaryllis Pamela? Pamela Anderson? I know, it made me immediately think of her. Pamela Anderson, the actress who could run so elegantly along the shore, in her red bathing suit and with her flowing hair. Not to mention the rest ......

Jan Deen suggested to put the bulb on a bowl without any soil. That was not very hard to do! So I took my black bowl, added a little moss and laid Pamela on this bed of moss. Instantly she looked very nice.

After some time two flower stems arise from the bulb. As the stems grew taller, Pamela became very unstable. The bulb kept tumbling down and Pamela lay askew on the bowl. A fallen woman, this had to stop!

I explored my vast depot of vases and found the solution in a vase in the shape of a champagne glass. Pamela fitted snugly into it. With some more moss I pushed the bulb into the vase. This simply stopped her from moving.

In the end Pamela proved to be a small flowering Amaryllis species. Flowers are about 8 cm. Each stem has seven flowers. It blooms profusely.

And the colour? Baywatch-red of course!

Pamela in a black bowl.

But the more the stem grew......

........she became more unstable.

Some moss from the garden makes it attractive.

One week later....Pamela in the champagne vase.

Another week later, Pamela in full bloom.

Seven flowers on each stem.

The flowers are smal, about 8 cm.

The roots. No water is added.

Baywatch- red!

Lovely close-up.

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Monday, 16 November 2015

Garlic, a dilemma.

Every time I eat garlic, I suffer from bad breath for several days. That's why I try to avoid garlic in my meals. But when I saw the serpent garlic, I could not resist it. I had to grow it in my garden. So, I bought me a few cloves of this garlic (Allium sativum ophioscorodon) from Peter Nijsse (the bulb supplier).

In the autumn I planted the cloves out in a terra cotta pot. Soon, leaves appeared above the ground. In June, the straight stem started to curl. With some imagination it looks like the serpent sign of a doctor. That is why this type of garlic is named as it is. It is a very decorative plant.

A few weeks later, the flower buds burst open. But, as soon as the flowers appears the stem stretches out completely! The flower itself is not very special. It has a somewhat dull white colour.

After the plant died, I dug up the cloves and dried them properly. However, there were a lot of garlic cloves in the ground ......

And so my garlic dilemma arises: In case I would plant all these cloves again, I will have even more of them next year. And what about the year after that, and so on and so forth ..... It will be just incalculable!

Or should I finally start eating the garlic and take the bad breath into the bargain?

Gardening it really is a hobby full of dilemmas!

Serpent garlic, ready to be planted.

With some imagination the plant looks like the serpent sign of a doctor. 

Serpent garlic, very decoratieve.

Before flowering. Suddenly the stem stretched out. 


The garlic cloves.

Flowers and cloves on the table.

Not spectaculair.

Dried garlic, replanting or eating?

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Monday, 9 November 2015


Last week the garden had to do without me. I have spent a few days in Seville (Spain) together with my husband and my two daughters.

Seville turned out to be a fantastic city. The hotel we booked is located right in the middle of the town centre. From the balcony the cathedral is visible and also the old high tower. Under our balcony, on the many terraces, people are eaten; from early morning until late in the evening. The temperature - even in the evenings - is about 18 degrees. It must be great to spend the winter over here!

Tapas bars are located in all the surrounding narrow streets. As we pass through these alleys we easily lose our way. However, we are always able to find our hotel. We just ask:  dirección Catedral, por favor?

Seville has many old buildings with beautiful gardens from the time the Moors ruled. (700-1000 AD). The most famous is the Reales Alcázar, so a visit of that is almost mandatory. The palace is profusely decorated. The wall tiles have all kinds of special motives. On the ceiling we see carvings and ornaments of gold. The beautiful gardens are still a source of inspiration.

Although Seville counts only 41 rainy days per year, the last day of our stay it was pouring with rain! To stay dry, we visit the cathedral and the tower. We love the tower most. There is no spiral staircase, but an oblique slope! The idea behind it is that you can climb the tower by horse.

It turns out ideally; everyone can easily walk up the tower without getting stiff calves. Along the way we fantasize how you can make a nice scene for a James Bond movie here. We imagine how he could race up with a motorbike!

Now we are back home again. We enjoyed Seville very much, but most of all we enjoyed being together again for a few days!

 View from the balcony.

Foto YdR

On the many terraces people are eating all day.

Somewhere in the city, beautiful balcony.

Old tree trunk.

Foto YdR
But there are also new buildings, like Metropol Parasol. The roof of the market place. 

I love how the light shines through its construction.

Foto YdR

The old Reales Alcazar.

There is water in every space.

Let us go outside.

Beautiful flowers!

Never seen before.

Simple, beautiful.

Old tiles.......

Foto YdR

..they are everywhere.

Foto YdR
The garden.

Foto YdR
Is an inspiration .........

Foto YdR

..for many gardeners.


Foto YdR

The last day we climbed up the tower.

View from above.

Oranges are the most planted trees in this city.

Foto YdR

And they are so photogenic.

We enjoyed Seville!

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