Monday, 27 June 2016

Open garden days June 2016.

Last Friday and Saturday, my garden was open to the public. It has been two fantastic days. We had the weather on our side; both days it stayed dry and even the sun was shining occasionally. All the fragrant roses were flowering and the perennials were beautifully in bloom. The visitors were enthusiastic.

After two days talking to so many people, I do not know what to tell you. I just want to relax and reflect!

But for those of you who could not visit the garden, the photo’s.....

Monday, 20 June 2016

Rejuvenating old-fashioned roses.

Two years ago, I pruned a large Ligustrum hedge back to ground level. Consequently the rose that leaned ever so gracefully against that hedge, found support no longer. With every gust of wind the rose swept back and forth. Obviously, the rose had to be pruned too.

But how! There are many opinions to prune old-fashioned, once flowering roses. I was a bit in a dilemma:
1. Should I prune out only a few branches?
2. Cut the roses back halfway?
3. Or like the hedge, cut it back to the ground?

To make up my mind, I asked an English head gardener for advice. As he was one of the cautious types, he advised to cut out one single branch only every year. But then it would take ever so long to cut all the branches!

So I fell back on my "inner voices" for advice. My bold inner voice told me: "Prune to the ground Hetty!" The thoughtful one told me: “Prune only half way, prune half way!”

Eventually my thoughtful voice won this battle. I pruned the rose back to about 50 cm. I waited anxiously; would the rose sprout again? And even more important, would the rose be flowering next year!

I can tell you, the rose is flowering beautifully again. It flowers like nothing has happened. In hindsight I should have listened to my "bold voice" and cut the rose back to ground level.

The lesson learned from this rose adventure: In case you want to rejuvenate your old- fashioned roses, prune after flowering. (End of June)

And especially for advice, listen to your inner voice (s).

The garden is opened to the public June 24 and 25 see link below.


The rose Mme Legras de St. Germain. Just for the name you would like to have her.

Rose buds. I see many!

2014. I have pruned the hedge.

2015. I have pruned the rose too.

2016. The rose is flowering again.

Lovely shrub.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Blanchefleur, the hundred-leaved rose.

In the 17th century, Dutch breeders developed many roses. These roses are generally known as Rosa centifolia; the hundred leaved rose. In those days, the stuffed roses were very popular and were often portrayed on impressive flower still lives.

A hundred leaved rose, how romantic I thought. I remember how we used to tear off the petals of a daisy; he loves me .... he loves me not .... he loves me ... With a hundred leaved rose that will take some time!

I tell my husband about the tearing off rose petals, but he has a very mathematic approach to this issue. "Hundred, is an even number," he says, "When you start with:  he loves me, then you end up with, he loves me not."

That is too practical for me. I’d rather go for the romantic approach. I pick a rose from the shrub Blanchefleur. Gently I start.

I love you…..
Because of your sweet scent of roses

I do not love you…..
For your brown flowers, after heavy rainfall.

I love you…..
Unconstrained shrub.

I do not love you .....
For your wild branches that sometimes afflict other flowers.

I love you..
With your double flowers in soft pastels.

I do not love you…..
For the fact that you flower only once.

I love you.....
Sweet rose, with that old-fashioned look.

I do not love you…..
You with your vicious thorns that prick me.

I love you…..
I do not love you…..

Finally I'm at the last petal….

Blanchefleur ..... Of course I love you!

The garden is opened to the public June 24 and 25 see link below.



The hundred-leaved rose.

Of course I love you!

In the garden. Sweet scent.

Together with clematis 'Durandii'

I also made a flower still live....

...Look at that in my kitchen!

Detail of old painting of Jan Huysum. At the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The whole painting. It is much more exuberant!