Monday, 27 February 2017

Spring, starting again.

 Last week I cut back the dry branches from the borders. As I do so, I see the new shoots already emerging from the soil. These plants are so privileged. They can start anew each year. Each year they get new stems, new leaves, new flowers; everything tight and crisp. Oh how I wish if that could happen to me too.

A few days later my wish already is being fulfilled as a young woman approaches me. She definitely is still “in her spring time”. She looks pretty in her makeup but inaccessible because of her beauty too. “May I apply some of our new strong lifting cream? The bags under your eyes will disappear like snow in the sun”. Bags? I think astonished and immediately sit myself in the chair.

The woman applies the cream under one eye only. After the cream has dried the young women shows me how I look in the mirror. Indeed, the one eye is completely tightened. I ask her the price of this cream. She tells me. But for that amount of money, I can buy a stainless steel spade plus a pair of garden gloves (!) So, I pop out of the chair and thank her kindly for the demonstration.

With one tight eye and the other baggy one I walk on. But the strong lifting cream pulls harder and harder on my eye. Soon it feels much too tight!

In despair, I wipe a wet finger under my eye. Finally ... what a relieve! Next I take a selfie to see what my eye really looks like. Simply terrible! It looks as if I have been crying a whole night and all the tears have dried up under my eye. And all this is happening on one eye only!

I will allow my plants a new spring, everything tight and crisp. But for me, I will just have to go to bed a little bit earlier!

Spring. Tulips for sale everywhere.

Spring. Hellebores in my garden.

Spring. New leafs on the trees.

Spring. Fresh leafs.

Spring. Blossom.

Spring. Crocuses starting to flower.

Spring. In a few weeks time the forget me not will flower again.

Spring. On the kitchen table.

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Monday, 20 February 2017

A Snowdrop does not give up!

For over a month they are flowering. Snowdrops! The species that I grow flower every year. And they are becoming more and more.

Weathering does not bother them. When the sun is shining, the flowers are open wide. The flowers hovers above the ground, they look like little helicopters. But when it freezes a few days later, the snowdrops are lying motionless on the ground. They seem to be lost, but at the moment the temperature is above zero, the flower is established. A Snowdrop does not give up!

The other day, there was some snow in Zeeland. The snowdrops were standing into the snowy earth and every flower had a white hat. But a snowdrop does not give up and blooms on!

To fully enjoy these flowers I dig a nice clump of snowdrops out of the border. I plant them in a pot and place them on the garden table near the kitchen window. Even this brutal distortion does not bother them. A snowdrop does not give up and blooms on!

Later, when they have finished flowering, I will divide the clump and replant the bulbs in the border. They will grow in the coming years to a new clump. Because no matter what happens; a snowdrop does not give up.

Snowdrops, they look like frail flowers on thin stems. But in reality they are very tough and NEVER give up!


... the snowdrop is fainted.

Flowers like helicopters.

The first bee!


roots in the white soil.

Sun again.


Snowdrops in a pot .......

... on the garden table.

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Thank you for your kind comments every week. I really enjoy reading them.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Hyacinth on glass.

Last autumn I ordered a bag of hyacinth bulbs to put these "on glass". Just like my mother used to. But there are many hurdles before these hyacinths can be enjoyed.

First set back was, the pre-chilled hyacinth bulbs were not available. (Pre-chilled bulbs have already had a cold period). On the bag my bulb supplier has written, "Sorry no pre-chilled bulbs. Place them a few weeks under cool and dark circumstances." I placed the bag with bulbs in the barn and simply forgot them....

Midst of January.

Suddenly it is freezing and hyacinths cannot cope with the frost. In the barn it freezes almost as hard as outside, so I must bring my hyacinths into the house. Although the hyacinths can be put on glass now, they still need a dark and cool place.

Dark and cool?, I think a little bit stressed. Where? Everywhere in the house itself is too hot. Melancholically I think of the large, dark and cool cellar under my parents' house. My mother always put the hyacinths here. She did not suffer from any hyacinth stress!

Suddenly I have a hunch; the cupboard where all the electrics come into the house! (Is there a word for in English?) This cupboard is not heated and it is not only dark and dusty, but cold too. I put the hyacinths at the bottom of this cupboard, close the door and wait .......

The hyacinths thrive. The roots grow very fast and within a few weeks’ time I can get them all out to grow further on the kitchen windowsill.

The kitchen is now filled with exuberantly blooming hyacinths. My mission has been successful.

Hyacinths in the “fuse meter cupboard”. It shows: a solution will come to you whenever stress is at its peak!

Hyacinths on glass in the "fuse meter cupboard". Dusty, cool and dark.

Hyacinths in flower!

Hyacinth 'White Pearl'.

I have placed the hyacinths in old preserving jars.

Some just have the right shape for hyacinths on glass.

Pure white.

My collection of preserving jars and the hyacinths on the kitchen table.

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Monday, 6 February 2017

How gardening makes you happy . Step 2 Girl power.


I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I wanna really really really wanna zigazig HA.

Do you remember this Spice Girls song? The way you were walking with your spindly body on those tower high Spice Girls shoes? What you felt like whenever you sang that song? With lots of attitude:  I wanne (ha), I wanne (ha), I wanne (ha), I wanne (ha)
In the 'I WANNE (HA)' is the power of GIRL POWER! THAT is exactly the feeling we need once we start gardening. Gardening, you can do it!

Hetty, is it not too cold for gardening in February? NO my dear girls! As long as there is no frost in the ground, gardening is just fine and I promise you, the cold will quickly be forgotten. Because this month we are going to dig the soil.

I know, digging does not seem a HAPPY thing to do. But digging is good to VENT OF. Whilst digging, think about that annoying manager who is always bothering you. Or maybe you are a manager yourself and you are being annoyed by your staff that simply does not EVER seems to understand what you are trying to achieve. Trust me next day when you start working, you will feel REBORN!

And then you know GARDENING indeed makes you HAPPY.


Step 1. Buy a pair of gardening gloves. It would be a shame to sacrifice your beautiful nails for gardening. NEVER work without gloves. And that nagging sound “I cannot work with gloves” stops right now. Have you ever heard a surgeon complaining?

Never work without garden gloves.
Step 2. Buy a spading fork. (I show you a picture). If you do not want to spend a whole lot of money buy one at the recycle shop. A spading fork works much lighter than a spade. So you leave some GIRL POWER over for your friend.

Left a spade, right a spitting fork.
If you do not want to spend a whole lot of money buy one at the recycle shop. 

Step 3. PUT YOUR PHONE ON AIRPLANE MODE AND PUT IT FAR AWAY. If you are digging, it is just IMPOSSIBLE to app, face time or chat. I know from my own experience. Either the gloves or the soil on your fingers makes it impossible to control your phone. And long before you pulled out your gloves your caller has hung up anyway. YOU CAN DO ONE HOUR WITHOUT! Let your thoughts RUN FREE.

Do not bother too much about the technique. Don't forget to remove the weeds!

Look what I found in the soil! This will bring me luck.

Step 3. DIG! Dig your spading fork in the soil and turn the ground. Give the loose clods a hefty blow. DIG! Think of the manager, the staff, think of your date that did not show up. DIG! DIG out! Your anger, your sadness, your frustration! Sing the song of the Spice Girls. You do remember the words by heart, don’t you?

I wanna really really really wanna ZIGAZIGHA.


Whatever that may be? GARDENING maybe?

Post your garden on Instagram or FB! Share your experience with your friends. Tell me. Because I really want to know, did you feel HAPPY?

March 6 is the next item 'Gardening makes you happy. Step 3'

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Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has shared my previous post on FB. Such a huge range, it has spread LOTS of garden happiness.

Read again how gardening makes you happy step 1.