Category Archives: Gardening

All posts on gardening, perennials, and fruit

Wicker Basket Plant Protection

Don’t you just hate it when your perennials collapse half ways the season? Mid winter or early spring I can’t wait to see my beautiful arranged flower beds to pop out of the ground for a new season of colorful surprises. They grow proudly till the first heavy rain or hail breaks the perennials and gone is the order. Multi-stalk perennials literally fall apart, stems flopping in every direction to expose the ugly bare center. It’s chaos. I know plants do that in nature and I whould just give in if I don’t want overpriced flower support structures or bamboo sticks sticking out all over my lovely garden.

I was desperate untill I watched the first episode of The Edible Garden with Alys Fowler. Here she explains how easy it is to create your own flower supports from willow twigs.

Now being a rather handy man and having a few willow trees in my garden I thought: “Let’s try and creating some of my own.”. I’ve designed these three types after what I saw. Type 1, the Whisk, has an open and flexible top to leave space for the perennial to grow within some borders. Type 2, the Basket, is exactly that, a basket, keeping the plant straight up. Type 3, the Fish Pod, is a trial for perennials that grow higher than 1,5 meter like Aster and Rudbeckia.

wickerbaskets

Since it’s winter time I have time on my hands to give it a first try and see how it goes. This step by step manual by Jonathan Ridgeon will help me get through the first basics.

It didn’t work out so smooth as I hoped it would. But this is the first basket I’ve made. More to come. Keeping you posted.

Home made Wicker Basket

My first home made Wicker Basket

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Dead Hedge

Homemade Dead Hedge

Homemade Dead Hedge

Today was fun. I’ve started building a dead hedge.

Why?

  1. I needed a storage for dead wood, branches and twigs that fall out of the trees or are cut away by pruning.
  2. I needed a ‘fence’.
  3. I needed a cheap solution for 1 and 2.
What did it take?
  1. Some BBC inspiration
  2. 1 large Hazel tree
  3. Neclected corner of the garden with dead wood
  4. 1 Saw
  5. 1 Soil-drill
  6. 4 hours
  7. 2 men
How did it work?

First I got inspired by the recent BBC Series: Tudor Monastery Farm. The first episode finds the farm team, Tom, Peter en Ruth arriving at Weald & Downland in West Sussex. Peter shows how to build a dead hedge from fresh cut hazel poles and  dead wood. Dead hedges are useful in habitat conservation and restoration ecology, as they offer shelter for small animals, especially birds and hedgehogs. It’s super organic gardening.

Then I thought… “I have got hazel bushes in my garden and lots of dead wood. It’s great weather and I’m with my friend Bart who enjoys a day of physical labour. Let’s just do it. It doesn’t hurt to try.” 6 hours later the dead hedge was a fact.

It’s rather a simple, almost mediaval way of making a fence. You cut minimal 5 cm thick straight uprising branches of a Hazel. Saw them into poles of 1,5 meter. Remove all smaller twigs and save them for the hedge filling. Drill 50 cm deep holes in the ground and place the poles somethng like 50 to 70 cm apart. Put the poles in the ground and start filling the space in between the poles with branches and twigs. The poles must be something like 1,5 meter from each  other.

dead hedge instructions

dead hedging

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Getting Fresh Ideas at Floriade 2012

Did you ever visit a garden fair where you experienced a green overkill? Every 10 years there’s the Dutch Floriade that gives you just that. It’s 163 acres of endless flower park.

This year 2012 it was held near the city of Venlo in the south of the Netherlands. We went just on time because even though it takes 10 years to build, the park is only open April 5 through October 7. And it’s amazing.

Here a quick idea of the themed borders…

Education & Innovation

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Echinacea stole my heart

You must have a favorite flower. Everybody does. Some love tulips or sunflowers, others melt with the scent of roses. For me they are too average. It’s Echinacea or Cone Flower that stole my heart. They just do it for me. I think they are embedded in our genes since every child draws a coneflower if they are asked to draw a flower. They are the flowers amongst flowers. Their fair shaped paddles, their bright colors, their yellow to brown cones. They resemble the architype of a flower.

Echinacea have a long history of being Continue reading

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Oudolf’s Gardening Inspiration

If you spend a lot of time in your garden, you know: Gardening is therapeutic. It liberates, revitalises and de-stresses. Whether it’s the flowers, the green or the dirt, the humming of the bees or the combination of these facts, we will never know. Being outside, picking weeds, seeing flowers bloom and seasons shift, I think it’s fantastic. You recreate nature to indulge in its beauty.

One man who is currently a rising star in landscaping knows how to recreate nature. This weekend I’ve visited his gardens in Hummelo, the Netherlands. It’s a must see for garden fanatics. His view on gardening with unimaginable combinations of Continue reading

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Appeltern’s Gardening Walhalla

Are you –like me– always looking for gardening inspiration? I’ve ignored the poring rain this weekend and decided to go and see it the source of my Pinterest flower pictures. I went to see the true Gardening Walhalla in the middle of the Netherlands, only one hour drive from Amsterdam. It’s called the “Gardens of Appeltern“. Over 200 sample gardens, some great some just silly, show endless ideas for border combinations, pavement concepts, terraces, furniture and art. On their site they state:  Continue reading

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It’s Bingerden This Year

Bingerden Collection 2011

Gardening is a lust, a pleasure, a disease. Once you received the Green Spirit there is really no turning back. That’s why we’ve put the International Bingerden Nursery Days on the calendar again. Let’s spend some money on special varieties that only a few possess…

The International Bingerden Nursery Days are held from Friday June 15th till Sunday June 17th 2012 and is open from 10am to 6 pm.

Which fairs and garden shows do you go to?

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