Tag Archives: flower

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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Spring gardening

Picture: Ton Muller | De Boschhoeve, Wolfheze (NL)

The best time for having 6.000 square meters of land is Spring. I’m totally amazed by the transformation of the soil, the plants, the trees and the view.

Only a month ago the land was still grey and depressing but like a miracle overnight it changed into a bursting of life vivid green. The fruit trees are blossoming, the fresh green leaves are popping up everywhere as well as the first weeds ūüôā But this year we will turn the garden into this Eden of Experimental Gardening. With our friend Hendrik Dekker who is a professional Landscape Architect we are planting a complete new ‘biotope’ like the picture here taken at De Boschhoeve.

Let me explain the new set up of the gardens… Continue reading

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One Flower makes a Difference.

One Flower for Tourteron

 

To our big surprise, Tourteron¬†has been¬†awarded with ‘one flower’ by the Village Fleuri committee. Of course we’re delighted about the news! There are special guided tours offered through the¬†Flower Towns of France–though sometimes it’s not more than some cranesbill next to the city name sign.Still, we wanted to thank and show our appreciation to the town of Tourteron, so¬†we¬†sent¬†this letter to the town hall:

Dear Town of Tourteron, 

On our arrival in Tourteron for Christmas we noticed the ‘Village Fleuri’ sign for the first time. Is it true our lovely town ¬†is awarded with one flower? We’re really happy about it since we had the wish to help our city with this. How is it organized? Is there something we can do to help maintenance? Is there a budget to make Tourteron look better with the flowers? If there’s anything we can do to support, please let us know.We have one suggestion for Christmas next year. In Brandeville (Meuse), the town offers electricity for the decorations and the town gardener places all the Christmas trees. The community helps decorate the trees. We’d love to help.Your new and proud inhabitants,

Marco and Hugo.

In French it’s translated like this:¬†

Chers ville de Tourteron,

A notre arriv√©e √† Tourteron pour No√ęl, nous avons remarqu√© le signe ¬ęVillage Fleuri¬Ľ pour la premi√®re fois.¬†Est-il vrai que notre belle ville est r√©compens√©e par une fleur?¬†Nous sommes vraiment content de √ßa depuis que nous avions le souhait d’aider notre ville √† la pr√©sente.Comment est-il organis√©?¬†Y at-il quelque chose que nous pouvons faire pour aider √† l’entretien?Yat-il un budget pour faire Tourteron plus belle avec des fleurs?¬†S’il ya quelque chose que nous pouvons faire pour soutenir – s’il vous pla√ģt nous le faire savoir.Nous avons un sugestin pour l’an prochain No√ęl.¬†En Brandeville (Meuse), la ville offre l’√©lectricit√© pour les d√©corations et le jardinier de ville place tous les arbres de No√ęl. La communaut√© aident d√©corer les arbres.¬†Nous serions ravis de vous aider.Vos nouveaux habitants orgueilleux,

Marco et Hugo.

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Back to basics

The winter is coming, and that means it’s¬†prime time¬†to clear the fields. The past summer we’ve been fighting the nettles and wild berries. Over¬†two-thirds of the garden was nothing but thorns and stingy things. Not a place where you can play a nice game of football or sit and relax to read a magazine.

We tried to destroy them manually and chemically. But nature is just so strong-willed. The weeds kept on returning. Of course, that’s no surprise¬†if you keep in mind that the previous owners left the fields unused for 30 years.

At the end of autumn we came up with the final plans for the 5700 square meters of garden. The first part, the orchard, will more or less remain the same. The second part will be turned into a flower garden. The third and biggest part will become grassland which is good for football, soccer, running, playing…whatever kids do when they go wild. The second and the third part have been wild terrain for a long time. We could not do it with just our¬†bare hands so we bought ‚Äďback to basics‚Äď a plough! ūüôā

Let us introduce our new hero by the French description: “La motobineuse SARP S55B2 est √©quip√©e d’un moteur Briggs & Stratton de 190cc d√©veloppant 5.5cv, ses commandes sont par cables et b√©n√©ficie d’un guidon r√©glable en hauteur. La largeur de travail d’origine est de 60 cm mais peut en option (FL) √™tre port√©e 90 cm. Puissance, simplicit√© et robustesse pour cette machine de fabrication fran√ßaise. Conforme aux normes C.E.”

I must say: It’s a Killer Machine ūüôā

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Glasshouse

glasshouse |ňąglasňĆhous| noun [Brit.]

a greenhouse,¬†|ňągrńďnňĆhous|, a glass building in which plants are grown that need protection from cold weather.

This weekend we found our inspiration for the flower and veggie garden. This strange, neck-shaped piece between the orchard and the field has always been a bit of a struggle for us. We had no idea how to turn it into something of value. Should it be a playing ground? A beautifully simple grass field? A kitchen garden full of savory herbs?

Since we’re living in the fast lane, we actually do take time to enjoy the good moments of life. So¬†one sunny Saturday we went to Staverden Castle (Kasteel Staverden). We only¬†had thoughts¬†of some¬†wine and finger food, but

There it was! The Victorian Glasshouse.

The metal structure painted white¬†with its elegant, cave-shaped roof grabbed our attention. We went inside over and over again. It was warm, comfortable, useful, inspiring! And it had absolutely dazzling character. This was exactly the eye-catcher that this part of our garden cried out for! If we build a glasshouse like this at the end of the heart line, we’d have a perfect ‘folly’. It would bring great perspective¬†to the flower garden and drive people right into this part of the garden where they could wander between the¬†blooming beds and enjoy the scents of nature.

The glasshouse could also be used as a winter shelter for citrus trees or as a greenhouse for orchids, or even a nursery for our the indigenous plants of our garden. With just a few seats and a heater it would make a fantastic place to sit in early spring or even late autumn. Can you imagine reading a book surrounded by the smell of orange blossoms with buckets of rain pounding on the metal and glass above?

Our only problem was¬†where to get one?! ūüôā

We placed an ad on¬†the Dutch eBay. The copy we placed translated as: “There’s no match between our house from 1813 and a modern aluminum glasshouse. Therefore we’re looking for an ancient Victorian glasshouse between 20 square meters¬†and 40 square meters which has a brick substructure. Who has got one or knows somebody that has got one and wants to get rid of it?¬†It is not a problem if it is a bit broken; it can be a renovation project. We’ll come to pick it up wherever in the Netherlands and Belgium.”

If you are from the UK and you have one to offer, don’t hesitate to reply. ūüėÄ

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The New Collection

We’ve started working on the court and the orchard.¬†They are¬†around the mill and there is grass there¬†that needed to be maintained anyhow. It’s logical to start here and ‚Äďmind you‚Äď a good garden needs at least three years of work. The first year is for¬†shaping and planting the new collection. The second year is for¬†(re)planting, growing and maintenance. And during the third year you’ll be¬†(re)planting, growing, maintenance and enjoying.

So this is the year of The New Collection. We bought some plants in France, but they are way too expensive! We’d rather buy the plants in the Netherlands for example at Abbing (Zeist) … I just love to search around that huge nursery.

So far we have planted the following:A part of the New Collection

Achillea millefolium ‘Cloth of Gold’

Ajuga reptans ‘Catlin’s Giant’

Anaphalis triplinervis

Anemopsis californica

Aquilegia chrysantha ‘Yellow Queen’

Armeria maritima

Aster ‘Monte Cassino’

Astilbe tangutica

Astilboides tabularisThe untamed garden

Astrantia major

Brunnera ‘Langtree’

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’

Calamogrostis brachytricha

Campanula addenda ‘Blue Star’

Carex muskingumensis

Centaurea montana ‘Grandiflora’

Chaerophyllum roseum

Clematis montana ‘Rosebud’

Darmera peltata

Festuca glauca ‘Intense Blue’

Filipendulina rubra

Iris ensata ‘Diamant’

Iris japonica ‘Variegata’

Luzula nivea

Molinia transparentThe shape of the new borders

Pachysandra terminalis

Papaver orientale ‘Perry’s White’

Parthenocissus tricuspidata ‘Robusta’

Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’

Polygonatum vanitatum

Primula¬† ‘Gold Lace’

Primula vialii

Pulsatilla vulgaris ‘Alba’

Rodgersia podophyllaPlanting

Rosa ‘Penny Lane’

Thalia dealbata

Thalictrum rochebrunianum

Trachelospermum jasminum

Trachystemon orientalis

Verbascum ‘Raspberry Ripple’

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