woensdag 31 maart 2010


It has been raining cats and dogs in Rotterdam all day. The weather forecast for the coming days is not too good either. I hope the weather people will be wrong and the sun will shine for Easter. The Easter weekend is the weekend that we plan to paint our little garden house. So dry weather is necessary!

Despite the weather I worked in the garden today. It was terribly cold and windy. It's funny, but when the weather is bad I can only see women working in the other allotment gardens ;-)!

I planted some pink lavenders, pink delphiniums and thalictrum (purple). In Dutch we call it 'ruit'. I also put a grey leafed hosta in a pot. More and more flowers are in bloom. Today I even spotted the first muscari. The lady in the bath is growing fast too. Just like the Galium Odoratum (lievevrouwebedstro), which covers a great part of our garden and will be a mass of little white flowers at the end of april.

It will not be long before the first cutting flowers will be in bloom. I am looking forward very much to making little bouquets, hopefully as pretty as the ones on the photos. In the mean time I will just enjoy these and use them for inspiration! I hope the colours and combinations of flowers used, will inspire you too. Enjoy your week! Lieve groet, Madelief

A description of a city shower by Jonathan Swift (1710)

Now in contiguous Drops the Flood comes down,
Threat'ning with Deluge this devoted Town.
 Now from all Parts the swelling Kennels flow,
And bear their Trophies with them as they go:
 Filth of all Hues and Odours seem to tell
What Street they sail'd from, by their Sight and Smell.

They, as each Torrent drives, with rapid Force,
From Smithfield or St. Pulchre's shape their Course,
And in huge Confluent join'd at Snow-Hill Ridge,
Fall from the Conduit, prone to Holbourn-Bridge.
Sweeping from Butchers Stalls, Dung, Guts, and Blood,
Drown'd Puppies, stinking Sprats, all drench'd in Mud,
Dead Cats and Turnip-Tops come tumbling down the Flood
I am so glad I live in 2010. It must have been horibble to live in a town two centuries ago all that mud down the streets and dead animals......


Photo 1 to 7 Style me Pretty

zaterdag 27 maart 2010

Spring flowers

It was a lovely sunny day today. As I approached our garden I was amazed to see it full of flowers; yellow and white daffodils, little blue scilla's, hyacints and blue and pink pulmonaria's.

My brother and parents came to help us in the garden. My brother made a new tabletop for our old garden table from reclaimed scaffolding wood. It looks simply fantastic! I will show you a picture soon. My father sanded the surface of our little garden house. Next weekend when the weather is fine, we will paint it. My mother just sat in the sun like a queen and enjoyed all the people around her. My husband helped out where he was needed and the girls and I were busy with the plants. I prepared some seed trays in our greenhouse, which I filled with different kind of tomato seeds (yellow pear, ping pong, marmande) and white & purple aubergine seeds. I also put the Dahlia tubers on a bed of compost, to get some roots.

The potager is already filled with little red and white onions. I also built a pyramid of canes, planted some sweet pea seeds underneath, put some rhubarb in a big pot and started on the repair of the raised beds.

At the moment I am sitting rosy cheeked behind my computer, thinking what a lovely day it was....

Wish you all a good weekend!

Lieve groet, Madelief


Wij tutten ons tuintje op
en kammen het gras.
Make-uppen de randjes langs het terras.
Overal plantjes met lippenstiftkleuren.
Overal bloemen met bloemetjesgeuren.
Daarna het heggenhaar,
weg met de heggenschaar.
Zo wordt ons tuintje een prachtig gezicht.
Dat plat naar de zomer te glimlachen ligt.

Edward van de Vendel (Plint)

maandag 22 maart 2010

Garden dreams

Ever since we rented our garden two years ago, I have been dreaming about how I want it to look like. Let me tell you something about it....There have to be masses of flowers in white, pink, lilac and blue. Snowdrops, bluebells, daffodils, lilacs and forest hyacints in spring and larkspur, hollyhocks, foxgloves, pelargoniums, geraniums, anemones, ladies mantle, hydrangeas and lots of roses in summer. I love scented roses, that you can cut to put in a vase as well. In our red leaved tree I would love to grow a rambler rose, preferably Pauls Himalayan Musk. There has to be something to catch the eye, some colour, all year round. The little garden house, that is the centre of our garden, will be painted in green. Not an ordinary shade of green, but greyish green. The garden furniture will be old, white or otherwise wood, that has faded over time. There will be pillows on the chairs, matching the colours of the flowers in our garden. The veranda will be covered in roses, grapes and passion flower. In the vegetable patch I will grow fennel bulbs, artichokes, red onions, salad leaves, pumpkins, tomatoes and courgettes. The little gaps in between the vegetables will be filled with flowers. One patch will be filled with annual flowers only, like Zinnia, Cosmea, Nigella and sweet pea. Another patch will be full of herbs; sage, parsley, thyme, tarragon, oregano, coriander and different sorts of garlic. In the house I want to use as much old kitchen utensils and china as possible. The china has to be covered in roses or other kind of flowers. I make an exception for polka dots! Just because they always cheer me up. And I see people..... family and friends visiting us and enjoying the special atmosphere...and parties....lots of garden parties and afternoon teas!

This spring the last part of my dream will be fulfilled; our garden house will be painted. A date is set. My father will help us. I look forward to it very much. The pictures I show you today will give you an idea of how I want our garden to look like. I realise it will probably take years before the plants in my garden will be as big as some of the plants on the pictures, but it doesn't matter. In the mean time I will just keep on dreaming!

Our garden house will be painted in the same colour as the gate on the last picture.

Photo 1 to 3 & 4 100 Idées DECO; photo 3 & 6 Country Living; photo 6 & 8 Chelsea Flower show; photo 7 & 9 google, photo 10 Home and garden

woensdag 17 maart 2010

Back again!

Two weeks ago I decided to stop blogging. The fact is that although I enjoyed my extra time very much, I also missed it terribly. Your sweet comments on my blog, did not make it easy either ;-)!My daughers and my husband told me to continue, but do it differently. I feel a bit like a fool, but I am going to give it one more try! This time I will take it more leisurely. I will not post as often as before and and leave less comments. This way I will have more time to spend with my family and enjoy my garden, my books and other hobbies. I hope you will understand. I have also decided to write in English only. This saves me time as well. Please feel free to comment in Dutch, German and English!

Today was a lovely sunny day in Holland. I went to our allotment to do some work. I cleaned up the vegetable and herb patches, put some roots of peony Sarah Bernardt and Lupins in the ground and some violets I bought at our local garden centre. I also planted some strawberry plants. It was delicious being outside, enjoy the sun and see all the little green sprigs coming out of the ground!

Enjoy the sunshine! Lieve groet, Madelief (It feels good to be back!)

woensdag 3 maart 2010

Bye Bye

Lieve allemaal, Al enige tijd loop ik ermee rond, maar vandaag is dan toch de kogel door de kerk: ik heb besloten om te stoppen met bloggen. Na tien super maanden waarin ik met veel plezier jullie allemaal heb gevolgd en enorm veel inspiratie heb opgedaan, lukt het mij op het moment gewoonweg niet meer om jullie blogs bij te houden en berichtjes achter te laten. Het lijkt wel alsof ik de laatste weken meer tijd doorbracht achter mijn computer dan met mijn familie en vrienden, en dat is niet de bedoeling. Ook mijn hobbies, mijn tuin en het huishouden lijden er onder...Minder berichtjes achterlaten is voor mij geen optie; het is voor mij alles of niets en jullie blogs zijn mij even lief!

Ontzettend bedankt voor jullie lieve commentaar het afgelopen jaar! Ik heb het ontzettend gewaardeerd. Stiekem blijf ik jullie wel een beetje volgen natuurlijk, maar ik laat geen berichtjes meer achter. Ik wens jullie allemaal het allerbeste!!

Lieve Saskia, Jij nog ontzettend bedankt voor je prachtige giveaway! Het was zo leuk om zo'n vrolijke enveloppe met inhoud te mogen ontvangen.

Heel veel liefs, Madelief

Dear everybody,

I have been walking around with this for some time now; I finally decided to stop blogging. The fact is that I can't keep up any more with all the messages I have to leave and I notice that I am neglecting my family and friends. Furthermore, I have a busy job that takes up a lot of my time and it's only getting busier and busier... Leaving less messages is not an option, because all your blogs are dear to me.

Thank you so much for all your sweet comments the last year. I enjoyed and appreciated it very much!  Now and then I will definitely have a look at your blogs, but I won't be leaving comments any more. I wish you all the best!

Dear Saskia, I wanted to thank you too for the beautiful give way you sent me! It did not only look lovely, but we all liked the little presents inside very much.