zaterdag 26 juni 2010

Roses and more

The last days before the summer vacation always seem to be busy. We celebrated our youngest daughters sweet sixteen and had a lunch and dinner party in our garden. We will be leaving for the UK shortly, to enjoy the English countryside, make some beautiful walks and visit old castles and gardens. 

The vegetables and flowers in our garden seem to be growing a few centimeters every day. In the greenhouse the first cucumbers and peppers are visible. Outside in the kitchen garden the broad beans are full of flowers, the blueberries and blackberries are getting more and more colour and the gooseberries are almost sweet enough to be picked. I hope the birds will leave some behind, for when we get back from our holiday. 

I wish you all a happy and sunny vacation! Have a good time and come back safe. I hope to see you again in a months time!

Lieve groet, Madelief  x 

New Dawn rose
Pierre de Ronsard/Eden rose (Meilland)
Leornardo da Vinci rose (David Austin)
New Dawn rose

woensdag 23 juni 2010

Gardens open to the public

It's almost two weekends ago that I visited several open gardens for the event 'Verborgen Tuinen' in Rotterdam. The event is held over the weekend and you can visit gardens throughout the city. A friend and I chose the northern route and visited several gardens in Kralingen and Hillegersberg.

Some gardens were formal, others more park like, some had an amazing view and there were one or two romantic gardens as well. What I enjoyed most was the enthusiasm of the garden owners. How much fun it is to talk to kindred spirits.

To me one of the highlights was the visit to the allotment complex Blijdorp. On that complex more than twenty gardens were open to the public. There was a small brocante fair and you could buy plants and vegetables. You could even take a guided tour, in which they would tell you all about edible plants and herbs that grow in the wild. It was good to see what others made of their allotment gardens. I was very much impressed and came back full of ideas. Hopefully the organization will allow more allotment complexes to take part in the event next year!!  Let me show you around some of the gardens.............


vrijdag 18 juni 2010

As time goes by

I am sorry I could not visit you all lately, but we had a busy and eventful week. A dear friend of ours, who had been depressed for years, decided he did not want to live anymore. Yesterday my eighteen year old daughter heard she passed her exams (hurray!), and today I received my certificate for a four your education I have been doing for my work. It was a week of tears and laughter.

I also received one of my cooking clubs in our garden. It was a lovely evening, with sun until nine! I made two salads and a raita. My friends took the wine, chocolate, starter and the dessert with them. One of the salads I made came from the Ottolenghi cookbook. Nicola, I made the 'Marinated aubergine with tahini and oregano'. It was simply delicious! If you enjoy Mediterranean food I can recommend 'The Cookbook' from Ottolenghi to you.

Our garden is like paradise at the moment. The roses are in full bloom, the larkspur has beautiful spires in all shades of blue, and you can smell Lavender all through the garden. I wish I could show you around, but allas pictures will have to do. Today I only show you a few of them, in one of my next posts I promise to show you more.

Last weekend I made my first two bottles of elderflower cordial. I am not sure if it is a success yet, because we all have to get used to the taste!!  I also visited gardens open to the public 'Verborgen Tuinen' in my hometown. So much to see, so many things to remember. Simply a lovely day. At the end I even found a rose teapot with a milkjug, sugarbowl and saucers from the seventies at a small brocante fair in one of the gardens! In one of my next posts I will show you some pictures of the gardens as well.

Well that's in for now. Hope you will all have a lovely weekend!

Lieve groet, Madelief

zondag 13 juni 2010

Mystery walk


To go to places you normally don't go too, to see things for the first time. That's what we did in Deft last weekend.

We often go there, but this day it was different. We went on a sort of mystery walk of our own. First stop 'Hofje van Pauw'. This cluster of houses was built around an inner courtyard in 1707 on request of Elisabeth Pauw, the mayor of Delfts daughter, who died a year earlier. The houses were lived in by poor and needy families. The complex stood empty for a number of years, until it was renovated in the 1950s. Nowadays it is a home for people with a handicap. It's a joy to visit the complex, especially after the renovation of the garden in 2007.

Second stop 'Agneta Park' The Agneta park was built at the end of the 19th century for people who worked in a factory nearby. Not only the architecture of the houses is special, the park like environment as well; lots of trees, water and even fountains. Some houses were decorated with all kind of orange materials and Dutch flags, because of the world championship football.  

After visiting the Agneta park we just walked through town. If you haven't been to Delft yet, it is worth visiting. I have been there lots of times and still love it very much.  Have a good new week!

Lieve groet, Madelief