Archive for the 'Nicht kategorisiert' Category



After this long winter, which, although we had loads of snow, was very dark and dreary because of repeated fog and mist, the first warmer days come as a relief. From next to now everything seems sprouting and growing; the crocuses having just blossomed, are almost gone now, only to be followed by daffodils and tulips on the spot. Somehow everything seems to be happening at the same time.
I used to have an almost photographic memory, which I find dwindling, however, as I’m getting older. It becomes increasingly necessary to take notes and stick little memos everywhere so as not to forget anything important. Nevertheless, this has also got its positive aspects: Particularly this spring is full of surprises. There are so many bulbs coming up that I can’t remember planting, that I keep walking through my garden in wonder. Isn’t it a blessing that just when you think you know and have seen everything, life keeps new impressions in store?


What now?

I’ve just noticed that I haven’t posted anything for ages, one reason being that I had my mind on different things. Too many of our friends and relatives had tough luck lately. I’ve learned about some nasty illnesses that I never heard the name of before, and I still wish I hadn’t.

Usually working in the garden helps me to relax and drive away dark thoughts. However, this year has been so dry that most of my work consisted of keeping the plants alive by watering. There was even hardly any weeding to do because  the weeds didn’t germinate. Or if they did, you needed a pickaxe to get them out.  Fortunately it rained a little last weekend but before that all the flowers and shrubs as well as the lawn looked rather grey than green. There isn’t a sadder sight than tomato plants that have lost all their leaves or huge sunflowers that let theirs hang down. So all in all it was as if the garden reflected my troubles.

So at the moment I’m not quite sure whether to keep this blog up or not. I’ve given myself until Christmas to find back into a rhythm of more regular postings, trying to find some more agreeable things to write about.


Garden Blogger’s Bloomday February

phalaenopsis.jpgIt’s been Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day again, and this time I would like to start with some indoor plants. First of all this phalaenopsis that we received from my grandma as a wedding present now almost sixteen years ago. My grandma having passed away a few years ago, this orchid still keeps thriving, and serves as a remembrance, flowering faithfully every year, even if it is rather pink. For some reason putting it into a room we rarely use and not fussing about with it, but only watering it every once in a while and giving it some (normal) fertilizer once a year has given it a boost: this year there are two stems with flowers.






Another specialty I have to offer is this flowering avocado, which my son grew from a seed and which seems to thrive on little light, even less care and the smell of dirty socks that you find in the room of a fifteen-year-old. I’ve always thought, avocadoes don’t flower in captivity, however, it seems, you just have to provide for the right conditions. 😉 Also, if you see them in relation to the fruit, avocado blossoms are rather tiny.

As I’m not really good at growing plants indoors, these two count as our great successes. Most of my indoor plants — there are only a few left — have a really hard time in the winter, only recovering when I put them outside on the terrasse in spring. So let’s now have a look outside. The following fotos were taken about a week ago, when we had an unusually mild day. Since then it has cooled down, so that the flowers still look the same — only the bees have remained hidden because of the frost.


First of all the crocusses, the first picture showing them about two weeks ago when they had just begun to show. It’s amazing what a little sun and some warmth can do in such a short time. As to crocusses, I alway find that I haven’t got enough. There’s nothing like a huge spread of crocusses opened widely in the bright sun ….




The next picture shows one of my disappointments: snowdrops with snow heather. There was supposed to be a big bushel of snowdrops here to contrast the light pink of the heather. However, either our mole or my over-engaged weeding in the summer has scattered them about so that they look rather forlorn here. Also, the heather has not quite grown a I thought it would. It has suffered quite a bit from last year’s drought.


helleborus-biene.jpgI’ve already shown some pictures of hellebores before, however, now they are at their best lighting up the dreary surroundings with their bright white. After blooming the petals of this one turn reddish so this plant is an eyecatcher for quite some time. The best of all, the flowers keep well in vases. Together with skimmia blossoms and some ivy leaves they make really elegant bouquets.


Finally, here’s a hardy rosemary with tiny blue blossoms. rosmarin.jpgEven if the winter has been unusually mild so far, it’s really amazing how this mediterranean plant manages to flower this early in the year. In fact it has been among the first to bloom. I used to keep my rosemaries potted and carried them indoors, but I have found that this is unnecessary, and even harms them. Planted outside in sheltered places in well-drained ground, they are fairly frost tolerant. In this mild winter I didn’t even need any frost protection (usually my Christmas tree ends up sheltering delicate plants against severe frosts).


Late Fall Sunset



Water World

The rain has finally stopped. We even got some glimpses of blue sky and sun today. In the news it said that we’ve had as much rain within two days as we usually would have had in the whole month of December. As a result everything is soaked. If you dare walk accross the lawn, for example to bring out the compost, you had better wear Wellingtons if you don’t want to ruin your shoes. Even so, the ground makes fairly strange noises when you walk on it, as if someone was trying to make contact from underground. Really creepy.
I don’t know what this soaking does to all those little creatures who live in the soil. They are probably used to it and will survive. Of what I’m certain is that all those baby slugs are still nasses-feld.jpgalive that have been nibbling away happily at my winter peas. (Unfortunately I brought them out a week too late, so when spring comes there will be hardly anything left.)

Although it looked quite spectacular yesterday, one day without rain helps the soil quite a bit to recover: the big pool on the neighbouring field has diminished by half during the day, so if the same happens in my garden there is some hope that my compost heap will be more easily accessible in the next days.


Why Gardening?

“What a huge garden! So much work!” That is often the spontaneous reaction of people who see my garden for the first time. Actually with about 1000 square metres you cannot really call it huge, but by German standards it is where most plots don’t exceed 600 square metres. Still, I don’t associate gardening with work — for me it is leisure; and I often find myself justifying my desire to dig up the soil instead of doing boring paper work in my study.

Admittedly, I’ve got help — impersonated by my husband, sometimes by our son — who strangely enjoy those chores that I loathe, such as mowing the lawn, building fences etc. Since my son has taken to fishing, I don’t even have to ask him to dig over the odd flower bed, instead he asks me whether he is allowed to do so (to find bait worms). Isn’t it great when the kids grow up and start to have a more mature outlook on life? 😉
However, the rest of the garden is mine, and I have finally managed to keep my loved ones away from weeding as this had always turned out too dangerous for the plants.

So what is so fascinating about gardening that I sometimes stick my arms up to the elbows in dirt, get soaked in the rain because some replanting has to be finished just then, bend my back that it hurts for the next week? Of course it is the results, bathing in colours and scents, growing your own food (with mixed results), watching visiting birds and other animals. But that’s not the complete answer. For me working in the garden is like meditating. Plants have one advantage: they don’t talk back — they are simply there. Since I work as a teacher surrounded by noise and hectic in the morning, I enjoy the peace and calm in my garden in the afternoon before I go back to my desk in the evening. Thus digging up the soil, cutting hedges, planting and replanting help me to root myself, to take a step back from all the crazy demands, aggression, problems of pupils, parents and colleagues I’m confronted with in my profession.

Finally, gardening is not so much different from educating: you prepare the ground, you give nourishment, you try to keep away dangers and distractions, and then you let grow. So working with plants is quite complementary to working with children.


View from our back garden a few days ago with starlings reflecting in the setting sun.