Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thinking Outside the Box

Actually, I was more thinking of this box rather than a window box. :-)
My front garden is a formal one but plants are free to think or grow outside the box.
I like plants to be free, have a mind of their own, enjoy life and burst from the box beds like there was no tomorrow. Just let them flop all over the place and be happy.
I love to design formal gardens and then give the plants a free reign and do as they please, aiming for a kind of controlled chaos. The juxtaposition between strict lines and gay abandon is what it is all about for me!

Let the plants self seed and enjoy the surprises you encounter in your garden.
I like thinking outside the box. Here's a bunch of flowers that I picked from my garden earlier this week, but on closer inspection all is not what it seems to be.
Have you spotted it ? There's weeds in that cute little bouquet, shocking, isn't it? :-) For me there is no clear demarcation line between weeds and flowers, it's more a question of what I like or dislike.
I have flowers in my kitchen garden and herbs in my flower borders and why not? Just plant what you like, where ever you like.
I have weeds in the vase and daisies in my lawn. Just look at them, aren't they cheering up an otherwise dull field of green blades or what?

I'll leave you with another example of thinking outside the box:

Creamy soup of Wildflowers

Serves 4 persons

1 handful of dandelion buds
1 cup of primula flowers and a few leaves
1 cup of daisies
3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion
1 cup of cream
125 gr of smoked bacon
1.5 liter water
celery salt
salt and white pepper

Remove the stems from the flowers, wash them and let them dry
Bring the water to the boil, add salt then the flowers, the potatoes and the onion. Keep a few flowers aside for decoration. Let it all boil gently for 25 minutes.
Stir in the celery salt and add pepper. Take it off the fire and add the cream. Cut the bacon in strips and fry in a bit of oil. Add the bacon to the soup.
Serve on hot soup plates and decorate with the rest of the flowers. It tastes great with some brown bread. Enjoy!

copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen

Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience.
Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistance.
Hal Borland, Countryman: A Summary of Belief, 1965


Barbara said...

Lovely post and a beautiful flower bouquet (the same I do also with the weeds/wildflowers). Your receipe will be tried soon, as it certainly tastes good. I make jam with dandelions, it is very tasty too!
Have a nice evening!

Barbee' said...

I love your blog. Your photos remind me of when we moved here. I said we had grass in the flowers and flowers in the grass.

Karin A said...

I like you're way of thinking outside the box. I totally agree with you! Flowers and plants have a mind. :)Beautiful photos!

Do you have lovely weather too? Here we've almost had summer weather lately. :) Take care!

Kram Karin

Frances, said...

Your garden is so wonderful, Yolanda E., I love looking at it from every angle. I love all your trimmed hedges, who does that job? I just did the boxwood around the knot garden today and can barely move my back. The stooping angle is not good and I like to use hand held shears, chop, chop. All of your flowers are delightful, as are all of your posts. Thanks.
Frances at Faire Garden

Nancy J. Bond said...

I really like your philosophy about the garden. It looks beautiful, by the way. Love the stone paths -- I can hear that crunch underfoot. Sigh. :)

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

I was in Willemstad last Wednesday - it's a beautiful little town, and we had beautiful weather.

We rode our bikes from Dordrecht to Moerdijk then motored to Willemstad. After Willemstad, we went to Antwerp. Then rode bikes from there to Dendermonde, spent the night and rode the bikes to Ghent. We finished up by visiting Brugge by bus.

Your weather was actually cooler there than here! But your countryside is beautiful.

Lis said...

Deine Gänseblümchenwiese sieht ja ganz bezaubernd aus! Ich muß immer wieder einige ausstechen, sonst wären es einfach zu viele davon.
Dein Strauß ist sehr hübsch, doch wenn ich einen Blumenstrauß in die Wohnung stelle, frisst immer unser Leo davon! :-)
LG Lis

Connie said...

Sounds like we share the same garden style...I like your term 'controlled chaos'. :-)

Anonymous said...

I quite agree with "contained chaos" - plus the design helps hide the bare ankles of some roses. Your boxes look fabulous :-)

Cheryl said...

I like your style Yolanda and I couldn't agree more. It all looks beautiful.

Matron said...

Gosh! that is thinking outside the box! And I've just done a post entitled "you can't eat flowers"! - I stand corrected!

Andrea's Garden said...

Love your garden, Yolanda and most of all your approach to gardening. The one flower that likes to seed itself everywhere in our garden are "Vergissmeinnicht" and "Bartnelken" .. got lots of them. :-) Andrea

Ewa said...

Thinking out of the box is very challenging for some... I guess... its a good excercise for each of us...
Your garden philosophy is great and feel very close to it :)
The recipe you give is very interesting :) will give a try :)

I saw once daisies on my lawn, but they didn't grow. Maybe season was not proper? How did you get yours?

Brimstone said...

Ik spring helemaal met je mee de doos uit :-) Samen met de planten vrij en creatief zijn en je krijgt je eigen droomtuin!

Flighty said...

My mother felt the same about weeds as you do, and was always more than happy to let daisies grow in the lawns. I'm just the same.
Thanks for another interesting entry with good photos. Happy gardening! xx

Libbys Blog said...

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fortune of the Republic, 1878.

Cheryl said...

Hi Yolanda.....Just wanted to pop over to thank you for your advice on the alpines. I shall be covering them this winter, so hopefully they will be better next spring. You have given me hope.

Geoff Hamilton was a wonderful man and his organic approach is something we could all learn from.
Enjoy the sunshine, long may it last for you.

Marian said...

Lekker laten groeien en bloeien,
dat maakt een tuin juist zo aantrekkelijk, 't zou toch zonde zijn om al dat moois er uit te trekken omdat het niet binnen de "lijntjes" staat!
Ook hier komen steeds meer "meizoentjes" in het gras!

Ruth Welter said...

Hi Yolanda, your garden is just beautiful..I can tell whenever I see photos of it, that lots of loving care goes into it, your hard work shows.

Ah yes, weeds, you just cannot seem to stop them. I'm noticing around me, that spring has sprung and some of the first things to pop up are the weeds. LOL However I agree with you, you can get the prettiest weeks sometimes. I often just let them do their thing for awhile, if they are producing beautiful flowers, it is sometimes hard to pull them out.

Gail said...

Yolanda E,

A delightful post...this sums it all up "The juxtaposition between strict lines and gay abandon is what it is all about for me!" and you have very much accomplished that...your garden is relaxing and serene with a lovely and lively bit of chaos.

I let daisies grow in my bit of grass and also...clover....It's about the bees.


Ex-Shammickite said...

The garden is lovely, I wish mine could look like that! perhaps I should spend more time with a rake and a hoe in my hands!

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda what Joy it must be to be witnessing your garden in all its glory! Summer is on its way and I too shall be on my way home to my own Spring garden in Canada in a week! Thank you for regularly coming along my tours of Spring in the Arizona deserts and more! hugs NG

lisa said...

Love your gardens, Yolanda! Thank you for the recipe, it sounds great and I look forward to trying it!

Hedgewitch said...

so glad I stopped by your blog and got to see your garden.. I agree totally, I don't draw distinctions between 'weeds' and other flowers or herbs

i was just blogging about wildflowers this week, and am now itching to try out this recipe .. many thanks for sharing it :-)

A wildlife gardener said...

Your post reminds me of a lovely book called A Gentle Plea For Chaos by Mirabel Osler..are you familiar with it, Yolanda? It is well worth a read :)

I love the formality of all your box and the informality of your planting within it.

There are some visitors waiting to meet you at Barleycorn :)

marl1 said...

Voor dit recept heb ik alle ingredienten in huis en tuin- ga ik doen :-))

Kylee said...

I always enjoy seeing photos of your marvelous garden, Yolanda. Everything is so well put together.
So are you feeling better these days? I hope so!!

jodi said...

weeds? I don't see any weeds...
Such a lovely post. I haven't tried making the soup yet, since I'm away, but when the dandelions get going...I'll give it a go, and not tell Longsuffering Spouse what's in it. SHould be fun!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I'm with Jodi, I don't see any weeds. Which ones are the weeds? It must be that what is a weed in the Netherlands is a garden flower here. (Not an unusual situation.) Is it the yellow flowers or the Forget Me Nots?

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all, thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. It was great to read that quite a few are going to try out the recipe. It is really worth a try as the soup is yummy and very easy to make.

It was also very nice to read that so many of you agree on there not being weeds, just flowers and plants. :-)

* WG: I have heard of the book but not read it yet. Something to look forward too! ;-)

* Ewa: the daisies in my lawn were already there. Here they grow like a uh giggle *weed*. ;-)

* Jim: glad you had such lovely weather for your holiday here!