Monday, January 5, 2009

A New Beginning

A new gardening year has started and the start was pretty good as the great outdoors was turned into a magical mystery world with everything covered in a fine layer of icing sugar, courtesy of the frost combined with fog.
It started freezing on Second Christmas Day (yes, we have 2 Christmas Days, a tad excessive, I know) and last Saturday almost the whole village turned up for a nice day of ice skating, a very Dutch thing to do.
Big skies, ice skating and bicycles, we're not in Kansas, Toto, and that's a fact! ;-)
Painting by Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564-1638)
Fun in a winter wonderland
Moonlight covered with icing sugar echoing that great Dutch traditional food we have on New Year's Eve
oliebollen!

Speaking of New Year's Eve, Tara didn't bat an eye-lid when the fireworks started going off, even though they were very loud. I'd been hardening her off ( to use a horticultural expression), fireworks wise, for the last 6 weeks or so by playing a few firework vids on YouTube for her. The first time I played one she did a little wee as she was quite frightened of all that racket. I comforted her, put her on my lap and played a few more vids, first with the sound low and finally with the volume cranked up to the max. And Tara? Well, she fell asleep on my lap, very unimpressed with all that noise.
Happy New Year from Tara (not afraid of fireworks)

With the New Year come New Year's resolutions and Tara's has made a few too; 1) Sit still so that YE can snap a few fun pics, unlike the one above that turned out not so well as I did not Sit Still! Sorry!
2) Be more gentle with the kittycats so that they enjoy my company instead of making themselves scarce as soon as they see me. 3) Be a real Kooiker dog and try luring the ducks instead of chasing them away.

In the garden there are new beginnings; the Hamamelis x Intermedia is about to flower and this morning I took this pic of a bunch of daffs poking their noses out of the earth covered with a very thin layer of snow.
Spring is on its merry way although it will be a while yet.
These past few weeks I've been mainly having the flu and a particularly nasty one too, which explains why I haven't been to visit your blog lately. Simply too ill and tired. Feeling better now but still coughing my socks off, my little heart out and all that jazz. I'll be doing my blog rounds again this week so expect a visit from yours truly.
Found a fun gardening quote to kick the New Year off with:
The craft of gardening: 11 months hard work and one month's acute disappointment. Heathcoat Amory of Knightshayes

It cracked me up as it is so not true for me and I sincerely hope not for you either. Happy Gardening in 2009 from your friendly neighbourhood gardener Yolanda Elizabet.

copyright 2009: Y.E.W. Heuzen

52 comments:

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Happy New Year to you too Yolanda Elizabet ... so sorry to hear you had the horrid flue - and glad you are feeling better apart from the cough.
Lovely skating pics - it is so Dutch.
K

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

PS - I really like your header picture.
K

LadyLuz said...

Happy 2009 Yolande, the under gardener and menagerie. Love the quote and it's so not true for us either. We've had sun and rain and things keep growing this winter. It looks beautiful in your neck of the woods and I hope the improvement in your flu gets better and better: you'll soon be back to your energetic, dynamic self.

Love and hugs.
P.

Frances said...

Hi YE, many get well wishes to start out the new year. I laughed at the sight of Tara and is that Dolly? She chose the same color of fur to cuddle with, how smart! Do I detect that Tara is getting the lion's share of attention from the mistress, too? :-) Your ice candy looks scrumptious, and our witch hazel is getting ready for spring too with some previews of coming attractions, with shorts by the daff foliage poking up. Happy new year, my friend!
Frances

Casbah Kitten said...

I LOVE your photos! They're always wonderful, even if the subject wiggles a bit.
Can't wait for spring to get started on the mess that I call my garden! It's going to be a HUGE project.

Sylvia (England) said...

Lovely post, I chuckled at the quote especially as Knightshayes is a beautiful garden, as it isn't too far from us I have visited it several times. Heathcoat Amory is the name of the family who built the house, there was several generations involved in the garden.

Best wishes Sylvia (England)

nancybond said...

I've had that same ugly strain of flu and/or cold, Yolanda, and I'm still coughing my head off, too. :) I also look forward to getting back to regular visits and comments -- I love your skating photos!

Cat with a garden said...

A Happy New Year to YE and the furry ones, too! Tara and Dolly Daisy are SO colour-coordinated!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Happy New Year to you & the whole Bliss team! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. (What did you give that puppy to enable you to photographer her with the wings?) I saw a photo in the newspaper yesterday of people skating by the windmills in Rotterdam. Something's just not right when people can iceskate in the Netherlands, yet it's too warm here for my daughter to try out her new iceskates. Sorry you've not been feeling well. I have also been sick (twice in the last 3 weeks). Take care & enjoy your beautiful frosty garden.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

OH Yolanda, I hate to hear that you were ill over the holidays. If it comforts you any I can say I was sick too. Booooo Makes me wish we could do Christmas all over again. Ha..

Your garden looks lovely even covered with icing. I am sure that little Tara keeps you busy. Those poor cats didn't know what a quiet house they had until she arrived no doubt.

I wish you a happy healthy gardening year.

Barbee' said...

Don't try to do too much too soon. I did enjoy your post, especially any and everything that made it look Dutch so we could have a peek. Love it!

Layanee said...

Happy New Year! Love the grasses covered in frost and hope you are feeling better. I've a cold also. Get it over early in the year so on to bigger and better!

Matron said...

Fantastic news about Tara and the fireworks! what a lucky dog she is.

Chookie said...

You have no idea how enticing the skating looks to me... it's expected to reach 38 C here today!

shirl said...

Hi again Yolanda :-)

So sorry to hear you’ve been unwell. I’ve had a throat thing going on myself (not the flu) and talking has been hard. Having met me you’ll have an idea how hard this has been for me ;-)

The flu, well that is something again. I have certainly joined you with a cough. There seems to have been ‘a lot about’ this holiday period. I hope you are getting your strength back now :-D

What lovely images and great to hear about your Dutch customs too. Here’s to good health in 2009!

A Guid New Year to you :-D

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda wishing you a Happy New Year filled with more blissfull gardening!
Jack Frost certainly painted your world a magical sugared white! The image of the skaters really is a gem..like a painting!Smiles to the whole Bliss team! NG :)

Carol said...

Those are beautiful pictures of the ice covered plants and landscape... very Dutch! Sorry to hear you have been ill and glad to hear you are doing better!

Happy 2009!
Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Gail said...

Dear YE, So sorry to hear you were feeling poorly! Tara is quite the clever girl, so young to be making resolutions...you must be very proud;) The frosted plants are spectacular! Happy New Year to you and the gang! Gail

LostRoses said...

The frost and fog have combined to make a fairyland of your landscape. Beautiful as ever! Get well soon, Yolanda Elizabet.

Flighty said...

I'm sorry to read that you've not been well. Take care and get better soon.
This is a lovely post with terrific photos to start the year off.
Happy gardening in 2009! xx

Ingela said...

Found youre blogg and I like it very much. Beutiful gardenpictures and you seem to have a nice garden.

I´l bee back to look again.
Greetings from Sweden
Ingela

Tracy said...

Happy New Year to you and all the Team, Yolanda! The delicate frosty magic there is beautiful! ((HUGS))

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Hello Dear Yolanda....

I wish you and your family including pets..... A very Happy New Year and may you be blessed with all things good and many sun filled day in your garden.

I enjoyed seeing your pictures..... very seasonal for us in Europe I think, but not so for my friend Betty in Georgia US she has been enjoying temps in the 70s F over Christmas..... imagine how ‘blissful’ that must be!

Like you, I have signs of spring breaking forth in the garden, daffodils, bluebells and peonies are showing their new shoots..... The clump of daffodils already in bloom in our village that I showed on my blog, are exceptional, they are always the first to flower middle to end of November.

I was listening to a radio programme recently about the famous frost fairs held years ago when the river Thames in London would remain completely frozen for a month or so....... Winters must have been more severe in those days.... allowing folk to enjoy skating and many activities on the ice. I think the last frost fair was held in 1814.... interesting!

I agree with you about the quote, it is so not true for me either.

Hope you have fully recovered from your flu. We have had many days of clear blue skies and sunshine here in Wales, but it is bitterly cold. Love - Marion

Betty said...

A humongous YES Yolanda! You certainly may be an honorary 'redneck'....Morals and standing for truth are certainly not limited to any continent....

As my dear friend, Marion, states in the previous comment, we have had and presently are having temperatures in the 70's....very unseasonable....

Thank you for the visit and sweet comment....Betty

CrazyBunnyLady said...

Some good pictures. Such a cute puppy.

Anna said...

Gosh it does look cold in your neck of the woods. Your photo of the skaters reminds me of where I was born in East Anglia, where there is a also tradition of skating. I hope that you are soon over the flu and able to enjoy your garden.

Cheryl said...

Definately not true Yolanda.....

Dear Tara.....such a sweet little soul.....I am loving watching her grow.......

The garden looks lovely covered in a dusting of snow. We have icy weather at the moment....soooooo cold -10C tonight.......

Yes Yolanda Spring is just a heartbeat away.......so exciting......

stadtgarten said...

Happy New Year to you, Yolanda!
I hope you are okay again now!

Your pictures are wonderful and I was very surprised to see that the daffodils are already coming our in your garden!
Groetjes, Monika

Hanneles Paradise said...

Beautiful.

marl1 said...

Waar YT al niet goed voor is..;-))) Tara helemaal schotvast- altijd handig ( Bus slaapt ook gewoon door).
Mooi gezicht die heldhaftige narcissen!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Hello Yolanda, your wintery photos looks wonderful. We are getting quite nice ices on the big lakes here so perhaps were can go ice skating this coming weekend :-). You say that it is 73 days until spring (I'm long so for it) but you will have your first crocuses long before that won't you?/ LOLove Tyra

Kylee said...

I'm sorry to hear you have been ill, Yolanda. It seems there are nasty winter germs traveling the world over. Lots of illness over here, too. :-( I hope you get to feeling better SOON!

I love your hoarfrost photos! I love when this happens, but so far this year, we haven't had it. Thanks for capturing yours!

Glo said...

So sorry to hear you have been suffering from the flu and still have a nasty cough ~ thank goodness you are on the mend and are feeling more like yourself again! I enjoyed all of your frosted winter wonderfulness and of course, nice to see Tara and read about her resolutions! Lovely that the daffodils are taking a peek! May your year be blissful :)

Pam/Digging said...

That IS a funny quote. Hard work yes, but so satisfying and lots of pleasure throughout the year.

It looks like your new year is beginning in a winter wonderland. Happy 2009!

The Garden Faerie said...

Your garden looks beautiful in the frost. And Tara is welcome to chase the many, many ducks at my feeders any time she likes!! Happy new year.
~Monica

easygardener said...

Nice to see that the old skating traditions are still being carried on - very warming I'm sure.
Good to see one moment when Tara and cat are cosy together - I bet that will not last for long.
Dogs tend to bounce and rush around - an alien concept to cats!
Hope you feel better soon.

Poppins said...

I wish you the best for this new year. Hope it will be a great gardening year.
love
Poppins

Karin A said...

Happy New Year Yolanda! Sounds terrible with the flu but your winter garden pics are so nice. Have you started with to sow yet?

Kram Karin

Drama queens mum said...

Yeah, Spring is almost here. Not really, but I'm trying to be positive. Cute animals. I have a Tara, the terror too, but it's my 17 month old daughter. Love your blog.

Libby said...

Happy New Year to you Yolanda, glad to see you back blogging and hope your up to full fitness very soon!

VP said...

Happy New Year Yolanda! I hope you're feeling better now.

One of my favourite books as a child was Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates - your Brueghel picture bought it all flooding back :)

Annie in Austin said...

Happy New Year, Yolanda - your winter landscape is so pretty!
Just came back from looking up "oliebollen" and Wikipedia says that it means "Oil Balls". Will eating them help you recover or make you feel worse? I hope you recover soon.

Your idea with using the video to gradually accustom Tara to the fireworks was brilliant. Our neighborhood was cracking & popping from early evening until 2AM at New Years. My neighbors' pets might have been happier if their owners had as much forethought as you did!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

guild-rez said...

Hello Yolanda!!
A new header..
A new year..
Oliebollen??
Sylvester Krapfen..it's a tradition in our house!

Happy New Year to you!!
-Cheers Gisela

Ruth Welter said...

Hi Yolanda,

The happiest of new years to you. I hope 2009 is a great year for you. Love your frosty photos, they are beautiful. I was driving yesterday and noticed the ice hanging off the trees here, I wished I had a camera to capture it. Your sweet little puppy is adorable!!!

Ruth

Barbara said...

A little late, but nevertheless, all my best wishes for 2009. May it be a healthy, joyful and successful (in your garden too) and good year to you and your dear ones. I liked your frosty winter impressions. What is oliebollen, something sweet??? Easy to make???
Have a good time and greetings from a very frosty wintergarden too,
Barbara

Kerri said...

Whoever wrote that quote must've been a grumpy gardener. Not true of most of us, I'm happy to say! :)
I do hope you're feeling better by now, Yolanda Elizabet. My poor hubby had a nasty cold too. It's no fun, especially that awful, lingering cough!
Wonderful fun though to see the ice skaters out in your frosty weather. Love the pictures!
Clever little Tara is a fast learner! She matches the kitty so well :) I'm sure they love her (?) Hmmm.
How wonderful to have glimpses of spring peeking through already! The witch hazel is amazing. Love those spidery blooms. Our daffs are buried under about 6 inches of snow...3 inches of new stuff overnight. But the sun is making the snow sparkle this morning and it's very beautiful!
Hope your new gardening year is happy, bright and very enjoyable!
Happy New Year to all the Bliss team too!

Rusty in Miami said...

Great pictures, that puppy of yours is getting cuter by the day

Aiyana said...

Too cold for me! Hope you are feeling better by now.
Aiyana

jodi said...

Belated but heartfelt Happy New Year wishes to you, the cat children and Tara the Terror, of course, Yolanda. Still way behind in my blog reading and blogging, of course, but it's good to catch up at least a little bit.

And you're right...Holland is not Kansas, but I've been to Kansas/on the Missouri border) and would LOVE to go to the Netherlands to compare and contrast. One day, it'll happen....

marga said...

Prachtige winterfoto's en Tara........ja, ik ben geloof ik een beetje fliefd......wat een dotje is het toch!!!!!
Voel je je al weer een beetje beter???

Green thumb said...

A very Happy New Year to everyone at Bliss!
I know, in fact all of us know, that there are few things nastier than a flu. The virus seems to be pretty hardy to have survived all that fog and snow! Get well soon dear Y.E.
Tara is all smiles with that firework firmly clutched, but the experience I had with my Labrador suggests that these K-9s start fearing the fireworks as they gain in age and understanding of the whole thing; i hope Tara is different and better 'hardened'
'Oliebollen' reads like a tongue teaser and the looks are teasing my taste buds too. Please do give its recipe if it can be home made, I would love to try it.

Lori said...

A belated new year to you, Yolanda Elizabet! If it makes you feel any better, I've spent a good part of 2009 sick, too! I got better just in time for cedar allergy season here in Austin. ;D

Your winter pictures are gorgeous, and I especially like the ornamental grasses covered in frost. You're making me miss Wisconsin in the winter! We used to ice skate on the frozen lakes and creeks there too!