Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Time to Say Goodbye.....

You've seen this movie:

But have you seen this one?

Have you read this interview?

Or read this?

Inaction is inexcusable

Are we living in the Age of Stupid?

Is it Time to Say Goodbye (por ti volare)?

Goodbye to our big, beautiful blue planet with all its living creatures who sail on her in this infinite universe?

Is it?

You decide!


And especially for many of my garden blogger friends this message:

Monday, April 20, 2009

On the Compost Heap

That's where Jeeves is right now. Literally!
He's another victim of the Credit Crunch. I'd found a new owner for him and he was supposed to go to his new home last January. Unfortunately his new owners were unable to sell their old house and they had already bought their new one. Not of the good. Since then we've been waiting for them to sell their old house so that Jeeves can move in with them into their new home.
I must admit that the longer it takes, the more difficult it will become for me to say goodbye to him when Jeeves is finally carted off to his new home.
He's such a sweet boy and often makes me laugh with his silly antics.
He's also pretty good at making it impossible for me to ignore him. ;-) I won't be the only one who will miss him deeply once he's gone.
Jeeves is Tara's friend and they often play together in the garden,
something that they both enjoy very much. Jeeves also frequently accompanies Tara and me when we're going for walkies. Sometimes he will just follow us around, sometimes he will suddenly dart out of a neighbourhood garden, give Tara a swipe with his paw and then run hell for leather into the bushes, leaving a very frustrated Tara behind. It's so funny seeing them play tag but unfortunately for Tara she is always it.
Stray cat Macavity wounded. Again!

Last February I've had had Jeeves neutered as I didn't want to happen to him that which happens with sickening regularity to poor Macavity who's still unneutered. Last March I had to lance an enormous abscess on Macavity's forehead, it was so large that he couldn't even open his right eye. I'm happy to say it all went well and he's much better now.
Another one who will be missing Jeeves is his newest friend little Miss Muffet, another stray kittycat that recently found the Bliss garden. :-( Like Jeeves, who turned up last August, little Miss Muffet is also thin as a rake and I think she's about 5 to 6 months old.
A very sweet little thing she is and pretty as a picture. Last week my neighbour asked me if little Miss Muffet was mine as she has the same big, bushy tail as

my Maine Coons Vita and Dolly Daisy. I informed her that my kittycats are all indoor cats and only allowed to walk around our own garden when I'm there to keep an eye on them. It turned out that my neighbour was very much taken with Miss Muffet so I asked her to consider providing this sweet little kitten with a good loving home.
Dolly Daisy in the potager

She's thinking about it, so keep all your fingers and toesies crossed please, because sweet as she is I really don't want another kittycat to look after as I have quite enough of them (10) already.

BTW the new header is a pic of part of my front garden that I took yesterday.

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Garden Family, Friends and Saints

Jeeves, my feline gardening friend

In the garden quite a few plants get on with each other swimmingly. Well known examples are corn, squash and beans grown together in one bed. They are known as the 3 sisters as they get on so very well and form a tightly knit family. If you've never heard of them before you can read all about sister bean, sister corn and sister squash here.
In the Bliss potager we not only have the 3 sisters, but also some of the very bestest friends growing together in one bed. This is my onion and garlic bed that I planted last November.
They are now sporting quite fetching green Mohawks as you can see. But to jolly things along it's high time I added some new friends to my punk bed.
Soon there will be carrots
and some annual flowers, in this case Silene coeli-rosa (seeds I got from a dear friend), as well. Why? I hear you ask, and frankly that's a very good question. At Bliss, as we are all friends here, no one is ever afraid to ask if there's something that makes you go WTH? So let me do the explainy thing: by adding carrots to the onion bed the carrots will protect the onions from the onion fly while the onions will protect the carrots from carrot fly. That's a win-win situation, always of the good.
My feline friend Dolly Daisy meets gardening feline friend Jeeves in the potager

But the flowers? They will also help by confuddling the carrot flies and, another bonus, they will attract a lot of bees too. Bees, as you know, need all the help they can get from their gardening friends.

Another thing not to be sneezed at is that the Silene flowers are very pretty and they come in pink, lilac and blue.
This year I will have my third 3 sisters bed but I try to make it a bit different every year to keep myself from getting bored. From my Polish gardening friend Ewa I got some spaghetti pumpkin seeds.
A few weeks ago I'd sown some of the seeds and they came up, I'm happy to say, and yesterday they were put in their bed in the potager together with a few pumpkin seedlings from this packet.
In honor of the Indians in America who developed this wonderful method of growing the 3 sisters together, I've bought a packet of Indian corn.
True to form they did the coming up thingy extremely well and are now with their beloved sister pumpkin in the 3 sisters bed.
As it is only half April and night frosts still happen in this neck of the woods until the 3 Ice Saints have come and gone, I've decided to tuck my 3 sisters in very nice and comfy in their bed.
But, but, that's only 2 sisters YE, I hear you stutter. Well, I'm frightfully chuffed to know that you are able to count to two, gentle reader, but not to worry sister number 3 is not forgotten by yours truly, whose one remaining and functioning brain cell still manages to count to 3. On a good day.
Here she is, my third sister and how very pretty she is too. There seems to be a picture of an angel on her and angels, as you know, are holy creatures.
So we Dutch call these beans heilige boontjes = holy beans, a wordplay as it is also the name we call an holier than thou person.

So there you have it; gardening family, friends and saints.

In other news:
Puppy Fija (ears flying), Tara and her sister Aukje on the right

Quite recently we had a DFD (= Doggy Family Day) where Tara had lots of fun with her sister Aukje, her mum Renske and daddy Jeppe. Little puppy Fija (no relation) and dear Minka where there as well. So all in all there were 7 Kooiker dogs, a sight to behold!
Tara's breeder Margo with most of the dogs

And yours truly? Well, you have noticed the new header, haven't you? That's moi with Aukje, and in the background with her silly feet in the air is Tara. So there, no more complaints that you never see any pics of me, OK?
Hanny. who owns handsome daddy Jeppe and sister Aukje

This is the lady who's responsible for the new header pic. Any complaints about not seeing my face all that well may be directed to her. ;-)

Time for a quote from my gardening guru, the saintly Geoff, still deeply missed by many:

A seeds man's trade is not in seeds at all - it's in optimism.
Geoff Hamilton

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hoppity Hop

that's how my inner gardener is going through life at the mo, feeling like a very happy bunny. Why? Well, look around you, grasshopper, and tell me what you see.
Here, in the Lowlands, Spring most definitely has sprung, we could even say that it has suddenly gone all kablooye after that looooong, cold winter we had.

Spring has not only exploded here but it is blossoming as well.
And how!
Flowers galore!
Golden bells (Forsythia) tinkling in the breeze,
beautiful spring flowers as far as the eye can see. No wonder yours truly is in happy bunny mode.
And I am not the only one who's merrily hopping along: TADAAA Er, Kadootje, you are blocking the view.
I was, of course, referring to our friend the Easter Bunny who is also doing the hoppy thing, and so are they
and this one too.
Happy Easter !

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen

Monday, April 6, 2009


At this time of year things can't grow too quickly in the garden. After a long cold winter we're desperate for something green, to show us a stem, give us a leaf. Anything, something! How maddeningly slooooooooow everything grows, what's a desperate gardener to do? We can't force the plants to grow more quickly. What would you have us do? Twist their leaves behind their backs? Give their stems an Indian burn? Not very likely is it? And yours truly is not a violent person so that kind of malarkey is not really an option.

But gentle persuasion could and should be used. The first pic shows a rhubarb plant growing on its own and so far it has produced two miserly leaves.Two!
But this one is much further along thanks to a bit of gentle persuasion in the guise of a bit of fleece that I use to protect it from the worst of the weather and it worked as you can see.
The little fleece blanket really helped my rhubarb grow more quickly but, unfortunately, still not quickly enough for this impatient gardener who's very partial to a bit of rhubarb for dessert.
Here's my third rhubarb plant and as you can see it is much further along than the other two. How on earth did I manage to do that, you ask?
Simple, I used a terracotta rhubarb forcing pot. Quite a nifty little thing and pretty too. So yes, I did use some force but of the gentle, green kind.
May the force be with you!

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Blog, Therefore I Am?

Hardly, I was there long before I started and will probably still be there long after I've stopped blogging. For now I blog and I enjoy it. Recently I was interviewed by Ewa about why I blog. Today ( and no, it's not an April Fools Day joke) Ewa has published it and you can read the interview here.

Why do we gardeners blog? I think it has a lot to do with the fact that most of us garden on our own. Sure, there might be a partner there who gives us a helping hand from time to time, but for the most part we garden alone. And therein lies the rub. It's no minor feat to create your own little heaven on earth on a plot of land and we are justifiably proud when that paradise has been wrestled from the earth with our blood, sweat and tears.
And then, no surprise there,
Erm Surprise, I said no surprise there, so be a sweetheart and go and delight someone else with your presence as we are quite busy, will you ?

we want to show to and share our little paradises with others and what better way than to blog? Especially when you are not the owner of a vast country estate complete with stately manor and a staff of 20 gardeners or more. Most of our gardens couldn't cope with being trampled by ginormous gaggles of garden visitors so this whole Internet malarkey is a bit of a Valen sent IMO.
Via our blogs we are able to share our gardens with many people (while writing this post I looked up how many people have actually visited my blog and had my flabber utterly gasted when I found that, so far, it's 101,211 visitors, shocking, I know) and from an amazing amount of countries all over the world. In the interview with Ewa I'd said that people from 141 countries had visited my blog but since then 2 more countries have discovered the gardening joy that is Bliss.;-)
The human animal is of necessity a social animal and we need to communicate, it's an essential human thing. We communicate our way through life; we dance with gardens, purr with cats, whisper to dogs, listen to stars, hum with birds, sing with mountains, buzz with bees, run with trees, swim with aardvarks and blog with those we need to share our garden passion with: other gardeners!
And recently we are not just talking with other people but twittering as well. If you don't follow me on Twitter yet you don't know what you're missing as I write riveting stuff such as *It rained all day*.
It's not enough that we simply communicate; we also feel this profound need to be understood. I could just go on and on and utterly stun/bore you with my extraordinary insightful and profound observations on this subject, but why bother as the Who have explained it all so much better and set it music too?

Well Tommy, err gentle reader, can you hear me?

So that's what I think about why we blog but tell me fellow blogger, what do you think/ feel about it? Don't be shy, you know how to comment, don't you? ;-)
Music is emotion that has a nice beat to it.
Yolanda Elizabet

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen