Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Autumn Jewels

Autumn has so far been a rather sparkling affair with gorgeous jewels dotted about in the garden.
The beauty of flowers is especially poignant at this time of year when every day could be the last day on which they can display their rich glittering colours of rubies, emeralds, sapphires, amethysts, gold, silver, diamonds, pearls and jade.
Here a colander full of precious jade with the taste of nectar from the grape arbour. I've been munching grapes from early August up till now.
And it's not only the flowers that are clad in such rich tones, my hedge has been magically turned into a sumptuous gobelin of deep copper, burnished gold strewn with emeralds. If you'd like a hedge like this next autumn, and who in his/her right mind wouldn't, plant Fagus sylvatica aka beech.
Of course you can also bedeck your home with these sparkling jewels for your utter and thorough enjoyment. Christmas is still quite a few weeks off, so do yourself a big favour and invest in some jewels for the home, you won't regret it as their return is quite high.
Autumn has been so very mild this year so that I am even now able to decorate my house with glowing jewels from the Bliss garden. It's late November and I still manage to pick many a lovely bunch to gladden my heart.
Even if you have no flowers left to pick, you could decorate to your heart's content and with a carefree heart and hand scatter precious jewels in the kitchen. Immerse yourself in the richness that is Autumn.
But at Bliss the most highly prized jewel of all is Kadootje, a sumptuous affair clad in decadent sable, rich taupe, burnished gold and clotted cream set to purrrrrrrrrrfect music.
Not forgetting those huge sparkling emerald mirrors of her soul.
Today it is exactly 4 years ago that I found this precious jewel in my garden. I caught her red pawed eating the bread crumbs I had put out for the birds. She was so very hungry, you see, something that she is never now although she tries to persuade me often that she is.

For those of you who have inadvertently missed my post about how Kadootje came into in my life, read the full story here A note to the wise: keep a hanky/tissue at the ready.
This precious girl came into my life on my birthday so I christened her Kadootje which means small present in Dutch. And although she was just a small bundle of fur of about 4 months old, she is the biggest and bestest birthday present ever.
And I hope that my own Morse coded precious princes will enrich my life for years to come with that immensely valuable present that is Kadootje.

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This Momentous GB Bloom Day

Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know how unseasonably clement the weather has been over here these last two months and it has led to a bountiful Garden Bloggers Bloom Day today. Of course I'd love you to share in this bounty and feast your eyes on all that Blissful glory. So dear reader, start feasting:
Never before were there so many blooms in November in the Bliss garden, a very special treat brought to you by the absence of night frosts and cold weather.
Isn't it simply wonderful this plethora of blooms this late in the year? Rest assured that my wheelbarrow runneth over!
And apart from the usual suspects we also have some very unusual guest blooms for your delectation today:
a very pretty yellow Columbine in flower and,
also very surprising, some lovely Anemones de Caen. OK, I confess it, the last one is due to me as I planted those bulbs far too late and as a very happy result I now have pretty Anemones in flower. Being a lazy gardener can be very rewarding so I heartily recommend it.
Those woodland strawberries are still going strong, not as plentiful as they once were but not too shabby for November. It such a luxury to be able to pick a small handful of strawberries from your own garden at this time of year. It feels positively decadent!
Here is a plant that I wholeheartedly would like to recommend to you if you have the right climate for it: a perennial wallflower (Erysimum Bowles Mauve). It started flowering in Spring (no surprises there) but is still going strong now, literally covered in blooms. Absolute Bliss, with bells on!
Enjoying a glorious Bloom Day like today is wonderful but this day is even more special to me than you realise as it is also the day that my mother has turned 80. Hartelijk gefeliciteerd, ma! Happy Birthday Mum!
Here she is in her full blooming glory being serenaded at a dinner/cabaret evening last Sunday in celebration of her birthday. A great evening was had by all!
And that's not all because today is also the day that my darling Maine Coon Vita celebrates her 14th birthday; happy Birthday my sweet gentle Vita, mijn lieve zoeniecoon,
earth mother extraordinaire!
Well, I did mention that my wheelbarrow is running over today as it is such a Momentous Bloom Day, heartfelt by all here at Bliss, Jeeves included who is happily basking in the sun amidst the lashings of blooms.

Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day to you all!
copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Full of Grace

The winter here is cold and bitter
It's chilled us to the bone
We haven't seen the sun for weeks

Too long too far from home

I feel just like I'm sinking

And I claw for solid ground

I'm pulled down by the undertow
I never thought I could feel so low
And ohhh darkness I feel like letting go
If all of the strength and all of the courage
Will come and lift me from this place
I know I could love life much better than this
Full of Grace

Sarah Mclachlan
I thought that Sarah Mclachlan's song expresses very well how many people, who suffer from SAD, feel at this time of year.
Winters aren't that bad here in The Netherlands at least not the bitter part of it , but going without seeing the sun for weeks is quite normal. And not only during Winter as we, unfortunately, can also go without seeing the sun for weeks during all of the other seasons.
So having a October like the one we've just had feels like a reprieve, like receiving a pardon while on death row. This October was full of grace with so many glorious golden sunny days and I, for one, am grateful for it.
I haven't blogged much lately as I've been too busy soaking up the last warm rays of sunshine of this year. I hope you understand that I need to do this, this basking in the sun, to stave off the doldrums of SAD, at least for a little while longer even when it interferes with my blogging time.
Fortunately I do not suffer as much from SAD as Monty Don, former head presenter of Gardener's World, does as he is deeply depressed every year for months and months, the poor thing.
So, although I do not experience the Full Monty, it is bad enough to dread the coming of Autumn each year.
Sure, I keep active, be out and about whenever I can which isn't easy when you feel tired all the time, I have the special lamp, I eat healthy food, I use L-tryptofaan and try to stay as cheerful as I can.
Having a sunny disposition certainly helps and so does she,
my little Tara, who makes me smile with her joie de vivre, her lust for life, and who forces me to go outside for the much needed walkies when I don't feel like it.
And yes, the Bliss garden also provides grace from SAD, it is stuffed to the gills with it. It is good being a gardener, isn't it?

All the pics in this post were made in the Botanical Gardens of Utrecht recently, really worth a visit if you're ever in the neighbourhood.

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen