Book review: Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein

It’s no secret I am a big fan of Erin Benzakein of Floret Flowers. I have been following Floret on Instagram for a while and I am constantly in awe of the beautiful images taken on her farm. Floret Farm grows hundreds of flower varieties and they all look amazing. The picture of their farm truck filled with dahlias is famous. It has been shared by thousands of flower lovers around the world. Pictures of Erin standing in a field of flowers at sunset, her arms full of the most beautiful, seasonal blooms, are my favourite. But even digging up dahlia tubers in the mud looks good on the Floret Farm.

Erin has always been incredibly generous with her knowledge through her blog. Now she shares her views on planting a cutting garden of your own in a brand new book called Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest & Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms.

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Dazzling dahlias at the dahlia show garden

Hello there! How are you? I hope you are enjoying the beautiful autumn colours, or, if you are on the other side of the globe, enjoying spring. In this blog post, I will take you to the CNB dahlia show garden. In my post about planning a dahlia garden, I suggested a visit to a show garden for inspiration. I did, and today I am sharing my photographs. I hope they will inspire you too. But first I will give you on update on my garden chores. Planting bulbs, yeah!

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Planning a dahlia garden: choosing shapes, sizes and colours

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on last week’s blog post, not only here but on Instagram as well. I know it was very different from my usual blog posts. My aim for this blog is for it to be a place for people to escape to and find inspiration. I want it to be a happy place and try to keep real life out.

But last week it just didn’t feel right to write about flowers when so much is happening in the world. I may write more personal blog posts in the future, but today’s post is all about flowers 😉

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What’s blooming in the garden: June 2016

As I am writing this it is dark and it is raining. It has been raining for days which is in a way a good thing. Plants and gardens need the rain. But people don’t. I need sunshine and happy days!

At the moment, I am not a happy gardener. We are renovating our garden terrace so our back garden looks a mess. The seedlings I planted out have all been eaten by slugs. It’s not the end of the world, but it is frustrating!

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Bring colour into your garden with rhododendrons

Rhododendrons are the perfect spring-flowering shrub for bringing colour into your garden. They come in all colours of the rainbow and most produce many clusters of flowers. They are easy to grow and low maintenance. No need to prune them unless they grow out over a sidewalk. They look especially wonderful in large gardens or parks where there is space for them to grow. A large rhododendron in bloom is a spectacular sight.

Bring colour into your garden with rhododendrons - Cloverhome.nl
Rhododendron Madame Masson

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What’s blooming in the garden: May

And suddenly, it feels like summer. After a cold and wet spring, with even some snow at the end of April, temperatures are in the twenties. The warm weather has made a big difference to my garden. Lots of things are emerging; leaves, flowers, and unfortunately, slugs. May is a busy time in the garden. I have been weeding, and removing dead leaves and slugs hiding under the leaves. Obviously, I should have cleared up the leaves months ago but I didn’t. I bought some new plants and planted them in the garden and made a wigwam for my sweet peas. What have you been up to?

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What’s blooming in the garden: April

Hello, I hope you are enjoying spring! We had some nice days and cold nights. Spring is later this year but is now well underway. Last week I wrote the cherry blossom trees were not in full bloom yet, they are now! The magnolia flowers are already starting to fall on the ground.  It’s such a shame that the spectacular flowering trees only bloom for such a short time, don’t you think? Luckily, there is much to look forward to these days. It won’t be long before the azaleas and rhododendrons start blooming. They are not as sensational as the cherry trees, but they come close.

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Dahlia garden review

The meteorological winter has begun and in the Netherlands, everyone is excited about Saint Nicholas, or Sinterklaas, coming to town this weekend. He brings his gifts on the evening of December 5th, riding the roofs on a white horse, delivering presents by the chimney. The Dutch took this tradition to America and Sinterklaas evolved into Santa Claus. Gift-bringing at Christmas is gaining popularity each year, but Sinterklaas is still more popular. Because my husband’s family is German we both exchange gifts at Sinterklaas and on Christmas Eve. Our children must be the happiest kids in the world.

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The arboretum: where every leaf is a flower

Autumn is coming to an end and the holiday season, starting with Saint Nicholas’ Day, is just around the corner. November has been really warm until this week. We had our first frost at the beginning of the week and all of a sudden it feels like winter. I visited the Von Gimborn Arboretum weeks ago when leaves were still on the trees. I am a big fan of photographing interesting trees and the arboretum is just the right place to do that. As we say goodbye to autumn, take a last look at these beautiful autumn colours.

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Het bergje: a small mountain in the Low Countries

I live in a country called ‘Nederland’, the Netherlands. In France, they call it ‘les Pays-Bas’, the Low Countries.  And it’s true, the landscape is mostly low and flat, with large parts of the country (ca. 26%) actually below sea level. Knowing this, would you believe I live on a mountain? The area around my neighbourhood has been called a mountain for centuries though it is really only 44 metres above sea level. This means it probably only qualifies as no more than a hill.

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