Spring floral arrangement: saying goodbye to tulips

Spring is well underway and sadly, tulip season is coming to an end. The Keukenhof is closed for this year after receiving over one million visitors! Have you ever visited? I still haven’t! I’ll put it on my to-do list for next year. To say goodbye to the tulips, I am sharing a spring floral arrangement with you, featuring tulips, hellebores and clematis.  Continue reading Spring floral arrangement: saying goodbye to tulips

Tulip and anemone spring arrangement

Hello and welcome back to Cloverhome. After a cold start to spring, we finally had some warmer weather last weekend, with temperatures reaching 20°C on Sunday! I worked in the garden, my boys climbed the trees and tried out the new hammock, and in the afternoon, we went into town to get some ice cream.

Spring has definitely sprung and more and more flowers start to bloom. This is the perfect time to use and arrange some of those beautiful flowers to bring spring into your home. Why don’t you join me and make a spring flower arrangement using tulips, anemones, and snowball viburnum?

Continue reading Tulip and anemone spring arrangement

5 reasons to grow your own flowers (and 3 reasons not to)

A vase of fresh flowers cut straight from the garden and brought into the house can instantly brighten up a room and in many cases fill it with scent. One of my favourite garden activities is picking flowers I grow in my garden. It certainly beats other garden chores like weeding. Growing your own flowers is fun, it’s easy and it’s a great way to save money. So it’s surprising that more people don’t try growing their own flowers. There are plenty of cut flowers that you can grow at home, it’s easy if you choose the right plants. Not convinced yet? Here are 5 reasons to grow your own flowers.

Continue reading 5 reasons to grow your own flowers (and 3 reasons not to)

Best flowers for Valentine’s Day besides roses

Valentine’s day is this weekend and it is a special day for me. Not because it’s Valentine’s day, we don’t make a big deal out of it, but because it’s a year since I started this blog! My Linzertorte recipe was the first post I wrote. One of the things I love most about blogging is reading your comments on a post. Some of you actually baked the cake and loved it. It was so nice to hear!

Best flowers for Valentine's Day besides roses: tulips - Cloverhome.nl

Continue reading Best flowers for Valentine’s Day besides roses

Market days: a look at the flower market in April

April seems to be the month the flower market changes the most. In February and March tulips in all colours and varieties dominate the flower market. In April, more and more flowers come into season and make an even more colourful display at flower stalls. So, let’s have a look at the flower market in April.

Plants at the flower market

I know this post is long overdue. I’m sorry. We were on holiday for a week, without WiFi. After that, my laptop crashed, again! Thank you, HP. I really don’t want to go into that, just so you know: it’s frustrating and I am frustrated. Back to the flower market. Continue reading Market days: a look at the flower market in April

The joys and sorrows of gardening

Three weeks ago my friend Bex nominated me for a Liebster award. The Liebster award is all about discovering new blogs to follow, so I was very happy to pass it on to three newer bloggers whose blogs I love.

Purple aquilegia

As a flower lover and aspiring gardener, of course, I chose my nominees among like-minded flower enthusiasts.

One of the bloggers I would like you to discover is a fellow countrywoman, Marieke Nolsen. She is a florist and a gardener with a lush floral blog. She doesn’t have much time to write, but she shares lovely pictures of her garden flowers. I especially love the collages she creates, with pictures of yellow and white spring flowers, different kinds of small purple flowering plants, or a variety of purple pansies. She really has an eye for colour and a distinct style.

Wreath with blue and white pansies - Cloverhome.nl

Violas are her favourites. I told you in my market days March how people are anxious to get some colour in the garden, they can’t resist the happy faces of the pansies. This lady certainly didn’t hold back!

Marieke hosts floral workshops using seasonal flowers, preferably from the garden, creating natural floral arrangements. She also has a passion for gardening and gardens as she arranges flowers or vice versa. I would love to join one of her workshops one day, I definitely need to practise my flower arranging skills, but for now I had to settle for a visit to her garden.

An old farmhouse in white, yellow and dark timber

Marieke lives in an old farmhouse that used to be part of an estate, Den Treek. The estate consists of woodland and heather, it’s very popular at weekends. We like to take the kids there for a walk or even a picnic in summer.

A meadow with two horses
Cuckoo flowers, or pinksterbloemen, in the meadow behind the house

The garden surrounding Marieke’s house is divided into four ‘rooms’ each with a separate identity. The garden was designed to fit the characteristic farmhouse, the flowering plants carefully selected to match the colours of the house.

The farmhouse was built in 1887

The garden consists of several flower beds, full of perennials and shrubs. Because she loves to work with fresh-from-the-garden material these are mostly flowers and foliage for cutting, like crab apples and hydrangea.

Last autumn Marieke went to a visit a large flower bulb grower and exporter. The flower bulbs were reasonably priced, she just couldn’t resist them and bought 1500 bulbs! It took two days to plant all the bulbs in the garden beds.

Blue and white pansies on garden table - Cloverhome.nl

Several times a year the garden is open to visitors. Marieke, of course, was anxious to have the garden ready for spring. She was hoping for flowers beds overflowing with tulips and visitors enjoying the bounty of spring bulbs. But, of course, you can’t fight Mother Nature.

This spring has been unusually cold and dry. As a result, blooms were about a month late. Only a few of the 200 tulips or so that were planted in autumn started blooming. Did they suffer from the cold, or did the voles (woelmuis in Dutch) get to them? These are the sorrows of gardening.

Despite these sorrows, there was still plenty to enjoy. The tulips that were in bloom, were beautiful, with large flowers on sturdy stems.

Flower bed with tulips, Muscari, daffodils, aquilegia

The combination of daffodils, white Lunaria, Muscari and yellow aquilegia in the front garden perfectly matches the white and soft yellow of the house. The aquilegia was planted to fill the gaps of the missing tulips. In my garden, it doesn’t bloom just yet.

Pots with white pansies and daffodils

The pots filled with white pansies, narcissus (Thalia) and dark green, almost black, holly made a very pretty picture.

I hope you enjoyed this garden tour as much as I have. I can’t wait to visit it again in summer and see the hydrangea in bloom! I promise I will take you there again.

Today being the last day of April, I hope to see you again next week for Market days April.

Market days February

We live in a small but lively old city close to Amsterdam. We have it all: the canals, the canal houses, the picturesque bridges, but on a much smaller scale. You can even take a cruise through the canals. This is not a commercial canal cruise like the ones in Amsterdam, the captain and guide are senior citizens volunteering. Continue reading Market days February