Book Club: The gardens of Arne Maynard.

I am sorry the posting is so light these days - it´s just that I don´t have much to tell or show you at the moment. I wouldn´t mind if we could just skip January and February - those cold bleak months are my least favorite. We were going to do a lot of home improvements this winter but it seems that for each and every project an important item is missing so I imagine I´ll be standing on a ladder in April when all I want to do is work in the garden. Oh well!

Anyway here is a little pick-me-up: A new garden book! The most beautiful exquisite wonderful garden book! Seriously, it´s the new number one on my list. To be honest with you I hadn´t heard of Arne Maynard before, but then a friend with good taste sent me a link to the book announcement and I knew I had to have it. In case you´re as ignorant as I am, Maynard is a contemporary British garden designer and the book introduces you to some of the gardens he has done so far. I got the book for Christmas and have been reading it little by little ever since, savoring every single page and photograph.

The publisher kindly sent me a PDF of the book so I was able to grab a few screenshots for this post (although I am not sure if I am actually allowed to do this, but let´s live dangerously for a change). Above is a picture of the place where Maynard currently lives. Aren´t those tulips stunning? Coincidentally I´ve planted lots of those dark purple tulips in the walled garden last autumn - can´t wait to see how they look!

(Also can we talk about the color of his house? I´d never chosen this shade myself but I swear it looks stunning in each and every photograph. Well done.)

Maynard seems to love (pink) climbing roses, they are everywhere in the book and look beautiful. He talks a lot about how a house can be "clothed" in roses; I totally agree!

This is such a beautiful color combination.

He also seems very keen on wild flower meadows which I totally understand. So beautiful! I´ve been thinking about going "wild" in parts of my garden but I think our soil is way too rich to achieve a look like this.

Lastly, a picture that makes me long for spring even more. Look at all this green! I want to be there right now. So in conclusion, buy this book! It´s a bit on the expensive side but I swear you won´t regret it. If you want to get a better feel for the book or learn more about Arne Maynard I recommend you visit this page.

(Pictures 1+2 are by me; 3-7 are taken from the book - the photographer is William Collinson).


Three days away.

We just returned from a long weekend at the Baltic sea. We try to get away each year for a few days to celebrate our wedding anniversary (which is January 22nd). I know it´s a strange time of the year to go on a holiday, much like it´s a strange time to get married, but I´d very much recommend both! Winter weddings can be beautiful (ours was) and a snowy beach that you basically have for yourself is quite wonderful too! 

We stayed here which is also something I´d very much recommend. This is a very special little hotel, and while I imagine the design isn´t for everyone - it´s very raw and unfinished with bare walls etc. - I thought it was very beautiful in its own way. We stayed in apartment 6 which was huge and very cozy and had lovely light and pretty views of the snowy garden. Ludwig loved the latter - I think we´ll need to get him a bed with a view! 

Our first day was ice cold and sunny, just how I like it. We took a hike along the frozen "Bodden" (I didn´t find a translation for this - a certain kind of coastal waters?) which was very beautiful until our crazy dog managed to escape and disappeared among the reeds to hunt some birds. Not funny and quite dangerous but he eventually came back and all is well. Phew! 

The next day was greyish but it had snowed all night so we took a long walk along the wintery beach. Pretty, pretty! Also I´ll take this house with the red shutters, thank you very much. And now we are back and I am already thinking about where we should go next year. 
Have a good week everybody! January is almost over which means that spring is near - right?


A year of boughs.

So I made another bough. I really liked how my christmas bough looked on this wall and since we are keeping the low cupboard for now, I thought I´d try and see what else I could come up with. It was so much fun! Every winter I admire the texture and color of dead plants, flowers and weeds. Most of them aren´t pretty per se, but I always tought a combination of them could be special. So here it is, my January bough. Everything was collected on a walk with Ludwig, and it took me about one hour to put it together. Time well spent, I would say!

Since I like the look of a bough on this wall, and since it´s so much fun making them, I thought I´d start a project - one bough per month in 2016. I already have a lot of ideas for plants that I would like to use. I´ll only use what grows in my garden or what I can collect on walks so I imagine the boughs will look very seasonal. I´ll obviously need to use mostly plants that dry well, but the more I think of it, the more possibilities come to my mind! Dried herbs look very pretty for example, think lavender, thyme or sage... hydrangeas, roses, colorful leaves, mossy branches... I can´t wait! 

By the way I am not even sure if a bough is a thing? I was initially inspired by Justine´s bough (which is the prettiest thing ever) but a quick search revealed that even Pinterest isn´t aware of boughs, so... let´s change that! A year of boughs! Starting now. 

PS: I am sorry that the picture quality isn´t great; there´s just not enough light these days. Don´t you love the January gloom? I sure don´t.


2015 in pictures.

Happy New Year! Let´s look back at 2015, shall we?
In January, we installed new shelves in the kitchen. I´m still not super happy with them so I recently decided they have to go. Yes another installment of the kitchen shelf saga is waiting for you, are you excited yet?

Another house-related project I did in February was to re-paint my living room. The color is Cornforth White from Farrow & Ball, one of my all-time-favorites.

Spring arrived in March and we spent a lot of time outdoors! I just love this picture of Ludwig.

The beginnings of this year´s vegetable garden in April

In May I got new chairs for our deck and the walled garden looked quite pretty. 

In June I made quite a few wildflower bouquets, this one being my favorite. I also took this picture in the walled garden, which is my second favorite garden picture from this year. 

Because my very favorite garden picture is this one from July with the blooming rose in the walled garden. 

In August, the veggie garden provided us with lots and lots of produce. 

In September we went on a wonderful holiday in Sweden.

In October we enjoyed beautiful asters and dahlias. 

November is the month with the most magical light in the house (if there is sunlight at all). 

And December was all about Christmas.

2012 in pictures.
2013 in pictures. 
2014 in pictures. 


And so this was christmas.

Before Christmas I told my husband very firmly that this year, we would get a very modest christmas tree. Well, judge yourself from the photo above how that went. In his defense it´s definitely the most beautiful tree we ever had. It´s strangely hard to photograph a christmas tree but this one is really quite something.

The christmas table with a new wonderful table runner that was a gift from my mother. Little pops of red are just enough for me so this is perfect. And look how well it plays with this gorgeous amaryllis which was a birthday gift from a neighbor. It was meant to be! So pretty.

On Christmas eve we roasted a leg of wild boar, all 10 pounds of it (we were four around the table). I am not sure what we were thinking, but it was delicious and and we have a big freezer so no harm done. I also tried my home made fruit bread (above) and while there´s definitely room for improvement I really like it! And since there´s no sugar in it it´s actually one of the healthier Christmas treats (or at least that´s what I keep telling myself). 

The weather has been amazing lately, so mild and sunny, almost like spring. Which is mildly terrifying at the same time. Is this global warming? In my garden the first perennials are starting to sprout and the hazel is blooming. Not good... but the forecast says we´ll get snow this week, so I hope things are getting back to normal soon.

Last but not least, airborne Christmas greetings from Ludwig! He had six presents (new toys) under the tree, four from us and two from the proud grandmothers ;-) We always wrap them nicely because he loves to unwrap things. I really need to make a video next year because it´s painfully cute. 

So this was Christmas! I hope you had a nice one. Now if only we could fast forward to January 1st - how I hate those fireworks! I´ll probably be greeting the new year holed up in my bedroom with a frantic Ludwig. Oh Joy!