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Wednesday
Apr122017

Book Club: The thoughtful gardener by Jinny Blom.

I quickly have to tell you about a new favorite garden book so that you can still buy it for someone special as an Easter gift! "The thoughtful gardener" by Jinny Blom is a total stunner. Jinny is a well-known British landscape/garden designer and in this book she tells us all about the methods and principles she applies when designing gardens.

I love how the book is structured, very unusual but once you start reading (love her writing style) it totally makes sense. She covers all the aspects of a well-designed gardens, providing plenty of examples from her own work.

The pictures in this book are gorgeous. These are my kind of gardens, and even my color schemes! There´s a quote in the press release saying that Jinny´s gardens are "a delicous mixture of order and abandon", and I completely agree. This is a garden style that is so beautiful but so hard to get right! Also the book makes me want to sow wild flower meadows... which I can´t because our soil is too rich... but good lord they are so beautiful. Anyway - a big huge recommendation for this one.

The Thoughtful Gardener: An intelligent approach to garden design by Jinny Blom, published by Jacqui Small, is out now. Many thanks to the publisher for sending over a review copy! (All pictures except the first one sourced from Amazon).

Sunday
Apr022017

A summer prelude.

24 degrees Celsius on April 1st: No April´s joke. When life gives you summer temperatures at this time of year, you make the best of it and spend the entire weekend outside and do all the things (and overdo it, and as a result, feel pretty under the weather by Sunday evening). 

Suddenly there´s color out there... and smells. Our neighbor to the left has several giant old mirabelle plum trees in her garden and they are always the first to bloom. The second picture is a flowering currant in my garden - very pretty but sadly smells like cat pee which every single year I only remember once I have put up a few branches somewhere in the house. 

Since it was so warm I decided to get a head start to spring cleaning. I cleaned the chicken coop, the deck and all our garden furniture with the pressure washer on Friday evening (btw if you want to know what a real shitstorm in the truest sense of the word is, come and clean my chicken coop with a pressure washer after a long winter #somuchfun). Once it was all dry some of the garden furniture and the railing of our deck got a new coat of paint (remember those chairs from the last post?). I love how fresh it all looks now. Sadly when I look at the weather forecast we won´t use all this much in the near future since it´s supposed to become freezing again but oh well. At least it´s all cleaned up and ready for summer. 

Ludwig took his first bath in our little stream today and then he couldn´t decide which one of his identical toys he wanted to play with. Right now he is snoring next to me reeking of mud. To have a dog´s life. Oh and speaking of Ludwig, it´s been four years since we brought him home! Here´s a post with a few pictures of tiny Ludwig. Goodness me. They grow up so fast! ;)

Last but not least a picture of Lutz doing a staring contest with the chickens. I told him the day he he attacks one of them would be his last day with us but he wasn´t very impressed (And in case you think this is far fetched, he killed all of our neighbor´s chicklets last year. I am still terribly embarrassed.) Anyway happy to report all of our new hens have settled in nicely and Luzia and Hanne have already started to lay... we´ll have lots of eggs this Easter! - Have a happy week!

Sunday
Mar262017

And finally, spring.

Warm enough to work in the garden without a jacket! We spent pretty much the entire weekend out there. So much to do, but I couldn´t be happier. 

On Friday evening we visited my favorite local pottery and among other things I got this giant bowl from their huge pile of reject pieces. Whenever I am there I have the hardest time to not buy aaaalll the things.

I baked this bread today and it turned out pretty. 

My Emma girl in the garden. 

A new place to sit under the walnut and the cherry tree and admire the new raised flower bed. One day we´ll have proper furniture for this space but with a little paint, this is good enough for now. Grey for the table, blue for the chairs/bench? (The chairs are pretty cool though right?). 

A rare picture of my husband on this blog. My boys!

Freed all the potted plants from their winter sleep in the barn. Looks like we had no losses. And the walled garden is slowly becoming greener... Have a happy week!

Wednesday
Mar222017

My favorite garden books.

Many of you seemed to like the idea of a post about my favorite garden books, so here goes. For the sake of simplicity I`ll provide links to Amazon (UK/DE), since it will provide you with all necessary information like publisher, ISBN etc. (these are no affiliate links, and I am not encouraging you to buy anything on Amazon). 

I have promised five books but I ended up with eight, divided into three categories: "Coffee table" garden books that are inspirational and just a pleasure to look at, "Hands-on" garden books in the sense of "how-to"-guides and "Grow & Eat" books which combine gardening and cooking. (Related: Whyyy are there no books that combine garden and interior design?)

 

Coffee Table

1. The Gardens of Arne Maynard. This book is absolutely breathtaking. My review is here.

2. Gardenista. A very beautiful, carefully curated book featuring a multitude of gorgeous gardens. A big favorite of mine, much as Remodelista is in the interiors department. 

3. Virginia Woolf´s Garden. My favorite for a long time, even though I have since visited the actual garden and it sadly couldn´t quite keep up with the book. My review is here.

4. Traumhafte Landgärten durch die Jahreszeiten. I feel like there are a gazillion books about country gardens out there and they are all more or less disappointing. This one gets it right. My review is here. 

 

Hands-on

1. Genial gärtnern. (I think the English title is "The complete gardener".) The book with which everything began. Our very first garden book, bought when we first got an allotment back when we still lived in Western Germany (waaaay before this blog). It´s still a favorite. Full of practical information and yet a joy to look at, including a complete tour of Monty Don´s beautiful gardens (actually, does he still live there?). Anyway. Love it. 

2. Der Biogarten. If you can read German and want to know everything about organic gardening, then this is your book, and the only one you´ll need*. Want to start a garden and don´t know how? Buy this book. 

 

Grow & Eat

1. 100 Rezepte aus meinem Garten. Still a big favorite. My review is here.

2. Genießer-Gärten. Honestly not a book I would´ve bought because of the cover, but it was a recommendation, and a good one. I don´t think the recipes in here are insanely relevant, but the featured gardens are beautiful. 

 

So what do you think? Anything to add? What are your favorites? I´d love to hear! 

*This is probably going to sound ungrateful but I have a bit of a pet peeve: When people buy me books about "basic gardening", "gardening 101", "how to create a garden from zero" and the likes. If you have a friend who already has a garden, don´t do that. It´s like getting a serious hobby cook a book on how to cook spaghetti. Just saying. (Not that I know everything. I know nothing. But these books are mostly terrible).

Sunday
Mar192017

Still not spring.

I can´t really decide whether this time of year is really nice or really shitty. On one hand it does get lighter and warmer and you know that spring must be around the corner, so that´s nice! But on the other hand, it isn´t spring just yet anyay, and I am maybe the most impatient person in the world, and why is this taking so looong? And why did we decide to move to an area that is basically Siberia, climate-wise? These are my issues with March. 

Completely off-topic: If you are a long-term reader you might remember the tiles in the picture above. I kept them when we ripped out the old stove in our kitchen (no use hating me for getting rid of the thing, it´s long gone, just saying) and recently I finally had an idea how to use them and now they live on my table as coasters and I think they look beautiful.

Also I painted my living room a darkish blueish grey. I love it. I´ll take more pictures soon. (Paint color is Plummet by Farrow & Ball but I had it color-matched at our local Bauhaus. Sue me.).

Emma says hi. She is still very fluffy but I judging from the cat hair that is *everywhere* in my house, it will indeed be spring soon.

From yesterday when it was super stormy and sometimes sunny and all around quite lovely (I do love a good storm as long as everything and everyone stays intact). We´re doing a bit of spring cleaning these days in the garden and a few trees had to come down, that´s why there´s a pile of branches in the picture. Also spot the dog?

In other news! We got three new chickens! From left to right, meet Luzia, Hanne and Lore (yes we´re so funny). I love white chickens so I had to get Luzia, who now has the hardest time because for some reason white chickens are always getting bullied. I hope things settle down soon, because she is the sweetest thing really. Lore is supposed to lay green, Hanne dark-brown and Luzia white eggs (while my two "old" hens both make brownish eggs), so I am really excited about that too! Chickens: Silly creatures, but I do love them so. 

In the veggie garden, I did get some things in the ground already: Carrots in all shades of the rainbow (!!), plus garlic and onions and the trellis is for sweet peas. 

And look, there´s something growing already! Chives! Yay. Now come on spring, let´s do this.