Is It Summer Yet?

Yes, I do believe summer has finally arrived in Germany. The last few days have been gorgeous – and even here in the mountains extremely warm (ok, compared to what we’re used to). The fact that it cools off considerably at night just means we get a good night’s sleep and are all rested and full of energy for the next day. Believe it or not, the weather reports say it’s supposed to stay this way at least into the beginning of the week!

ChessMan and I have either been on the road or piddling about in the garden. Tuesday we drove into Belgium, and the weather was fantastic! Wednesday and Thursday we both had work to do around here, but it was good all the same. Friday we went back to visit our old landlords (unfortunately it was a condolence visit), and I also got a peek at the “old” garden, which look quite good considering it’s not getting the regular care it was used to.  Especially the small side garden look wonderful!

Yesterday ChessMan and I were on the look-out for new plants and also bought a few more fish for the pond (to go with the snails our ex-landlords donated from theirs).

Here’s an update:


The New Garden (1)

Ok, I guess I’ve been M.I.A. for long enough. Things are beginning to take shape in the new house, and although there are still some high mountains to climb, today I am feeling centered and full of purpose.

One of the interesting things about the new house is the new garden. As you know, ChessMan and I put a lot of effort into our golden in the old house. In the end, though, we both had to admit that it was simply too big a task for us. We neither has the time nor physical wherewithall to do it justice. That realization came slowly. When I first saw this house, I was a disappointed at the size of the garden. In the meantime, I realize that my first impression was misleading. The old house had its entire garden behind it. This house has a nice garden in the front, as well as a small patch in the back, and some ground to the left (where there is a small greenhouse) and to the right (where there is a carport).

This year’s gardening is mostly a watching and waiting game. We simply don’t know what’s planted, so we’re waiting to see what’s there before deciding whether we like it and want to keep it. Because the spring was so cool and rainy, we’re at least 3 weeks behind schedule, but now things are beginning to finally flaunt their colors.

I love this azalea!

Although the daffs and primroses are gone, the pansies are holding their own in this tub beside the front door.

I love this color of blue!

These were all taken in the morning, when the sun was on the front of the house. I’ll be taking more pictures this and tomorrow afternoon to show you what’s happening out back.


Spring 2009 056


Spring 2009 049


Spring 2009 052

Gerbera Daisies Boxed for the Bedroom Window

The last few weeks have been a watershed of emotions for me both professionally and privately. I am not really sure where my head is right now. I feel bogged down and entangled in so many things. But I will be taking a time-out to the States to deal with some things. I hope I will achieve some clarity on the most important and pressing issues, as well as the inner peace just to ‘Let go and let God’ where all things are concerned.

I don’t know who I will see while I am gone other than immediate family members. I will get in touch with some folks, though, and try to at least talk with them on the phone.

Otherwise… soul searching

More from the Garden





From My Garden To Yours

(Lemon Verbena or Verbena citriodora Cav.)

I finally got out into the garden again today with my camera. Anyone interested in knowing what things looked like a few months ago, click here.

For some reason, almost everything we have is some shade of purple.

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Pre-Season Flora

I know I just posted an incredibly long entry this morning (so, if you haven’t read “How Menopause Got Me To Madrid”, what are your waiting for?), I also want to post the following pictures. I took them this morning in the garden just after watering. (ChessMan mowed the lawn while I was gone, but didn’t think to give the plants a good healthy slurp!)

Thank you, RawDawgBuffalo, for not only requesting more pix of the flowers, but for motivating me to do something I’ve actually been planning to do for awhile.

The fight against the grass and weeds is still an uphill battle, but we are making some headway.

I plan to post pictures again in a few weeks, so you can see how things have progress and what’s in full bloom!

* The first irises are beginning to blossom in the side garden.

* I love peonies, and am happy to say that two of my three plants are now in bud.

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Or should I call this an ‘oops-date’. I got a comment on my Red Rose entry this morning, and was surprised to see that it’s been that long since I’ve posted anything! But I have been busy in both my professional and private lives in recent weeks, so it’s not like I’ve been ignoring this blog.

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Herbs ~ Kräuter ~ Kruiden ~ les herbes


One of my major projects last summer was planting an herb garden. I have kept pots of fresh herbs on my kitchen window sills for years, but I had a vision of a time when I could wander outside just before a meal – armed with scissors and a small basket – to pick bunches of fragrant herbs for cooking and adding a zesty garnish to the salad.

After letting the puppies use the garden as their playground in 2006, we had sod laid out over the whole section this past summer. We then spent quite some time pouring over gardening and flower books, before trotting off to garden centers in the Netherlands and open markets here in Germany. I originally envisioned am herb garden as a simple affair:  a square bed somewhere along the edge of the garden as a home for whatever struck my fancy. But ChessMan and my many books quickly taught me that I was thinking much too small!

Herb gardens can be quite complex and ornate affairs, so I had to up my game considerably.

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From City Mouse to Country Mouse

winter frost

The weather has actually been unseasonably mild recently, so the pix I made during a cold snap we experienced a few weeks ago seem like a real blast from the past. A glance out of my living room window today seems much too lush and green for this time of year. Only the windiness and lack of sunshine are a reminder that’s it’s still January and not April.

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