Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Botanical Gardens Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Today I want to tell you about the visit to the  Botanical Gardens, Amsterdam. When I visited Botanical Gardens (The Hortus Botanicus) in Amsterdam it was warm and cloudy April day. The Gardens are situated in a city center.



In 17th century the garden had a geometrical arrangement of rectangular or circular plant beds. In the 19th century the neat, straight paths were transformed into serpentine lines along which visitors were shown a great variety of plants and landscapes.  

Now there is great variety of trees, shrubs, perennials and bulb plants.

The center of The Hortus Botanicus is a semicircle, in that day it was full of blooming tulips in pots.



There was a small pond. Next to it I saw rhododendrons, anemones, Leucothoe fontanesiana, giant rhubarb

 In a distance I've found birds that were looking for something on the path. These were starlings or blackbirds ( I'm not sure). The cut trunks were set along the path, apparently for tired visitors.

There are many plants and trees growing in greenhouses of the Hortus. Some plant species are very rare, they have played a role in the history of the garden.  
As I learned the plant beds behind the Palm House hold many wild rose species. Unfortunately I couldn't see rose blooming in early spring. 
Here are more muscari, heather, bluebells, hellebore, they were very nice and fresh in that day.


The duck strolled near the cafe where I had lunch :))

I was in the Botanical Gardens several years ago. Remembering those days, I think that we all did not appreciate the fact that we could go anywhere, without restrictions. How one very small virus changed our lives. I really hope the pandemic will end this year.
Happy spring days to you all! 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021



It's mid-March, temps +3 +4 С. Therefore I went to the garden to see my plants and the summer cottage.  Winter didn't want to leave. In the  suburb the snow was still lying, water was seen under it.  This is how the road looked like under the wheels - puddles and small pieces of melted snow (above). 


Entering the garden through the gate, I realized that the snow was deep and wet. It was necessary to clear the paths. My summer cottage looked at me with its windows closed for the winter. I opened the front door, came in, changed my boots and coat and took a shovel to work. 


Cleared paths to the cottage porch then to the gazebo to fill the bird feeder. Plants were mostly covered with snow, only evergreen rhododendrons felt the temperature of +4 C and straightened their leaves.


I think that in a week or so the snow will completely disappear and the first signs of spring will appear in the garden. 

At least I want to think so!

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Waiting For Spring

It's March, the first month of spring. Snow becomes thinner and disappears. The sun warms up, walking in the park I can bask in the sun.  
Looking forward to spring, I've planted Frillis salad seeds in pots and set them on the kitchen windowsill (above). The salad is growing and I will soon be able to eat its fresh leaves.

In February I prepared the soil for sowing seeds. I use disposable plastic cups every year.  One stand fits 6 cups and I have 10 such stands for vegetable and flower seedlings

 after 2 weeks

To make potting soil I mix garden soil with peat and coconut fiber. Coconut briquette contains compressed fiber, which must be placed in warm water before use.  

There is an instruction: 5-6 liters of warm water + 1 coconut briquette = 6-8 liters of coconut fiber. Here is coconut fiber:


The soil mix with coconut fiber is recommended for roses, vegetables, for growing seedlings. The soil becomes friable, breathable. You see (below) another stand with 6 disposable plastic cups filled with the soil mixture. The coconut fiber is visible - it is of light brown color.


after 2 weeks

Here are the first sprouts of flowers and vegetables. I made markers using plastic tea spoons and knives. As you can see, there are 2 or 3 seedlings in one disposable plastic cup. Later, I will plant each in separate pots.

Will you grow your own seedlings or do you prefer to buy them?