Music of Summer, Wildlife and the Vegetable Garden

It seems like just yesterday I posted the first few words on the process of starting the vegetable garden. Now, halfway through June, the first few vegetables are already ready!

One thing the vegetable garden¬†taught me: patience. Being terribly impatient ever since I can remember, I went from excitement, to disappointment, to¬†happiness, in just a few weeks. It looks like vegetables take ‘a little bit’ longer to grow, than I imagined they would. ūüôā Also, telling them apart from the weeds proved to be an almost impossible¬†mission.

With the first radish making it on the plate, I must say, I was never more excited, than when I ate something I planted with my own hands! Very rewarding feeling!

firstveggie

A tomato seedling and harvesting the first radish

Getting the garden ready for the warm season can be an interesting experience, especially when you have a lot of animals in the area. The more time we spend in nature, the more we see.

From all types of amazing birds, to frogs, to deer, to Jack rabbits, call the surroundings their home. Mother Nature surely provided the ultimate entertainment.

garden wildlife

Deer running on the field, a Jack Rabbit, Birds and a beautiful Bird Nest

On top of all,  the flowers are all blossomed now, and filled the garden with amazing colors, while the cherries and prunes are growing nicely.

Prunes and Cherries

Prunes and Cherries

Some of you might remember the post about planting white and purple tulips, from¬†last autumn. Well, here they are. Absolutely gorgeous¬†and I¬†can’t be happier, considering that¬†it was my first try at planting bulbs, and I succeeded!

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Tulips and other garden flowers

Welcome back summer, we missed your warm colorful music!


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Keukenhof – Flower Paradise

Keukenhof ( in Dutch, “Kitchen garden“), situated in Lisse, the¬†Netherlands ( halfway between Amsterdam and The Hague),¬†is¬†also known as the Garden of Europe, which is the world’s second largest flower garden following the¬†Dubai Miracle Garden.

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Short History

The origins of the garden goes back to the 15th century, when Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria, Jacoba van Beieren, gathered fruit and vegtables from the woods and dunes around, for her Castle kitchen.

keukenhof_treesLater on, in the 1850’s,¬†the landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son, Louis Paul Zocher, were¬†asked to¬†redesigned the castle’s gardens, which became the basis of Keukenhof, as we know it today.

Only in 1949 the idea of a permanent exhibition of spring-flowering bulbs, appeared, and this is the moment when Keukenhof became a spring park, opened every year, for 3 months only.

With approximately 7 million flower bulbs planted annually, on an area of 32 hectares, Keukenhof is a fascinating place for spring flower lovers.

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The Origin of the Famous Tulip 

As we learn something new everyday, I think it’s important to mention that contrary to my belief, the first cultivation of the tulip began¬†not in Netherlands, but in Asia.

The Tulip was originally a wild flower growing in Central Asia, cultivated first, by the Turks, around 1,000 AD. The flower was introduced in the Netherlands in the 17th century by Carolus Clusius, a famous biologist from Vienna.

The flower is called tulip, after the Turkish word for turban!

Because he was hired by the University of Leiden to research medicinal plants, he brought back some bulbs from Turkey, for his garden in Leiden. This was the start of the amazing flower fields we can see today.

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In the 17th century, the tulips were used both as a garden decoration and medicinal purposes and soon became a trading product, being sold for unbelievable high prices. The traders made large amounts of money, to the point where people started to sell their businesses,homes, farm and animals, only to participate.

The over-supply led slowly to lower prices and dealers went bankrupt, moment known as the “Tulip Crash”, when the government introduced special trading restrictions for the flower.

The flower became so popular because of the bright colors,which was a way to impress among the wealthy.

Visiting Keukenhof

If you visit Keukenhof by public transport, I recommend taking¬†the Keukenhof Express bus 858, from Schiphol, or the 854 from Leiden Central Station, as there’s no direct connection from Amsterdam to the garden.

If you plan to visit by car, make sure you leave early and get ready for a long and frustrating traffic jam. Because the garden is open for only a short period of time every year, it attracts a large number of tourists from all around the world, which makes the area very busy.

The best part about visiting a new place is always the company, so I want to thank my blogger friend, Gin, for the wonderful opportunity of meeting her, in person, at Keukenhof. What really makes a place beautiful, is the wonderful people you travel with, so I would say the tulip adventure was just perfect!


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Happy Dog in the Tulip Fields

Happiness is contagious and because nothing says happy better than a wagging tail pup, running between tulips, I present my latest painting:

lisatulipfield

I wish you all a very happy spring!

‚ÄúHappiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.‚ÄĚ

  ~ Denis Waitley~


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Cherry Blossoms in Spring

As a painter, my biggest inspiration is Mother Nature. It always has something beautiful to offer, all year round.

Spring finally arrived¬†and I can’t think of a¬†better way to celebrate it, than by painting a gorgeous cherry blossom tree, in a fresh mountain landscape.

Welcome back, Spring. I missed you!

cherry blossom


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Purple Tulips Overdose

The Earth laughs in purple tulips. Take some time to laugh¬†with it ūüôā

Best wishes for a lovely day!