Jet Lag

That’s it, I am done with travelling for 2014. I am stuck indefinitely at Amsterdam Schiphol airport with my colleagues, half of us with raging temperatures and chesty coughs, facing the prospect of a weekend in bed. It has not been a great December so far (even Him Indoors is properly poorly at home in […]

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Gnoming in the Gloaming

Like the RHS, I am not normally at home to gnomes, but who could resist the charm of these cute little fellows peaking out from a mass of festive foliage? I’ve travelled three countries today looking for Christmas inspiration and have been thoroughly seduced by the horticultural charms of Belgium and Holland. Germany’s gems remain […]

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Amsterdam Open Gardens Weekend 2014

We all know Amsterdam as a city arranged along tree-lined canals. Some are fronted with fine houses, others modest ones, but all share similar characteristics – lofty edifices, punctuated by vast windows and topped by fanciful gables. Less well known are the gardens, which linger in the long shadows of the buildings to which they belong. On […]

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Hollyhocks from Holland

There are no front gardens in old Amsterdam. Instead, householders adorn their doorsteps with potted plants, or grow roses and ivy through gaps in the pavement. Ever the opportunists, hollyhocks also get in on the act, seeding themselves and then rocketing up between cobbles wherever they may. They dart between railings and through bicycle wheels, […]

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Going Dutch

In an unusual turn of events, I am sitting still today even though there are more important things I should be doing. I am not poorly, but I am out of steam after two weeks of globetrotting.  Today is an essential recovery day before the final Christmas push. Happily the sun in shining into the […]

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Gathering Moss

I spent yesterday touring the garden centres of Holland, looking for Christmas inspiration. I found it in spades, from delicious Oliebollen (literally oil-balls, rather like a spherical doughnut spiked with raisins), to magnificent displays of poinsettia, orchids and Christmas trees. What was especially lovely was the range of natural materials for sale – holly berries, […]

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