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Recent Entries to this Blog That Really Unique Love Story - T.R.U.L.S.
Posted: 21 Oct 2021
Floriade 2012 Holland
Posted: 21 Jul 2013
Holiday 2012 - The Netherlands
Posted: 28 Aug 2012
Holiday 2012 - The Beginning
Posted: 21 Aug 2012
Lilleputthammer Mini Town
Posted: 30 May 2012

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Droopy's Blog

That Really Unique Love Story - T.R.U.L.S.

Category: Pets and other animals | Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:43 pm

What can I say about a horse that is gone?

That he loved apples, carrots and his mash. And me, at least if I had treats in my pocket.

I wasn't looking to buy a horse, but Truls was looking for a forever-home. He wormed his way into my heart and became my horse for almost 17 years. At 1.30 on the night of New Year's Day I helped the vet put down my best friend while people were still shooting fireworks around us. It was surreal, and the feeling of loss is big, black and painful.

We who lose our furry friends often hear "But it wasn't a person!". No, Truls wasn't a person. But it wasn't a person who:

- gave me strength to get out of bed and meet the day when I felt so low I just wanted to pull the duvet over my head and stay there.

- gave me the courage to walk out the door when the threshold felt two meters tall and my body shook with panic attacks.

- helped me get fresh air and exercise like the doc said I needed.

- read my mood at a glance, didn't care and was happy to see me no matter what.

- let me cry in his mane as hard and as long as I needed.

- gave me a feeling of light, happiness and joy that motivated me to climb out of the big, black hole my psyche had dug for me.

- gave me courage to order a dentist appointment for the first time in years and finally gave me self-confidence enough to go on my own without having to be drugged semi-unconscious so my husband had to half carry me through the door.

- carried me on his back when my body and mind would't co-operate.

- listened to everything I had to say without judging and was just warm, soft and receptive.

- broke my little finger and my little toe and it just didn't matter because shit happens around horses.

- gave me breathing space between all the things I had to do but didn't know if I could go through with.

- made me laugh and sing for no reason at all.

No, Truls wasn't a person. I needed him in between, around and in addition to the people in my life. I didn't love him only because of who he was but also because of who I became because of him.

I spend all New Year's Eve with him, hoping that the vet's treatment would help. At around six o'clock in the evening we were walking back and forth by the stables, waiting yet again for the vet. Truls turned his head and seemed to watch something approaching in the field next to us. As I turned to look I saw our sweet little Gabriella trotting up alongside us with her flying steps. As she passed us she tossed her head like horses do when they say "Come on, let's run!" Then she disappeared, and I knew then that she had come to take Truls with her and show him the way to his old friends.

I wasn't ready yet. I knew the day would come when I had to say goodbye to Truls, but I didn't want it to be so soon. 17 years but it felt like only a few months and at the same time a lifetime. He was 22, should have been 23 this year.

When I bought Truls one of the young girls at the stables told me I had to change his name because it wasn't cool enough. I had a quick mind once, so I answered that his real name was That Really Unique Love Story but I just used the first letters - T.R.U.L.S.

It wasn't true. But then, after all, it was.

Truls 1998-2021 ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Last edited: Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:25 pm

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Floriade 2012 Holland

Category: Ramblings | Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:02 pm

Last summer we visited the Floriade, an exhibition held every ten years. We knew the area was big, but we didn't know how big. One day was definitely not enough, but we managed to see a lot.

A cable car ran straight across the area. We didn't have time to take it.

The first area we visited held small gardens and pavilions from all over the world. A few samples:

One area held sculpture-like structures and nicely planted-up areas:

A junque wall:

The "Bugs and Birds" garden:

It may look comfy, but it's cement:

A few planted-up areas:

The Dutch Pavilion:

There were bee-hives. I loved the bumble bee hive:

A sore temptation for a tomato-lover like me:

Tomato tree:

There were samples to be had, thank goodness! Or I'd have committed high treason and tasted the display.

Big, big rainforest greenhouse:

Serious-looking guards outside, half-hidden in the bamboo:

Important reminder:

And pretty blooms too:

This is behind the rest rooms:

Need I say that we had rain most of the day? We could happily spend two whole days in there, but our vacation was nearing an end so we had to leave. Well, only nine more years to the next one.

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Holiday 2012 - The Netherlands

Category: Ramblings | Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:36 am

It's flat! *lol* We were going to drive across the Afsluitdijk, the big dike on the north-western coast, but I managed to direct my husband one exit too far in a roundabout near Heerenveen, so we ended up crossing the Houtribdijk from Lelystad to Enkhuizen instead. It was actaully a good thing, since we've never been there before.

A replica of an old ship in Lelystad harbour:

We had to stop because I spotted this statue. Sjoerd has shown it before. It's called "Exposed" and is huge! Locally they call it "The Pooping Man":

The wind blows hard in these parts, so someone took proper precautions:

Ok, then, let's get going again:

This is the dike road. It runs for nearly 30 km, or so the GPS insisted:

There were so many birds gathered on both sides of the dike road that I was beginning to wonder if there were any birds left in the rest of Holland at all! All those white dots this side of the rocks are swans:

We stayed at a farmer's camp site, and this was our view:

The town Hoorn is just north of Amsterdam. To my eyes it's very Dutch, and I like it a lot. Here are some street-and-house-photos:

Harbour tower from the land side:

Harbour tower from the seaside:

I wonder if these ducks were waiting for a guide to take them on a canal tour:

Hoorn has some really narrow alleys:

The houses aren't quite straight:

There are so many lovely details to see if you keep your eyes away from the shop fronts:

I love the little passageways, even though they aren't straight either:

There are pretty facades, gates and back gardens too:

This cat had found a secluded corner:

An ophans' home:

The house of Dadaism, formerly a church:

I think I prefer these decorations:

Plants manage to grow anywhere, even on brick walls:

This heron has managed to train the people from the fish shop across the road to feed it, so it's just sitting there, waiting for lunch:

We visited friends in Holland. This is not one of them, but it's very decorative:

A bit of our friends' garden:

I got to sit on this bench:

The blooms were lovely:

So were these potatoes:

Thanks, Sjoerd and missus, for the tour and taters. :D

When we were in Holland three years ago, we went down there to look at a Hosta, and then we went home. This time we wanted to sightsee and visit the Floriade. We went to lots of places around Hoorn. A small steam train is running between Horn and Medemblik, so we decided to take that:

For some strange reason the landscape was still flat:

The old station buildings are well maintained:

Rollin' 'round the bend:

The farmers had brought out the heavy machinery:

One half of this station building is a home:


They have a nice windmill there:

We could take this boat to visit an outdoor museum, but we passed. It was raining pretty hard:

We also visited Volendam. It's a pretty little town:

That was a fun day out, even though we had problems finding the way and other small mishaps. :D

I hope I didn't bore anybody too much with all these photos. I think I'll show the Floriade and steam train museum another day.

Last edited: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:36 am

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Holiday 2012 - The Beginning

Category: Ramblings | Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:28 pm

We've had lovely weather for almost two weeks! What a nice change. :) The holiday weather wasn't much to write home about. I won't run out of fingers on one hand if I count the entirely dry days we had. Well, never mind. We had a very long holiday, and we drove a very long way. We estimated the total to 4,000 km or 2,485 miles, give or take a bit.

We started sight-seeing rather close to home, Briksdalsbreen, the Briksdal glacier, close to Olden, a popular tourist destination:


On our way up to the glacier:

There it is!

The glacier front position in 1870:

The area is a national park:

Lucky for these little beauties. They live inside the park boundary. This is a rather common orchid:

And this is, believe it or not, a white buttercup! I've never seen one before and was very excited:

Ok, back to the glacier. Ten years ago the front was at these sand hills, and covered the entire lake:

And this is how it looks today:

A few years ago tourists were brough up and down by horse-drawn carriages, but not anymore. This is today's "horse":

The road is rather steep and winding:

We got back to the car to drive back to Stryn. That road is rather steep and winding too:

We took off late June. By Grotli the snow and ice hadn't melted yet:

We stopped at my uncle's place in Skjåk, reputedly the dryest spot in Norway. They were watering their fields:

Uncle has a nice view over the northern part of Gudbrandsdalen - Gudbrands valley - from his house:

Our next stop was a bit further south, to have a look at the White Shroud Priests, a rather unusual natural phenomenon. The road up was strenuous, but a lot better than it used to be. There were stairs!

And more stairs:

And a few bits with no stairs:

At last we reached them. I found them spectacular. It looks as if they're ready to fall down, but they've been like this for about 9,000 years, so I hope they won't disappear in my life time:

The view point is well made:

Next stop was Gothenburg, Sweden, and the amusement park Liseberg. The girls like those.

View from the big wheel. It's 60 meters tall but it's on a hill so it feels a lot higher:

There were little park-like pockets all over the place:

After Gothenburg we went to Copenhagen, Denmark's capitol. We wanted to look at the Queen's castle, the crown jewels and Tivoli, the old amusement park.

We passed a lot of yellow fields on our way through Sweden:

Copenhagen. This little church is made of Norwegian marble:

Amalienborg, the Queen's residence consists of four identical-looking buildings. I wanted to weed in the Queen's garden but there wasn't any greenery at all:

Ok, then, maybe I would get lucky in the King's garden, surrounding Rosenborg castle. After all Denmark doesn't have a King now and maybe the gardeners were slack:

Alas, no. The gardens were well tended, not a weed in sight:

I did find someone who didn't care a hoot about who's garden it was. It was time for a bath:

Then we ventured inside the castle to have a peek at the treasures. And boy! were there treasures! The oldest items dated back to 1590something. We were overwhelmed.

A ship made from ivory:

A very big chest had the loveliest intarsia work I've ever laid my eyes on. This little piece measured something like 10x15 cm:

A chocolate can made from coconut and ivory:

The old crown, not in use any more:

There were shelves upon shelves of gold items:

One of the jewelry sets to be worn exclusively by the Queen, Margrete:

The regalia:

The crowns worn nowadays:

We were so dizzy at the end of the tour that we didn't appreciate the beautiful handiwork anymore. *sigh*

What we did appreciate was the sight of this huge snail. It's a delicacy, but we hadn't brough equipment for snail gathering or -preparing so we let it run:

The day after we visited Tivoli, situated in the middle of Copenhagen. There was lots to do and see.

The horrible loop - and I went in there!

The Tivoli brass band:

There were lovely garden arrangements too:

We concidered getting ourselves a new summer residence:

This peahen and chick walked about as if they owned they place. I imagine they do:

We wanted a couple of quiet days before moving on from Denmark, and camped here:

Some of the locals seemed a bit weird:

Fortunately a passer-by knew how to put them right:

A couple of riders passed through and stopped for a drink:

The swallows nested in the most curious places:

And we found a lizard too:

Then we left Denmark and spent one night in Germany. This little chap met me outside the camper in the morning. He was pretty rude and called me "cheap" until I found some bread crumbs for him:

We were ready for the last leg of our trip south. The landscape was so flat it disappeared on the horizon on both sides of the road. Then finally we crossed the Germany/Holland border.

Welcome to Holland:

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Lilleputthammer Mini Town

Category: Ramblings | Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:43 am

Once upon a time the main street in Lillehammer (host of the Olympic Winter Games in 1994) consisted of lovely, little wooden houses. Most of them are gone now, but the main street still lives on in miniature. We visited it this week-end, and I thought I'd show some photos:

( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Ice cream factory ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Pretty, isn't it? Even I felt like a giant walking around there. :lol:

Most of the houses contain a little shop, playroom or exhibit, but you have to be willing to duck your head in order to get in.

Several of the houses held books, mainly used ones. I carried away two fair-size bags of books that I just couldn't leave behind. I'm hopeless when it comes to books, especially if they're a bargain. :D

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My Get Up And Go Got Up And Went

Category: Garden | Posted: Sat May 19, 2012 2:04 pm

Oh, dear, what a winter we've had. :( It's been very wet, we've had a little snow and lots of snowless frost, and plants have died all over the place.

Last winter was very hard frost-wise, and we lost so many of our darlings. Several others were severely decimated but managed to squeak through.

Last year's summer was a disaster. It was wet and cold. We had a few carrots, and nothing else. The blooms were ruined almost as soon as they opened up, if they managed to open at all. The weeds had the run of the place since I feel I've gotten too old to garden in all sorts of weather. I did that in my 20's and up to mid-30's, but since then I haven't managed to get dressed in thick rain gear and go out there, bar to fertilize.

So we thought we would have a better winter this year since it started out so mild. We didn't take into account that the snow we didn't get in December, January and February decided to appear in late March, spread out through April and ended in early May, complete with frost of course.

I seriously considered giving up gardening altogether. I felt I couldn't take the heartbreak of discovering heirloom plants and rare, expensive ones that had rotted or frozen to death anymore. The feeling of not managing to keep the weeds at bay, of not getting projects finished and just being sorry for all the beauties that never managed to grow beautiful. Oh, yes, I had the blues big time!

Then, after a snowfall during the last days of March I took a stroll outside to do a body count. Again. As I walked about I thought I could hear humming. I stopped to listen, and tried to figure out which direction the humming came from.

As I drew nearer to the sound I thought I could figure out the tune. "Who's humming an Elton John hit in my garden?" I wondered. Then all of a sudden I discovered it:

Helleborus tibeticum ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Poor little hellebore! Almost completely snowed under, looking very sorry for itself. The humming grew a bit stronger and I could clearly hear the words: "I'm still standing! Yeah, yeah, yeah!" *lol*

So I'm back in the garden, whining and moaning about lost plants, decimated darlings and slug-munched sprouts, and when I feel it's all getting too much I straighten up and sing a little song: "I'm still standing! Yeah, yeah, yeah!"

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Oslo, Norway - Getting One's Sea Legs

Category: Ramblings | Posted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:06 pm

Norway has a lot of sea shore, so a lot of what's happened up here has happened on or near the sea. Let's look at a few examples:

Fritjof Nansen sailed north, froze his ship, crew and himself into the ice and drifted past the North Pole. More or less. From 1893 to 1896 they lived on the ship "Fram" bar the little 120 km ski trip they took in 1895 to reach the North Pole. They didn't quite but it was close enough. The polar ship "Fram" sits at a museum in Bygdøy, Norway:

Nansen's ship "Fram" ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Roald Amundsen also wanted to go exploring so he took "Gjøa" through the north-west passage. They left Oslo in 1903 and reached Nome, Alaska in 1906, so he got to prove that it could be done. This is the "Gjøa" in Oslo:

"Gjøa" ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Mr. Amundsen then decided to go for the magnetic North Pole and borrowed "Fram" from Nansen in 1910. Unfortunately for Amundsen Robert Peary beat him to it so he decided to pull a fast one. He sailed to Madeira and there informed the ship's owner (Mr. Nansen) and the crew that they were going to the South Pole instead and those who wouldn't go could leave the ship and hitchhike home to Norway. None left and Amundsen reached the South Pole on December 14th 1911.

Mr. Nansen had observed the sea's currents and had thought to himself that there had to be a current past the North Pole. He proved himself right, and thereby inspired a chap called Thor Heyerdahl. Mr. Heyerdahl didn't much care for the accepted scientific theories as to where the Polynesian's ancestors came from so he decided to prove his own theories, which he did on the balsa raft "Kon-Tiki" in 1947. He floated across the water from Peru to Polynesia and that was that.

Then Mr. Heyerdahl pondered the idea that Africans and South-American natives had a lot in common. To prove that they could be related he decided to sail from Morocco to the Caribbean on a papyrus raft called "Ra". He succeded there too, albeit on the second try.

These brave sea-faring men did a lot in order to prove their theories, but my guess is that they also got their inspiration from the Norwegian sea-faring tradition. Norway is very long and it's coast line is even longer (if you count the fjords - going in and out of them takes forever, at least in a sail ship). We know that Norwegian Vikings went to England, France, Spain and Turkey. They also went down the Russian rivers to the Black Sea. One of our chiefs even went to Jerusalem.

We're fortunate enough to have some splendid viking ship specimen in our museums, and also written sources about the vikings, their day-to-day life, trade routes, ships, beliefs and so on. The Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy near Oslo show some very nice examples of viking culture and ships.

This is the rear end of the Oseberg ship, dug out near Tønsberg in 1904:

The Oseberg ship ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Believe it or not, but this ship was used as a coffin. A prominent lady was buried inside it in 834, along with a younger woman, animals, crockery, food, jewels, clothes and things one might need for a comfortable after-life. It's not a small ship at all:

The Oseberg ship ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Nobody knows who the lady is but there are many theories. The ship itself was built in 820. Since it's very decorated and hard to manuever the scientists think she was built for show rather than for sailing long distances. The carvings are wonderful:

The Oseberg ship - decor ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

The ship as it can be seen now is 90% original wood-work, which is pretty amazing when you think about how long it was buried for.

Another well-preserved ship is the Gokstad ship which was dug out in 1880:

The Gokstad ship ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

This ship had a man inside. The archaeologists found horses, dogs and miscellaneous weapons and clothes with him, and he must have been an important person. He was placed in a funeral chamber onboard the ship. You can see the funeral chamber behind the remains of tht Tune ship:

Burial chamber and two small boats ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

In addition to being good navigators at sea the vikings also appreciated good handicraft. These nice items were found inside the Oseberg dig:

A wagon found by the Oseberg ship ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

From the Oseberg dig - sleigh ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

From the Oseberg dig - nice dragon's head ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Close-up of replica of part of the Oseberg ship ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Whoops, I thought I was going to rant about Norwegian cultural life today, but it seems I'll have to leave that for another day. I need my beauty sleep. :D Sorry for getting carried away like this. I always do.

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Oslo, Norway

Category: Ramblings | Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:23 pm

I suppose most of you have heard about our capital through the news during since last Friday. We're not used to people knowing where Oslo is. We're not even used to people knowing where Norway is. I've heard people stating that Norway is the capital of Sweden. Close, but no cigar. We were governed by Sweden until 1905 when we decided we wanted a divorce, but made our constitution in 1814. We had a long separation process. I'll leave the old stuff for now and return to the present. We went to Oslo for some children's education regarding government, royalty, polar researchers, semi-mad explorers and old vikings, with a bit of art in between.

When we landed at Gardermoen airport we got 16°C (61°F) and rain. We left sun and 36°C (97°F) behind. Reality check! Our camping car was waiting for us at the airport so we drove to Oslo and found a nice camping site with good public transport to Oslo center. This is what we managed to cram into our four days' stay.

Oslo's main street, the Karl Johan:

Karl Johan - Oslo's main street ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )


Stortinget - the Government building ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Spikersuppa got it's name because it was created by a nail manufacturer, Christiania Spigerverk, in 1956.

Spikersuppa - The Nail Soup ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Oslo was named Christiania from 1624 to 1925 when we decided we wanted the proper name back. 600.000 of Norway's 5 million people live in Oslo.

The tower of the City Hall has Europe's largest clock, or so we've been told. It's 8 meters in diameter. It also has a nice bell tower. This is where the Nobel Peace Price seremony is held on December 10th every year.

The City Hall ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Then for the royalty bit. What we grandly call a castle would fit into one of the wings at Windsor, London. The castle was intended to house the Swedish-Norwegian king Karl XIV Johan, in Norway Karl III Johan, after whom the main street's named. He never saw it finished, and his successor King Oscar I made some changes to it before it was declared fit for a king in 1849

The Royal Castle ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Here is aforementioned King Karl Johan on his horse. Evil tongues have it that this French general was offered the throne of Sweden (including Norway) because he was rich, and Sweden needed the money. When serving as a general under Napoleon Bonaparte his name was Jean Baptiste Bernadotte. He took a Scandinavian name when accepting the crown but never managed to learn Swedish. The court had to speak French instead.

King Karl III Johan of Norway/Karl XIV Johan of Sweden ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

The following photos are from Akershus fortress. It started out as a medieval castle but was rebuilt in the 1600s into a reinforced renaissance castle. It was expanded and modified from when it was first built until around 1750, but it still had it's uses. It served as a prison for years after. The restauration started around 1800 and isn't done yet. *lol* Today Akershus is a banquet hall, the royal mausoleum and several museums. I have to add that while Akershus was still a fortress no enemy power managed to take it:

Akershus fortress ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Akershus fortress ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Akershus fortress ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Akershus fortress ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Akershus fortress ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Akershus fortress ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Akershus fortress ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Akershus fortress ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Akershus fortress ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Gosh, it's late. I have to continue with Nansen, Amundsen, Thor Heyerdahl, Munch and Vigeland some other day.

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We Left the Lovely Weather Behind

Category: Ramblings | Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:15 am

I wish I could have packed some sunshine and temperatures in my suitcase. We had to leave it all behind in Rhodes, and I don't like it. Anyways, we've had two lovely weeks of sun, sea, sightseeing and super food so I guess I shan't complain too much.

And we've got the memories. This is Rhodes town:

Rodos town ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

King of the road in Rhodes ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

A part of the Old Town wall:

Rhodes - old town wall by the harbour ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Gate to the old town from Mandraki ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Mandraki harbour ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Mandraki harbour ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

The outer moat ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

The Templar Knights' palace ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

A trip to Monte Smith is mandatory. We do it every time we visit Rhodes and we never tire of it:

The Temple of Apollo on Monte Smith ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Amazing stonework ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

The ancient stadium ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

As for the food, well, we've got photos! *lol* My family always criticize me for photographing the food, but how can I resist? It looks too tempting not to:

Fish plate for two at Captain's Garden ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Dessert at Pearl ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Tiny Symi shrimps - yummy! ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Serrano ham and melon ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Kokkinisto ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Not only the climate and food is different from here. The plants are too, and I touch them, smell them and admire them:

Pretty wildflower ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

This bloom has lovely scent but I don't know what it is ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Frangipani ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Flowering agave ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Sometimes we find some very strange "plants":

A peacock in an aqueduct - Rodini park ( photo / image / picture from Droopy's Garden )

Now I'm hoping for some nice weather so we can enjoy our garden for the rest of the summer. If last year's anything to go by the frost might start in mid-October. Until then I'll either dig, weed, dead-head or stay inside, look at the rain and wish that I could garden without getting soaked. *lol*

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Returning From Hibernation

Category: Garden | Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:06 pm

Dear Blog,

sorry to have left you hanging for so long, but I've been busy you see.

Last autumn I was busy building the Walls of Jericho border - no bugle allowed within 50 meters of the thing.

This is what I managed to do before the frost suddenly stopped me as early as mid-October:

Step one started:

Step one done:

Step two under way:

And this is what they look like now:

I've promised Lord Paint, four-legged Master of the house to hurry up and complete step three, and will do as soon as I get the time.

This spring started awfully late. We still had winter in mid-April, but then everything exploded. That includes my husband's energy level. He dug a hole, put a plastic water trough inside, and voila! a small pond:

The girls snuck some frog spawn home, so now we're trying to raise the tadpoles.

My husband's energy level didn't get any lower with that little success, so he's started to make a big water feature. I mean big! It looks like a mountain wall so I've nicknamed it Trollveggen, the Troll Wall, a spectacular mountain landscape near Ã…ndalsnes. I wanted a big waterfeature, but I had thought of half the size and dug down, not built up:

The bamboo thingy to the left is a Japanese fountain thing said to scare away bad spirits. So far it's only scared away my energy. I can't find it anywhere. Oh, yes, this is what the top half looks like. It's nowhere near finished mind!

The bottom half looks exactly like this only the other way round. The rocks are supposed to hide hoses and the connection between the two halves. The spirit scarer pours water into the top half pond, then the water runs into the lower half underneath some rocks, and a pump brings the water back up to the spirit scarer which empties the water into the pond and... yes, well. Round and round and round it goes bar in winter when the pond will be empty.

My husband insists on me planting Sempervivum in the cracks. I can't imagine even Sempervivum living there so I think I'll just squeeze in some moss. We've got plenty of moss.

In case you're wondering, this is the real Trollveggen, or Troll Wall:

Then we can talk about my mother. My mother's always wanted a water feature with water lilies. She never managed to make herself one, but decided she'd have a water lily anyways. A yellow one at that. She bough one and planted it in one of our plastic whatchamacallits, just until the pond's done. Our pond. The one my husband's making. Mother's happy. She's got a water lily now, albeit it lives with me. She also wants a red water lily. I guess that will live with me too.

The borders are coming to life, and we're discovering what we've lost during the winter. We've lost a lot! Most of our decorative grasses, some Erythronium, Heuchera, a couple of Hellebores, Hostas, even primroses! A few of the no-shows were bought last year and we never got to see them bloom. But most of our babies survived. Here are a few:

Husband's Jerusalem artichokes survived in a trough:

The P. auricula survived, at least most of them:

Blooming decorative apple tree:

The Empress Wu managed to survive too:

The small Dicentras:

Harebell poppies and Rhododendron:

We've also managed to get the veggie patches ready but haven't planted everything in there yet:

Please note our creative cat deterring fence:

The pumpkins and red Brussels sprouts sprouts will go in in a week's time. Here are the red sprouts:

Well, that's it really. I don't know when I'll have time to update you again, dear Blog, so please hang in there.

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