"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke

Monday, July 20, 2009

The world of gardening...

...is a funny world. At least it is when you live in Holland and it is a typical Dutch summer. *grins* We stayed up at Cranberry Cottage this weekend. It was wonderful to sleep in the cool little house in the woods. By cool, I don't mean slang for neat or hip but literally cool. The woods keep it much cooler there than here in the virtually treeless suburbs of the city. But we are having a typical Dutch July with rain on and off. So those off moments were spent weeding our drive at the cottage, trimming a few things and cutting the grass. You just run out after a rain shower and work until the next one. Can't you just see us running in and out? But we don't mind as the garden needs the rain after a hot and dry May and June. I find it very comforting to know that normal weather has returned to the country.

We don't have much success growing roses in our city garden. I do have my Edith Holden rose but we have a climbing rose that has not given us a single bloom this year. So we were very pleased to arrive at Cranberry Cottage only to find our rose bushes doing so well. The reason we were thrilled is that we purchased these very cheap bushes from the grocery store Aldi and had half expected them, along with the rhododendrons we bought at the same time, not to really grow. They have all surprised us by doing extremely well!

Another gardening miracle are these lilies. They were brought from our city garden for a last ditch effort before throwing them away. They refused to bloom the last year in the city garden and the first 3 summers at the cottage. This year, I was looking at some plants I am going to replace and was astonished to see these lilies were in bloom. Sorry about the lighting as these photos were taken in the evening so I had to use a flash.

But wait...if you enlarge the first photo, you will see something slimy crawling on the flowers! Yuk! The lilies were covered in big, fat, ugly slugs. How did they even get up there??? They look so heavy compared to the slender stem holding the flowers. Now I am an experimental garden. I just try things out and if they don't work, I try something else. But I have no idea why these are being invaded by slugs? Any of you experienced gardeners out there know about slugs loving lilies? Not the leaves but the flowers? We do not use any kind of poisons and up to now, Jos simply puts on garden gloves and takes the slugs back to the woods. Not very efficient considering we are not at the cottage every day.

It all leaves me with just one burning question on my mind today...

Where is Alan Titchmarsh when you need him?????


Tea Time Consultants said...

Very Pretty! Come by sometime in between the needles and thread.

Elizabethd said...

Oh Heidi, yuk. Slugs are something I cannot bear. I've never seen them on lilies, it's obviously a new taste!
But that rose is just beautiful.

Tracy said...

Lovely roses, Heidi... Much as I love all creatures generally, slugs in the garden are a menace! Thankfully, we've not been bothered by them as much this year. Summers are odd here in Norway too, especially July--one day warm and lovely, the next cool & rainy--LOL! Glad you had a nice little getaway at the cottage...Happy week, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

Nancy said...

How can those ugly, and I do mean ugly, bugs ever get on those cute little flowers. I think you need to email Alan. If he knows you are in distress, His loyal fan, surely he will tell you what you can do about this pest. Try it, you never know.
That rose is soooo pretty. I love the color. Yes, I can see you two running in and out between raindrops.
Our grass is all turning brown from no rain. We have has a very weird July. Low temps, not like usual.
Love you, Mom

Anonymous said...

Ugh! I hope that you solve the slug problem soon Heidi.

That apricot rose is gorgeous ~ enjoy your summer.

Marie x

Sonja said...

Oeps, die slak ziet er niet yummie uit. Maar als jij wormen eet... (en daar zelfs over borduurt..) dan is een slak toch niet meer eng?? LOL. Wel jammer van de mooie bloemen.
Wat goed dat jullie ondanks de regen nog wat hebt kunnen tuinieren.
De quilt is helemaal goed! Lekker warm om om je heen te slaan en vrolijk om overdag op bed te leggen.

Judy said...

Your rose is beautiful. I think I'll ignore the slugs. Not one of my fav things. So glad you had a great time.

Happy@Home said...

Your roses are so pretty. The slug, however, is a different matter. Have you tried sprinkling salt on them?

DonnaTN said...

Slugs are just gross! When we get a good rain those things are all over the BBQ cover and even slime-ing their way up the storm door. Thankfully my TN slugs are much smaller than yours in Holland. One way to get rid of them is to put beer (use the really cheap kind)in a saucer or a plastic margarine type container with a lid. Cut a hole in the lid. The slugs are attracted to the beer and drown. At least they will go with a smile on their faces!

Tammy said...

The roses are beautiful!
My Dad also used beer for the slugs...yucky, slimy little devils. I would imagine they would eat anything but no I have never seen them on lilies.

Mary said...

Yuck, slugs, even their name is ugly! I hate to pick them off, they feel so.......well you know, slimy!!!

Meanwhile the lilies are trying hard, the roses are beautiful, and I bet the countryside is pretty with the showers.

We've been enjoying less humidity this Summer so far - but still hot. Fri. we head West for 2 weeks - Calif., Utah, Wyoming, Montana etc. - hopefully we'll have nice weather.

Heidi dear, tomorrow, you and mom will be in my thoughts and prayers. I'm taking the laptop so will be checking in with you where WI-FI is available.

Hugs - Mary, Bob and Jasmin.

Andylynne said...

What pretty photos, even with the er added bonus attractions on the lilies. You could try beer traps or just hand removing them as already mentioned. Safest and the least harmful to you and the plants. Not sure why they are attracted to the Lilly in particular. I just recieved my first book by Alan Titchmarsh. I'll just slip home and look up what your supoopse to be doingLOL.

Ragged Roses said...

Good old Alan Titchmarsh!!!!! We have slugs and snails everywhere in our garden, particularly since the rain. Your rose is just beautiful, what lovely photos.

irma said...

Wat kun jij goed schrijven, dat vind ik wel een beetje lastig.
Het idee om een keertje een ijsjes bij jouw te eten lijkt me leuk. Liefs Irma

Susan in SC said...

Beautiful roses. I just love roses and want to plant some next spring.

Kaaren said...

The beer solution works for North American slugs and I'm sure a margarine container of Amstel beer will do the job on Dutch slugs as well! LOL

Give it a try, Heidi. My goodness they're huge little creatures, aren't they?