Friday, October 2, 2009

Holland

This Summer I was very lucky & with permission from the Garden Time gang, I went off on vacation to The Netherlands or as most of us call it - Holland. My family converged on my niece's house in Amsterdam. Not only was I seeing my sister & her family, but my Mom was along too.
Family & gardens what a combo. We had a blast!
Holland is a kind of the holy place for gardeners as it's where so much plant breeding is done today. It's also the birthplace of plant geeks. Tulipmania happened in 1637. Tulips were the newest flower in Holland brought there from Turkey. The wealthy class had to have the beautiful new flower bulbs & there was a spending spree. Where else in the world would tulips sell for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman of the time.
The bottom of the market eventually fell out. Another flower probably turned their heads.
Unfortunately, it is not tulip flower time in August but bulbs were for sale everywhere.
Someday, I hope to visit Keukenhof Gardens in April & see the 5 Million, yes 5 Million blooming tulips.
Holland is a wonderful country to visit in the summer.
It reminds me of Oregon with it's very green landscape & varied crops growing across the countryside.
On farms, canals are used for irrigation water. The beautiful windmills of The Netherlands were used to pump this water, mill grain & keep the sea at bay. There are few original windmills left in rural areas. We visited an historic village called Zaanse Schans that had several working windmills.
Amsterdam reminds me of Venice, Italy as there are canals everywhere.
The canals were the roadways of earlier days. Now they are for tourist boats
and resident's houseboats. How cool but to live on a canal in the heart of Amsterdam on a boat.
These houseboats are as varied as houses on a regular street.
There are brown & green, new & old houseboats and even floating wooden shoes.
My favorite houseboats were the ones that had gardeners aboard.
The craving to garden even hits these water dwellers.
Most house boats had a container of geraniums or potted palm. Many houseboats had whole flower beds.
There were even the busy gardener's bed of weeds. I felt at home!
My family was very patient with me & let me visit gardens and garden centers. I will have a few more blogs and photos in the next few weeks.
Take care,
Judy

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