Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


I may have bought a house.

With a garden – of course.


It’s completely irresponsible and ludicrous for me to buy a house in the middle of nowhere, but… There it is. I bought it. From December 1st, this old farmstead is mine.


The house is 1100 square feet, and sits in 1/3 of an acre of garden – GARDEN!!!


It’s surrounded by fields on all sides, and from the very back of the garden there’s even a view of the local lake/pond.


I’m not sure how useful a greenhouse will be in a holiday home, though, but there’s only one broken pane so I might just let the grape vine grow rampant and use it as a “garden sitting room”.


Yes, fields all around…


Sorry the floor plan is in Danish… It does, though, give you an idea of what the house is like. Two wood burners – one in the larger sitting room and one in the kitchen – and in-door parking that I might convert to a studio-cum-guest-bedroom. And I am seriously considering knocking down the wall between the kitchen and the small sitting room (“køkken” and “værelse”) to make a large farmhouse-style kitchen with access to the added-on “udestue” – a non-insulated room with windows all around that is mainly meant as a semi-outside sitting room.

Upstairs there are two bedrooms, but the floor doesn’t feel too sturdy and the ceilings are just over 6ft high, so essentially that’s just storage space. At best people can “camp out” up there, but I won’t bother converting the rooms into actual bedrooms.

And the garden… Poul, the current owner, is 86 and has kept the garden in a near-immaculate state since his wife died a few years ago. But it was clearly her garden, with his part of it being the vegetable garden and the shed. It has a very effortless charm – not too formal, but still with borders and beds and ornamental shrubs. And it’s large enough to have space for an “ugly” part behind the shed, which is nice.

I love that garden… It’s in keeping with the rather utilitarian nature of the house, and yet it has so many charms – like the house. And the views over the fields are just stunning!

So there. I did it. I bought a house and will become a gardener once more.

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Running Away From Home

This morning I went into town, picked up a rental car and drove 1½ hours south to some friends’ house in the country that I’ve borrowed for a few days.


Doesn’t it just look like a horrible place to be stuck? A timberframed, thatched cottage from 1850, complete with low ceilings and even lower door frames. And a wood burner. I’ve put fresh flowers in every room, light some candles and had lunch.


Curried pickled herring with eggs and liver pâté with pickled beet root, served on dark rye bread. It doesn’t get more Danish than that, except of course that I should have had a beer and a snaps with my lunch, rather than a glass of red wine.


There is very little to see or do around here, except relax and read and go for walks. Sure, there are some bronze age burial mounds here and there – as in most places in Denmark – and cute village churches scattered around the landscape, but fortunately I have the rental car so tomorrow I’ll visit the nearest art museum in the grounds of an old manor house, and perhaps on Wednesday I’ll visit the local cathedral at Maribo.

You see, there are advantages to being unemployed… If I can’t do this with a day’s notice now, when could I ever?

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A Place for Dreams

Still no news on the gardening front – given the lack of a garden – and no immediate plans to invest in one while I am still unemployed and getting my footing in Copenhagen.

Still, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I get up to; it’s all a bit off-topic, but then what else can I write about?

Last weekend I went for a stroll with a friend and a group of strangers. Well, a “stroll” is perhaps not the right word, technically speaking, for hiking 62 kilometres (around 40 miles) with a full backpack over a weekend, but to me it was a welcome outing into fresh air, and though I’ve never hiked with full camping gear before it was really quite relaxing.

Hald Sø

Walking can be meditative in the same way weeding can; you do the same thing over and over again like an automaton, clearing your mind and leaving it free to roam wherever it wants to. And sure, on Saturday after 27 kilometres (17 miles) my legs and feet and hips and back and basically most parts of my body were sore and tired, but there’s no harm in being physically tired and it was really much easier than anticipated.

Of course it was a terribly expensive weekend, given that I had to invest in a tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, camping stove and a backpack to carry it all in, but then I actually plan to do more hiking and camping so it will hopefully prove a good investment. My ex wasn’t very keen on tents, so now I have the chance to rekindle my love of camping in the wild. There’s already a plan in the making to join a friend for her walk from the tip of Jutland to the German border – 500 kilometres or 310 miles – some time next year. At least for part of it, if I don’t have the time for the full hike. And I’ve also pencilled in a trip to one of the Norwegian national parks for a week of solitary hiking and camping; a retreat from the world where it’s just me and the fells.


And then a picture of a book shop… I have booked this place in Wigtown, Scotland, for 12 days in July 2017! (The availability is atrocious, and while they DO have vacant periods “already” from November 2016 I figure that a small Scottish village will be more charming in summer than in winter.)

Basically I’ve booked a book shop and the small apartment above the shop, and the place comes with a duty to keep the shop open a minimum of 40 hours per week and run it as a commercial book shop – but with any personal touches that the shop-keeper-in-residence sees fit to add.

Doesn’t that sound just magical? Being allowed free reign of a book shop in Scotland’s National Book Town? (There are 7 second-hand book shops in a small town of 1000 residents…) And as soon as I mentioned the option, a bibliophile friend jumped at the chance to join me so there will be walks along the beach, excessive cooking and lots and lots of fun playing around with window displays, events and whatever else we can make up.

It is probably the nerdiest holiday I’ve ever booked. Well, scrap “probably”, really.

In a sense, this post is a way of saying “I’m still here”, and eventually I am sure I will start blogging more regularly again. I’m just not quite there yet, and probably won’t be until I have a job and an everyday routine and all that. It’ll come in due time. For now I am well, and that is something one sometimes has to tell people who have at one point or another touched one’s life, even if only through the internet.

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New beginnings


I have said goodbye to the lovely Flâneur Garden. I moved back from Houston in May to get divorced, and from July 1st I now have a tiny-but-pretty little apartment in Copenhagen.

The Summer House belongs to the Flâneur (Ex)Husband, so I said my goodbyes last week and left the keys to the house behind. (And yes, I did get a guy to come mow the lawn so I left the garden in a somewhat more arranged state than the wilderness it had grown into while I was away. A lovely wilderness, but at times impractical.)

Sad gardener

We’ve had our ups and downs, the little house and me, but we got through it all, somehow. I loved being up there; it was a safe space for me during some turbulent times with my husband moving first to Scotland, then back to Copenhagen, then to Houston and then came the flood, a kitchen rebuild in the Copenhagen apartment and of course my own move to Houston.

It wore me out, as you might see from the sudden drop in activity on this blog. But the Summer House and the Flâneur Garden never stopped being a treat for me.

Now, when the only soil I own is the dried mud stuck to my Wellington’s, it’s perhaps time to re-think a lot of things. First things first, though; if I can’t be a Flâneur Gardener, then at least I could fly to Berlin last weekend and stroll around museums, galleries and parks.


I have no idea what will happen with this blog. Less gardening, of course, but I’m loath to give up on the blog completely because it was an outlet for many years. And I do like writing… So maybe I’ll change the URL and find a new hobby to write about, maybe I’ll get a small allotment, maybe I’ll… Well, time will tell.

If anybody still reads this, thank you for following that 5-year journey that is now ended – for me. The garden still stands, and it will still be loved and cared for. It’s just my custodianship that is now at an end.


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Today it is six months – half a year – since my Dad died. It was a beautiful summer day, with the wild flowers in bloom and birds singing in the skies above.

Dad's Last Table

This picture was taken on his last evening. He had asked for a candle to be brought into the bedroom, and his younger brother and sister had stopped by earlier in the day with some flowers from their gardens and a final goodbye. There was sparkling wine, beers and a lovely mood, though saddened by the fact that we all knew the end was near. The end, or perhaps the release.

But as Suzanne Brøgger wrote:

The sorrow shall be written in water
The joy in stone

My Dad always loved fire. He loved lighting a good fire in the woodburner in the dining room on cold winter days and he loved lighting a good fire in the fire pit in the garden on warm summer evenings. He loved being the head of the family who ushered everybody into a darkened room while he light the candles on the Christmas tree and he loved filling trays with candle stubs for the 12th night.

So tonight, at the beginning of the longest night of the year, I celebrate the Winter Solstice and my Dad by sitting in a house illuminated only by candles and with a warm and comfy fire in the woodburner. And a small bonfire outside the windows.

Bonfire for Dad

So here’s to the Solstice and my Dad – and to remembering the joys we learnt from those who passed away. Like a bonfire in the middle of winter or a candle on a bedside table.

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Occasionally you find gardening sites that actually offer good, sensible advise. And then – if you’re me – you choose which advise to follow (and how you interpret the advise)…

As is the case with grassclippings.co.uk, more specifically their guide to “renovating a tired worn-out lawn“.

Here is a slightly truncated version of that guide:

To keep it simple, there are a few rules to follow – more of a flow chart of tasks. This process can be performed at any time during the lawn growing season but allow at least an additional 6 weeks to complete the growing process at the back end of the year before the autumn frosts and leaves fall from the trees as the frosts will slow the germination process and the leaves will smother the new grasses!

This process will work if the lawn is around 50% weeds/moss and grasses.

(Then there was some silly text indicating that you actually had to DO something, but I choose to discard that…)

Sit back in the garden chair, relax with a glass of Pimms and view your new lawn…..

Of course, November is the time for neither lawn re-vamping nor Pimm’s so I’ll just do my version of the process and substitute a glass of merlot for the Pimm’s.


And for the record, the picture is NOT what the lawn looks like in November. Judging by the flowering rhododendron I’d guess the photo was taken in May, when the lawn hadn’t been mowed since October- or maybe September – the year before…

I’m not sure how effective my version of the lawn re-vamping will be, but at least I’ve mowed the lawn today, so that ought to earn me the right to a glass of vino, right?

Either way, my lawn sees so little wear that it’s all right if it is 20% daisies, 10% dandelions, 20% buttercups, 10% ajugas and 40% grass. (And because 100% is never enough I’m sure there are also loads of other weeds in there…)

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Seen from my garden, the Middle East must be somewhere behind the forsythia, beyond the compost heap, even. And I rarely venture beyond the forsythia, let alone beyond the compost heap, so it seem an awfully long way away.

Here it’s peaceful and it’s quiet; people live their quiet lives.
I have sowed some curly parsley and a little bit of chives,
Let the World attack each other and defy their scorn with spite;
I will get on with my neighbour and myself and be all right.

Her er fredeligt og stille, her er ingen larm og støj.
Jeg har sået kruspersille, og et brev med pure løg.
Lad alverden slå for panden og bekæmpe spe med spot,
jeg vil enes med hinanden og mig selv og ha det godt.

(Excerpt from Noget om Helte / Something about heroes by Halfdan Rasmussen, freely translated by yours truly – and yes, I AM aware that my translation has skipped the A-A-B-B rhymes before each caesura, but I can live with that if you can.)

Some times events in the world are such that it is hard to influence them from where you stand, so instead I shall plant daffodils and tulips and at least make the world a little prettier by doing so. After all, planting a daffodil won’t hurt anybody, unlike hurling missiles at each other.

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