Archive for January, 2012

We are fortunate to have a stunning garden right outside our 4th-floor Copenhagen apartment. The Assistens Cemetery is immaculately maintained, with sections of it listed and no longer used for burials.

There are mature trees en masse, the odd patch of perennials in summer and lovely memories of people who lived and died in Copenhagen hundreds of years ago. And there are young people sunbathing in the summer (and yes, there is the occasional topless woman among them), families going for picnics – as has been the tradition ever since this cemetery was located in the countryside beyond the old fortified city and people would go to visit their departed family members on a Sunday and make an outing of it – and runners going for a jog on the many criss-crossing paths.

The cemetery is a living place, an integral part of our neighbourhood and in no way a gloomy or sad place. And it’s a whopping great view to have; from the warm yellow wall surrounding it, scanning upwards across the headstones and tree trunks to the canopy of tree crowns that form our horizon.

On the other side – from the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom – our view is less stunning, but to me it is actually also quite charming. We can look down into the courtyard garden below, with barbecues, tables and chairs and even a swing hanging from the branch of a medlar tree. And we can look across to a roof-scape of chimneys that reach up to the heavens, with frequent visits from seagulls and crows. It might not be conventionally beautiful like the view over the cemetery, but it has an urban charm to it; a sense of Baudelairesque retreat to a place above the city.

It reminds me of Baudelaire’s poem Paysage, where during winter the narrator retreats to his Parisian garret to write his pastoral poetry and

De tirer un soleil de mon coeur, et de faire

De mes pensers brûlants une tiède atmosphère.

“To pull a sun from my heart and to make / from my burning thought a tepid atmosphere.”

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Sunday Morning Visitors

Not the greatest picture, I know, but it was the best I could do on Sunday morning when I suddenly saw two deer out in the garden.

I know they come to eat the bark of bushes and trees, and they’ve been quite rought with the little pear tree last winter and seem to continue this habit, but… I love them!

They stopped by briefly on Saturday afternoon and then again for a bit longer on Sunday morning, and it seems that they are particularly fond of the top of the fir tree that toppled over recently.

I know some gardeners go to great lengths to keep deer out of their gardens, but I welcome them; there’s something very pleasant about wildlife in the garden, and at least in Denmark it doesn’t get much bigger than deer. I get all excited when I spot them around the garden, and especially these youngsters with their thick winter fur and their furry new antlers.

On Thursday my husband will be going up to the summerhouse with his mother, and then I will replace her Friday after work. I do hope he gets to see our visitors…

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Impatiently Waiting

Saturday morning I’ll head up to the summer house. The weather forecast is dismal, so I probably won’t spend much time gardening, but I can tidy up the house and put clean sheets on the bed so it’s ready for the following weekend when I will be up there with my husband.

I’ve updated my blog layout with a spring header. Not to say that winter is over, because it seems it hasn’t actually arrived yet, with December and January so far having been mild and wet, but because the lack of proper winter means that by now I just want spring to get here.

I know it’s still just mid-January, but the aconites are blooming in the gardens of the Royal Library here in Copenhagen, and surely that’s cause for some spring celebration, even if it’s a bit early.

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New Year’s Resolutions?

Right, so 2011 was a busy year, getting the new apartment sorted and managing some personal stress due to my dad’s ongoing illness, but 2012 will be different. Right?

I want to get the garden back into focus; it’s been rather blurred over the past year, with the vegetable garden as the only project that was really seen through. This means I will try not to make new projects, and thus my gardening resolution for 2012 will be:

Weeding, cutting, mowing, pruning

As you all know, general maintenance should be more than enough to keep me busy, so it’s not like it will be a lazy gardening year; just a year with less guilty conscience about the stuff that didn’t get done or didn’t get done at the right time.

(Though I might scatter some annual seeds here and here to add some extra bloom to the garden, and of course I will sow something in the vegetable garden as well.)

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It seems that one of the winter storms has had a casualty in our garden! On of the fir trees by the drive has fallen, but it was not very pretty and it fell on the area un-affectionately known as “the cemetery”, so that’s all right.

The picture adequately describes what a small root system it had, and considering it was a 30ft tree I guess it’s not surprising that it toppled over.

It does mean, though, that our garden is more open to the road, so I will have to think of ways to mitigate this accident and make the most of it. I’m pretty sure we already have small-ish plants in that area that will be able to bush out and give coverage within a few years, so I’m not too worried.


On the plus-side this will give us some fire wood to keep us warm! (Though probably not this winter, since it needs to season.) So tomorrow I will play the chain-saw gardener and have some fun with that.

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