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I love October. I really do. It might be partly because I was born in October. Yes, I do believe our birth month influences our favourite season, but not because of our birth as such. Rather, I think we grow up looking forward to our birthday as kids, and as a consequence our birth month is subliminally programmed into our minds as a season to look forward to.

Mind you, October has its objective charms:

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My dahlias are still going strong; I expected them to keep going until the first frost but never the less I’m still a little bit impressed that this flower bed is just becoming better and better. Sure, some of the flowers, like the ones below, are less than spectacular in their own right – I really dislike the rather faded salmon colour of these flowers, but they have a pretty shape and as the picture shows they are great for bees and other insects at a time when loads of other flowers have gone.

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I’m feeling rather down these days, though, in spite of my love of autumn. It’s hard, being unemployed and sending out application after application and getting – as a best result – rejections. It seems a lot of companies no longer send out rejections unless they have an automated system to do it for them, and this is quite understandable, considering that some of the jobs I’ve applied for have had 5-600 applicants for a single job.

Of course it doesn’t help that The Flâneur Husband is off on a 2-week business trip. I miss him, of course, but just as importantly he gives me a weekly rhythm which is just going haywire when he’s away and I don’t have a job. What’s week, what’s weekend? It all blurs and becomes a gray sort of non-time.

I’d probably be quite content to be a stay-at-home husband if the circumstances were right for it, but they aren’t. First of all we can’t afford it – and money is obviously a major determining factor in deciding your life style – and secondly I’m just not sure I would have enough to DO to occupy me, were I to be a full-time stay-at-home spouse. We live in an apartment, and the garden is by our holiday home, so there’s no way it could provide me with full-time entertainment.

Still, it can give me highlights like this one:

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So… I still need a job. Not just for the money, but for something to do with my time.

I’ve been rather down-hearted lately, though not in a “depressed” sense – I’ve previously been diagnosed with depression and I have the deepest respect for that term, and this is NOT depression. It’s just a rough patch. I want to stress that difference because the term “depression” is so often abused to describe “feeling down” or “the blues”.

It does mean I’ve been unable to do some of the things I wanted to do. I didn’t get the big foodie-post written up for Claire‘s guest-blogging post, and there have been many other things I haven’t gotten around to doing, even though I had promised myself to do it.

People do understand, though, that this is a rough time to go through, and my biggest problem is to tell people what is happening, including my husband. Somehow it’s easier to share this with a somehow anonymous public, rather than telling it to friends and family.

At the same time, remember – as I do – how privileged I am. There are so many other people out there where unemployment means the risk of not being able to feed their children, getting proper medical care or other serious implications. If this entry makes you feel compassionate and makes you want to help others, find a charity that helps people in developing countries. I can help myself, but others don’t have that luxury.

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-And I just can’t hide it!

A very good friend of mine is getting married in 15 days and tomorrow is her hen night. And it will be hosted in The Flâneur Apartment!

I’m going to cook my ass off to make sure she has a lovely meal and a perfect evening. I got up this morning and started rubbing salt, thyme and bay leaves into raw duck thighs, for Christ’s sake… I’m going all in, as much or perhaps even more than last Christmas.

There will be afternoon snacks (bruschetti with a variety of toppings), a starter of home-made ravioli, a mains of home-made confit of duck with trimmings, a salad course, a cheese course and a dessert of various home-made chocolate truffles.

Claire of Promenade Plantings recently advertised for guest bloggers during her vacation, so you will be able to see most of the recipes and their results on her blog on October 6th, the day my friend is getting married. Why on HER blog, you ask? Well, her blog has a mix of gardening and foodie stuff, so it somehow seems to fit in with her style better than with mine. (I will, though, remind you to visit her blog when the date arrives…)

Also, I thought it would be fun to write something to be read by people who don’t normally see my entries. After all, if you like writing you most likely enjoy reaching a variety of readers, so having the chance to present my words to her readers really seems like a privilege.

Anyway, her blog is worth a visit with or without my guest entry, so go no. Did I mention it was promenadeplantings.com?

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Recently the Flâneur Husband commented on how he was a bit sad that all flowers were concentrated mainly on the South-Western side of the garden. The Ambitious Border, The Puddles, The Sunny Border; everything seemed to happen to one side, and of course he’s completely right.

Mainly this is because I’ve been afraid to attack the main lawn. First of all, to make any sort of impact, a flower bed in the lawn would have to be of a certain size, and clearing lawn is always a big project. (And at times back-breaking.) Secondly, when we bought the summer house he was rather adamant that we should have a large lawn, so I’ve been chipping away at it at the sides where it wouldn’t make too much difference to the overall lawn space.

Mowed lawn

However, the last time we were in the garden together we were walking around and he mentioned that he’d like some more flowers to the North-East and North, and he would quite like a large flower bed in the lawn in front of the rhododendrons (by the garden bench to the right in the picture above). Hallelujah! I WANT THAT TOO!!!

Once the rhododendrons and the cherry plum has finished blooming there’s really nothing interesting happening on the right side of the house until the patch of goldenrods make their show in August/September, so we need something that will be glorious during the summer months.

Wait a minute… Is the Ambitious Border done yet? No, of course it isn’t; there is still a 3-meter gap between the border-proper and The Puddles, so obviously I need to clear that ground before I start digging in the lawn, but the other day my husband asked me if flaneurgardening.com was dying, and I think that’s just because I’m sort of loosing steam here. And what better way to find something new to write about than, well, PLANNING something new!

So what am I thinking about? Well, the lawn that will remain afterwards needs to have certain proportions. There needs to be room for a long table for an al-fresco lunch for 20 people, and alongside that room enough for a game of croquet, pétanque or Kubb, so basically this means an area around 8 x 12 meters should be kept as lawn. (And no, we’re not using competition standards when setting up lawn games…)

This will give space for a narrow path in front of the rhododendrons and a long flowerbed in front of that, perhaps a few meters wide and 7-8 meters long. To eliminate the need to mow a narrow path, this could probably be made of a weed-blocking material covered with wood chips made from our rather large stock-pile of twigs and small branches that are currently piled up behind the house.

So… Once the ground is cleared of grass, the path is made and everything is ready, what on earth should go into such a large flowerbed? Well, obviously I want everything in the garden to be fully hardy perennials, with few exceptions for special plants like the dahlias and some biannuals, but to begin with it would be easiest – and cheapest – to populate a large space like this with hardy annuals.

After all, I do have a seed stash…

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Accepting Winter


All right. So my spring header was a tad premature… I’ve now replaced it with a suitably wintery image, which means I have a complete set of headers for the seasons:

Spring

summer

Autumn

Winter

Autumn and winter are views from the apartment, but then that’s quite fitting, considering that our garden is a summer garden. -And the winter picture was taken this morning, and the view really WAS that blue! It looked amazing, and I’m really annoyed that my phone couldn’t take a less grainy image of it. Still, there is charm in imperfection, as most gardeners have to claim, right?

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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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Online? Offline?


It’s no secret that most of the garden blogs I read – and also most of the readers of my blog – are based in different countries. I guess I’ve sort of asked for this, blogging in English, rather than in my native Danish, but Denmark is such a small country that I just felt it would be natural to write in English if I were to make any real attempt at making my jottings accessible to any real audience. (And of course many of my friends are foreigners so if at any point I decide to come out of the closet as a garden blogger, they can actually read this blog.)

However… I don’t really know many Danish garden blogs, let alone bloggers, so when I came across the image to the left, a “virtual flyer” for a garden blogger meet-up here in Copenhagen, it got me thinking about whether it might not be an idea to attend and see if there are some interesting people there whose brains I can pick via their blogs. After all, gardening is hugely dependent on local circumstances, and though it might be nifty to follow gardening blogs from Japan to the US it doesn’t help me deal with local conditions.

So I may or may not go. Last sign-up is September 5th, and it’s a free event with the option of ordering a sandwich lunch.

Edited post-publishing:

I just took one step towards integrating myself in the Danish gardening blogosphere by getting my blog added to a directory of Danish garden blogs, haveblogs.blogspot.com. I need to add a proper link-back to the side bar at some point, and I should really also add links to Blotanical and Kathy’s Cold Climate Gardening and a few other sites.

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