Categories for Gardening

A talk in the garden

Today the weather turned from cloudy and a bit rainy this morning to a blue clear sky with the sun shining bright right now.

I enjoyed my time in the garden. Some weeding. The bit behind the raspberries. The corner bit. Lots of thistle, grasses and coltsfoot. Not too warm. The sun shining more and more during the afternoon.

Several talks. I liked them. One about the Dutch word eigenlijk, actually.

Another about me and my website. I was asked where the drive came from. I tried to be as honest as i possibly can. Which is hard. Because i have been hiding so many things deep inside over the years. Even for myself. I honestly believe i need to keep on going till the end. I can not play it safe. I can not put a bit on a alternative reality, to keep as a safe place for me to run to once everything goes wrong. I have to stay with this a full 100%. With nothing left to spare. No holding back.

Which is scary. Extremely scary. I honestly do not know what will happen. I need to keep it all in the air and see where it leads me.

I do know time is running out.

But also, timing is vital.

The sun sank lower and lower, and their hopes fell. It sank into a belt of reddened cloud and disappeared. The dwarves groaned, but still Bilbo stood almost without moving. The little moon was dipping to the horizon. Evening was coming on. Then suddenly when their hope was lowest a red ray of the sun escaped like a finger through a rent in the cloud. A gleam of light came straight through the opening into the bay and fell on the smooth rock-face. The old thrush, who had been watching from a high perch with beady eyes and head cocked on one side, gave a sudden trill. There was a loud attack. A flake of rock split from the wall and fell. A hole appeared suddenly about three feet from the ground. Quickly, trembling lest the chance should fade, the dwarves rushed to the rock and pushed-in vain.

“The key! The key!” cried Bilbo. “Where is Thorin?”

Thorin hurried up.

“The key!” shouted Bilbo. “The key that went with the map! Try it now while there is still time!”

Then Thorin stepped up and drew the key on its chain from round his neck. He put it to the hole. It fitted and it turned! Snap! The gleam went out, the sun sank, the moon was gone, and evening sprang into the sky.

Source: The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, J.R.R. Tolkien

I’ve read this story when i was around eleven twelve years old. The last light of this special Durin’s Day shows the keyhole. This story and the sequel, The Lord of the Rings, are a part of my life.

I’m using these stories dramatic timing to guide myself. I can not simply tell you what is in my mind. I do not know that, not yet. I’m slowly crawling up the mountain, each turn giving me a different perspective.

But, it is not like that. The truth is that i am using these metaphors, these mechanics, these stories to pull me through these uncharted areas.

I am getting closer. I can feel it in every bone in my body. In every dream i had.

Nearly there.

Thinning out the carrots makes a nice harvest
Nasturtium flower
Plum tomatoes
A pear
Pumpkin flower
Julien once again
The working gear shed
The kitchen and greenhouse shed
Diamela eating some beetroot
Published on July 3, 2017 at 6:00 by

A warm Sunday

A really hot Sunday. I did go to the garden, i did a bit of work, some weeding, picking red berries, but i also spend a lot of times sitting or lying on the couch in the shadow, talking with the other people. About Islam, the Koran, the bible – my add to the conversation – terrorism, countries and their dividing of violence and power. About Mars once more, i still objected to the thought of going there in 20 years or so, about artificial intelligence, to which i listened, i had some remarks in my mind, but didn’t speak them out.


I spend time this evening, since i’m home again, thinking. Thinking about the talks, about what i said, about what i felt, what i didn’t say. And also feeling that it isn’t the place to talk high and mighty. There is never a place to talk high and mighty, first of all. I hope i’m not the person to talk like that. But i should talk and join these conversations. But it is always hard, because people say things, and behind what they are saying are so many thoughts they don’t say, but which are still there.

And i’m still working on it. Working on what i want to say, what i want to express here. This place, all my own. This place where i feel free. This place where i can say anything i want. This place which i have made my own over the past two years and five months.

Earlier this evening i read an article The empty brain.

Worse still, even if we had the ability to take a snapshot of all of the brain’s 86 billion neurons and then to simulate the state of those neurons in a computer, that vast pattern would mean nothing outside the body of the brain that produced it. This is perhaps the most egregious way in which the information processing metaphor has distorted our thinking about human functioning. Whereas computers do store exact copies of data – copies that can persist unchanged for long periods of time, even if the power has been turned off – the brain maintains our intellect only as long as it remains alive. There is no on-off switch. Either the brain keeps functioning, or we disappear. What’s more, as the neurobiologist Steven Rose pointed out in The Future of the Brain (2005), a snapshot of the brain’s current state might also be meaningless unless we knew the entire life history of that brain’s owner – perhaps even about the social context in which he or she was raised.

We are not computers. We do not store information data in data banks. We do not access data banks.

We are human beings. We think in emotions, feelings.

I think in conversations with people i know, or complete strangers, or people i hardly know. I think in posts on this blog. I think in falling in love. I think in walking. I think in the sun shining, the rain falling.

When i think about my past, i think about the people who were my friends. I think about some moments which are standing out for me. The Saturday i made my drawings. The Tuesday after that when i bought Songs to Remember in the shop Haddock. I remember going through the records in that shop. A bit dark. I wasn’t looking for it, but i simply came across it. And i was excited, i remember that. I remember going on my bike back home, excited. And playing the record. Which i loved. I don’t know why i threw the I Ching when the Sweetest Girl came by. I was sitting on the floor, before a chair. And i didn’t believe it. No way. Of course not. That would be insane. Truly insane. But i never forgot about it. And i still don’t get it completely. I still wonder about it.

And i don’t think i ever talked about this with friends. I mentioned bits and pieces. But i never explained the whole thing. Which was engraved in my mind. I was hiding it away. Embarrassed. Ashamed.

And i tried to live on. I tried to make it work. And i always failed. I didn’t find a group of friends. I didn’t find the love of my life. I didn’t get children. I remember crying over that, ten years ago, something like that. It’s not that it is the one thing i really want. But i wouldn’t have said no either. But no. Nothing.

And i don’t get it. I know i did many things wrong. I made many mistakes. But don’t we all? And i did learn from every mistake i made. I’m trying so hard to get my life back together. And now my money is running out. I get emails from companies saying they cannot get money from my account, because it is empty. And i don’t fucking care. I’m not stopping. I am going forward. Absolutely.

Because what is my life worth if i stop? What if i go back to work? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I’d rather die. Truthfully.

It is difficult.

Sorry, i’m sitting here in front of my computer trying to get myself together. Calm myself a bit.

Well, this is enough for a post, for now. Maybe i will add a bit more tomorrow. Not sure. I’m gonna leave it.

The last word isn’t said yet.

Published on June 19, 2017 at 6:00 by

Friends from the garden

A few weeks ago i got the idea of making a new video about the people working in the gardens. I even talked about it with Ronald, who works in the garden irregulalrly. Last week i changed this plan. Making photographs is a bit less invasive. Last weekend i made a few, first with the idea of publishing it straightaway, but after a few minutes i decided that would be too quick.

Right now i’m sitting at the edge of the platform of old train station Hofplein. It is busy here. I hadn’t realised there were more things going on here. People are having a picknick in the general area and walking through the garden and making photographs. The weather is good. Not too warm, a bit of sunshine, a bit of wind.

I made a draft for this post earlier this week. And i selected the category Friends for it. I simply clicked it on. Within a second i knew what i was doing. So yes, that is how i feel. Now, after working for more than a year in the garden. Friends. Not that i know everybody intimately. But still, working together, talking about all different things generates this feeling of friendship. I don’t know how long this will last, but for now it feels good.

So i took the photos. Close up. I did ask everybody if they wanted this. Some said no. Which is fine. Everybody has his or her own reasons. I decided late last night i will write the texts underneath the photos myself. I will let everyone read it and change it if they want that.

The first three photographs are from Daniël, Rutger and Jorinde. They are the driving force behind the gardens. Rutger has the all the seeds, the plan for the gardens ingrained in his mind. Daniël is the building man. The greenhouse, the chicken coop. And the coffee! Jorinde works with them since the start of this year.

Daniël is the coffeeman! He builds the structures needed around the garden. He has studied medicine for four years, but decided not to become a doctor and focusses his energies on gardening in stead.
Rutger has studied International Development Studies at Wageningen University. He also decided to work in urban gardens, around eight years ago. He knows a lot about seeds, agriculture and gardening. He writes articles for Het Potentieel and Stadslandbouwtijdschrift.
Jorinde has traveled a lot. In the autumn she goes to France to help pick the grapes. I love to work with her.
Julien is a musician. He works a lot in the garden and knows a lot about seeding and herbal teas and everything to do with gardening.
Ronald is our anarchist garden worker and tax consultant. He loves stroopwafels and Permablitzing.
Wijnand is a musician. He is a busker and plays music in the street as Wah Ananda. He also sings in the Maja Fietsclub and in Buzz King. He works hard in the garden and gets the water from the Rotte when it is a dry period and we really need it.
Carlijn is an illustrator and does body work. She makes lovely drawings.
Giulia brings along figues and water and is also working on a herbal spiral in the Peace Garden together with Carlijn.
Ben is studying here in Rotterdam. He is from Germany. Great guy 🙂
Diamela is from Columbia and loves gardening.
Diana works in the fruit garden at Station Hofplein. I'm still getting to know her. Very active!
Alex i only saw once or twice in the garden. Still happy i made a photo of him. 🙂
Published on June 12, 2017 at 6:00 by

The garden

The man playing the saxophone is back!
Into the garden
Today i finally planted the nasturtium in their place. Curious if this will work out. Fingers crossed!
The table
The harvest - most of the strawberries we ate the minute it was picked 🙂
Published on June 5, 2017 at 6:00 by

The sea

After a long day working in the garden several people went to the beach with a barbecue and swimgear. We had a feast of a meal. A passerby had an interesting story to tell. We treated a lovely dog, Belina, to some kebab.

I walked past the sea for a bit. And made several photos of the view. Lovely. Ooh, and in the afternoon i had photographed swans with their young. Lovely too.


Published on May 29, 2017 at 6:00 by

Station Hofplein

Today it was the first day of working at the fruit garden at the old Station Hofplein. Going to the market earlier than usual, around 10.30 this morning. I only needed vegetables for a new soup, milk for my oatmeal porridge, butter and cottage cheese.

First, it was warm. It still is. Tomorrow it’ll be even warmer. Not sure how i will cope with that.

It was also busy. People who read about the opening in the newspaper came by, people from a municipal area commission were present, a photographer, someone making a GoPro time-lapse movie. There was lentil soup, a vegan herbal butter, a normal herbal butter, turkish bread. Coffee, tea, water and syrup. Cookies!

I did some thistle pulling. I worked on the herbal butters. I wandered around a bit. Sat beneath Wijnand who was singing songs in the middle of the garden and danced along. Talked with Ronald while we were having the lentil soup. Put my shoes off, walking with bare feet. Filled watering-cans with water for Daniël and Jeroen planting grapes at the fence. Made photos. Sat below the roof of the old station, in the shade. It was warm. Helped at the end getting all the stuff together and bring it back to the Peace Garden, at the other side of the train rails.

I did talk. About this website. About my money situation. Talking about my dreams, about the stuff in my mind is the most important thing for me, right now.

My dreams.

To save the world. For people to notice me. Even though that is really hard to achieve. Because the noise of all the people talking and showing and being in the world is deafening. And i’m not a good shouter. So i’m still not sure. I can see it though. Across. I can feel it. In my bones.

I’m simple me. Lonely. Yes. There is a thought, a dream inside of me, which is pressing on me. Pushing me. Which i cannot let go of.

This world. It is painful to watch. Sometimes. Politics, science, business. All people talking and chatting and mumbling and shouting, watching each other, eyeing each other, making money, living their lives. Kissing and loving and hating and fighting and killing.

This dream. Of me meeting someone else, in public. Falling in love. In public. Getting known. Becoming famous. Living my life on, each day a new day. Changing the world. As we live on. Changing how people feel. About this world. About themselves. Fighting. To make this world a better place. As some of us already do, right now.

I don’t know. I really don’t know. I have no idea if there is anything true in what i feel. It is like completely dark around me. A place to feel my way forward.

And yes, sometimes it scares me. But not all the time. Because in the end, i feel, i should live my life courageously.


Not going the expected route.

Living my life for myself. Dangerously. What i want to do.

So yes, it was a full day. Warm. Good.


Many many many thistles!
A lovely dog who enjoyed being petted
Ernst, Jorinde and Jeroen
Carlijn filming
Wijnand singing songs
One side of the station
... and the other side of the station
Published on May 17, 2017 at 6:00 by

A champion’s day

An update on my own plants on the one square meter balcony. Bonus: Mouse the cat!
The rocket growing fast and wide
Another smaller nasturtium
The bay leaf is growing since it got new compost
Bay leaf
Clover at the laurel pot
Coots in the Rotte and two young ones, their nest made with anything they found, including throwaway plastic
Feijenoord won!
In the fountain on the Hofplein, only a hundred yards away from the garden. The noise was a bit deafening.
A swan couple and their six young ones
Working late in the garden
Daniel caught between the leaves 🙂
Published on May 15, 2017 at 6:00 by

A crowded Sunday

A week ago i was pulling out thistles. I was using a small spade, sticking it in the ground close to the root, using the palm of my hand to push it in deep. I got a blister. I found out when i removed my gardening gloves. It was already open. It was a bit hurtful the first few days. I can still feel it right now, but the hurt is gone. The first few days i was a bit more careful getting out weeds. Still, my first blister! Something to be proud of.
Halfway the gardening time we walked to the big market square. There were big screens up where people could watch the Excelsior-Feijenoord game. Feijenoord is hopefully going to win the KNVB Cup. Not today though, they lost: 3 - 0.
People climbed all the structures places on the market square.
Mostly young people. And lots of beer.

Stadslandbouwkas “De Oude Beer”
Through a link on facebook i saw a movie about a big city greenhouse “De Oude Beer” in Dordrecht last week. The greenhouse has 4000 square meters inside and a 100 square meters outside space. No chemical fertilizer and pesticides are used. A lovely movie, about building up the garden, weeding and seeding and planting. And peppers!

More informatie about this project on their website:

Published on May 8, 2017 at 6:00 by

A gardening Sunday

The harvest!
Most of the work done today was in our second garden. Same as last Friday. It really needs it.
More weeding done in the bed with the leeks. Planted broad beans in the middle of it. The ground near the train rails was emptied as well. We planted blackberries last year to make it grow there.
The blackberry bush
Newly planted broad beans
A bumblebee
Weeds still to work at
A lovely yellow flower in between the weeds. No idea if this can stay or should go.
And more weeds
Daniël hard at work in between the apple trees
Julien planting New Sealand spinach
An overview of the garden we worked on today
Published on May 1, 2017 at 6:00 by