Dutch Delft Blue inspired Spring Garden

Delft Blue inspired Spring Garden in the Netherlands

It´s full of Spring-feels now here in Germany, particularly here in Bavaria. Despite the “cold spell” and rains that we´re having right now, it didn´t stop me from getting myself busy gardening and rambling about our own “Fruhlingsfreude” .We have a little garden and this makes me feel excited . I can see more colors now , the Tulips and Daffodils are blooming and yes, it feels good to feel some sun again.

Speaking of garden inspiration, I kinda remembered this Delft Blue inspired Spring Garden I spotted inside the Keukenhof gardens in the Netherlands two years ago. Its white and blue inspired so I immediately fell in love with it. I think the idea was very original and of course, very-Dutch!

This Delft Blue inspired garden is full of colorful spring blooms and yes–a bit of Delft pottery, and images.On top of the list was these large crockpot-foliage with lots of crispy white Daffodils and Blue grape Hyacinths surrounded with draping Efeu (Common Ivy).What makes it so unique is that it is decorated with broken Delft Blue pottery.What a genius way of salvaging those precious pottery! I am calling it the Delft Blue giant Bouquet! This is the centerpiece in the garden and it sure made a statement!

Delft Blue inspired Spring garden in the Netherlands

Here in Germany, we have a traditional saying that “Scherben bringt Glück” or Broken Pieces bring Luck. I suddenly remember this when I saw this.This old saying applies for newlyweds where they bring old pottery, porcellain and ceramic pieces, old toilet bowls to smash and crack into pieces. They believe that the noise will drive away demons and bad spirits and protect the marriage. Glass in particular is forbidden to throw since glasses symbolize luck that cannot be destroyed or a Mirror, since a broken mirrow symbolizes seven years of bad luck.

Now this made me thought about the House of Mirrors I visited where a lady named Lydia decorated her whole House with broken Glass & Mirror shingles to cover up the mess made up by termites.Seemed like cultural beliefs are clashing.

Anyway, at least these beautiful blue and white Pottery were salvaged from being disposed. They made quite a nice mosaic that serves as a flower bed here.

Delft Blue inspired spring garden in the Netherlands.

I would definitely go for this inspiration. Blue and white are both very calming colors and it fits perfectly to us here just like our White and blue Bavarian Easter Eggs.

Delft Blue inspired Spring Garden in the Netherlands

I have a few blue and white pots and ceramics which I got from our frequent visits in the Netherlands and now I appreciate it even more looking at this Flower bed with different Delft portraits of the famous scenic spots like the Kinderdyk, Windmills and the Dutch Gable Houses .This made me put Delft to put into our places to visit once traveling is okay again.I can´t wait to visit this place soon!

And what to do with old Delft Blue plates?

In the pond they put together all these plates , creating an artistic Lotus plates.This garden looks even more and more fascinating.

Delft Blue inspired Spring Garden in the Netherlands

Of course it won´t be complete without the famous “Dutch couple kissing”!

Delft Blue inspired Spring garden in the Netherlands

To complete the Dutch theme, of course the traditional wooden clogs is reusable as well as pots.

What do you think of Ceramic inspired Spring Garden?

Do you also believe that broken pieces bring Luck?

Until then, Happy Spring and Tchüss!

Life in Colour / Pretty in Pink

Pink Coneflowers for sure can make your heart skip a beat

My wanderings are made better when I wear something pink as I go in my journey to find the Stumbling stones ( Stolpersteine) and Looking Down on Manholes Project.

Life can be grey sometimes, but whenever I see Pink, it´s a reason to smile.With pink blooms in Spring and summertime, who can´t resist to admire them…?

There is a so-called Pink truck in Kuwait which I spotted parked in front of Freej Swalieh, Salmiya
Purple Hibiscus are normal here, but in the Tropics, it´s always prettier in Pink

After all, Pink is the sweet side of red.

This post is inspired by HeyJude´s Life in Colour ; Pink.

Playing with a View in Wildpark Ferleiten, Austria

I would always prefer a playground like this, with a view and lush green nature

Yes, I am a parent as well so sometimes, I´ll post about children and parenthood .Playgrounds are a big thing here in Germany.So grateful that we lived in a city where child-friendly spaces are limitless and abundant. But sometimes, as we explore other places, we got lucky as well!

I think playgrounds grows with your child and it´s a vital place for any childhood.Around 500 meters away from where we lived we find a new rows of Kindergarten and Krippe ( Daycare center for small children) and they are building another playground.One small talk over breakfast made me realized that way back in Kuwait, there is a fast food center for every 1 kilometer radius.Name it, a Shawarma, Döner-Kebab stall, Mcdonalds, Pizza Hut, Burger King and not to mention those Arabic Bakalas where they sell local snacks and drinks.

Compared here, there is a playground or Spielplatz every 1 kilometer radius!

Looking for playground is always on our top to do list whenever we are out. I must say that here in Germany, it feel like I am commiting a big sin if I don´t take out my child into a playground. Regardless of the weather, we should head out.There was a time when playgrounds were banned and restricted due to Covid, it´s terrible. Thankfully, we are able to enjoy outdoors now at least.

Going to a playground is an automatic navigator, and in the end, a powerful stress reliever , just like I kknew that it would be a nice day if I had a run in the morning. For parents like me, you know exactly what I mean. Part of our daily walks in time of pandemic is a pit stop in a playground and it would surely make everyone smile.

When we visited Austria the last time, we find this amazing place, Wildpark Ferleiten , a wild park with a petting zoo, a very large playground, trampolines, Go Karts, water play areas and a lot more. Of course there´s a restaurant and a Biergarten as well. It´s located just at the foot base of the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse .

Photos are not enough but my daughter had a blast here, so did we. The weather was perfect and it was not too crowded when we came. Back in those days, no Covid yet so I guess we are worry-free. Made me think if I would be able to feel the same after Covid lockdowns and travel restrictions…

Testing the waters…
Adventure, fun and a bunch of wild children
The joy of exploring new places, balance and sense of independence
Nationalpark Hohetauern and the world of Fishes.Here it houses an interactive Museum about Water, living things in it and many forms. It was a very enjoyable experience and fun to learn.

There´s a part of this park that has a direct view of a cascading waterfalls in the middle of a lush forest. It looks so peaceful and yet, the only sound you hear are the screaming joy of children. The petting zoo was properly layed out and following the trail is actually exciting even for adults.

From time to time, I am reminded that here I first saw a real Edelweiß, the national flower of Austria.

Edelweiß-Leontopolium Nivale
Hochgebirgstauseen Kaprun
Krimmler Waterfalls

“It is a happy talent, to know how to play…” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

What could be a dream playground for you?

Until then, Tschüss!

A dreamy tipsy walk in the Vineyards

Panoramic views in the vineyards in Mosel Valley

I´ve seen it all often in movies and it still reminds me of romantic settings. Acres of Vineyards, beautiful, serene landscape, lush valley and quaint neighborhood, sunkissed grapes, people hold hand in hand and walking through the 8 ft wooden stakes grape vines, and savouring one of the best joys of life.

Nature and wine goes hand in hand, as always.

Panoramic views in the Mosel Valley

These views are glued into my mind, ever, especially the beautiy of the Mosel River flowing gracefully. I always loved to reminisce fond memories. This one in particular was when we visited the vineyards in the Mosel Valley. We explored Trier and Bernkastel-Kues as well. I loved walking through the long, colorful and narrow streets lined with quaint timbered houses.But walking through the vineyards is another experience.

This one in particular was in the area of OzannMonzel where we drived up to the ruins of a castle and we took a walk through the acres and acres vineyards. I was totally in loved of the sight of grapes, bunches of them. We visited around August, late summer time so they are still in course of ripening up before they are ready for harvest in Fall.Everywhere I see says “Weingut” or Winery.

Germany has best of both worlds, having best beers and also world renowned types of Wines. As I walked into the supermarket, I see that you can already have a good white dry wine for 5 Euros! While in other countries, wines can be brutally expensive and only people with money buy them and reserved for special occasions. Over here, you can never go wrong if you visited another household nd carry a good bottle of wine.

Growing on the rich Devonian soil which stores sunlight and minerals.

Visiting Mosel won´t be complete without wine tasting and glimpse of a Winery.We actually stayed in a Ferienwohnung ( Vacation house) which is being run by a family with winery business.At the moment we arrived, we ´ve got to taste their own selection of Riesling wines that I particularly loved. Personally, I am not a drinker, only on occasions. But I love a good glass of white wine.

When it comes to wines, the ones in the Mosel area are the ” Riesling specialists”! given its location, most vineyards are on a very steep locations.Today half of the vineyards are on steep and terraced sites with a slope of over 30 degrees, some planted at an astounding 70-degree gradient. Given this location, nearly all grapes have to be picked by hand. That includes tying each vine to its own eight-foot wooden stake, and carrying up the slate soil that has washed down with the winter rains. Very labour-intensive and a true sign of dedication to cultivating unique wines

Panoramic views of the Mosel River

Besides Riesling, other grape varieties were cultivated here.Today about 5,000 vintners cultivate roughly 9,000 hectares of vineyards, making the Mosel the 5th largest of Germany´s 13 wine producing areas.

I am grateful enough that besides a beautiful travel destination, culinary and winery offers it´s best in this region.Of course, wine tasting is excellent and you should never miss it!

Rivaner (Müller-Thurgau) is the second most important grape variety that is being cultivated here and Elbling, an old grape variety on the Upper Mosel, may have been cultivated here for 2,000 years. Fresh, fruity and uncomplicated dry and sparkling wines are made from it.

Grapes, Grapes and more grapes everywhere!

Grapes grow almost everywhere!

I have never seen an area without a climbing grape plant, even near the church and cemeteries there are grapes, really incredible!The old town was so quiet and we don´t mind it because we never liked crowds either.After a walk in the vineyards we´ve got to visit some nearby sights in Bernkastel Kues and the beautiful Burg Eltz castle.

IMG_1034

Walking through the vineyards made me laugh because I remember the movie ” Wine Country” directed by Amy Poehler.It was a comedy film with Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch and Maya Rudolph.It´s a hilarious film narrating stories about these women and their friendship and of course their sugar- coated lives which were about to be revealed during their get together  group trip. There were lots and lots of crazy funny scenes but there were also stunning views of the vineyards of Napa Valley. 

Hopefully we can visit once again soon once Corona is gone….

Yes, sometimes in life, all you need is a good glass of wine, friends and a good time!

Do you have a particular taste in Wine?

Prost…and Tschüss.

 

 

Tender Beginnings and picturesque Pink

Kirschblüten or Cherry Blossoms

Today is ” Ostermontag” or the second day of Easter here in Germany.Yes, same as Christmas, Germans have two days to celebrate Easter .One day is enough so we have an extra day of holiday. Well, it´s really a very difficult Easter this year because it doesn´t have the freedom from Corona yet.But then, it´s all okay, at least it´s Spring!

It´s lovely, smells heavenly and feels so romantic!

If there were no cherry blossoms in this world
How much more tranquil our hearts would be in spring.- Ariwara no Narihira (825-880)

A Selfie under the Cherry Blossom tree is a must!

The whole world is celebrating Easter and so are we. After a peaceful gathering at home, where we had Easter breakfast followed by the egg hunt for the little girl, we head outdoors to get some fresh air and enjoy some beautiful cherry blossoms. It´s timely, since I observed that around first days of April, cherry blossom trees around our neighborhood and in the parks are due for blooming.The branches are ripe enough to cast it´s yearly spell.

In Japanese, they called them “Sakura” .They doesn´t last long, normally they are gone within a week. Today was totally windy so most petals are being blown away by the wind.I´ve read that even the petals of Cherry Blossoms are edible. Famous brands like Bath & Body works & Rituals have their famous and top seller sets with Cherry Blossoms as one of the ingredient. I tried them so I know that it smelled heavenly! I am wondering how would it taste on cookies, rice balls and Mochi…now this makes me dream of it!

No wonder they symbolize Renewal, but also the fleeting nature of life.

It´s a joy to see them, and you can´t help to feel “romantic” when you see them.People are happy and smiling under the cherry blossoms. People gather around it, smelling it´s sweet fragrance and looking up to the skies.Nature seemed to be doing it´s wonder once again.I watched a couple under the tree making lots of photos and I guess they just simply wanted to enjoy this magical moment same as I did.In Japan, people loved to do picnics and hang lanterns at night.This tradition called “Hanami ” which means Flower viewing.

One old couple are taking countless photos under the cherry blossoms and watching them makes my heart warm. A picturesque pink photo together with your loveones is definitely a must once you see these pink blossoms. Whether it´s your child, spouse or partner, Cherry Blossoms is a love flower. I think we´ve made it as a yearly tradition to make photos under the Sakura blooms. I have a collection of my daughter on its branches , climbing and smiling.It´s a treasured memory, a lovely keepsake.

Despite the Pandemic, we always opt and turned to nature´s beauty, gasping for hope and endurance. It provides us strength and healing.

I guess some cherry trees are suited for ornamental purposes only. In some parts of Germany, they are really a huge tourist magnet.Although the sight of these pink blossoms are fleeting, it´s really worth it.

Bees surround the fluffy flowers and hovering around it, and never letting them go.The soft sun gives it´s more radiance, like wanting to show it off.The branches are wide, and provide a gentle shade to people who sits under it.It´s a momentarily comfort, a swift escape, a fleeting gift.In April the weather can be so finicky and thesepink blossoms doesn´t like rain. Today was cold and windy and I could already see that some blooms are wilted.

In the cherry blossom´s shade, there´s no such thing as a stranger.- Kobayashi Issa

More snapshots of our Pink World these days …

Our cheery blossoms here are nothing compared to Japan and US and other countries.But then I am grateful that we were able to see it´s beauty once a year even for a few days.It is definitely a tender beginnings for us as we see another year and battling the scares of Corona.

Do you have a favourite Spring flower?

This post is inspired by HeyJude´s Life in Colour series :Pink

Watch out, Bud!

It´s budding time

It´s Good Friday and I am busy watching trees budding their new leaves, such a joy to see it´s curls turning into green leaves.Nature is really always on time. It knows it´s course, and without delay, it goes with it´s cycle.A walk in my neighborhood makes me always appreciate life even more, taking note of small , little things that makes our hearts grow with warmth.

Spring time is here

What´s good about Spring is that it reminds us that cold doesn´t stay forever. I think this is the best part that I personally love.It makes me grateful that I have seen another beautiful Spring in my life and I can enjoy this simple wonders in Life. Watching the trees and bushes starting to unfold and transform is quite a beautiful journey.

“To be without trees would, in the most literal way, to be without our roots.”—Richard Mabey

Here I am, ready for a new life

Trees are good for our soul. They’re essential to the air we breathe. And they provide a majestic example of strength and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Weeping Willow

and this Willow doesn´t weep anymore…it´s back to it´s poise, elegance and again lithe with a new life.

Life in Colour :Green Obsessions

When I was younger, I am addicted to bags and shoes.I needed different bag for each day and I wanted to wear pretty shoes.I often wear heels at work and I really don´t mind them on my feet.When I got pregnant and had a child, I opt for comfy ones, something that I can run with it and my bags turned into backbacks full of my daughter´s things.

I prefer also large Tote bags and sling bags, since they are so practical , wearable while cycling and when we are always on the run.

But something had changed. I got hooked into plants. Green plants mostly.

I got obsessed with green.Lots of green living plants inside our home.Through time I got to know different kinds of plants.First I saw them online, there are lots of trendy plants in Instagram and I frequently visited garden shops.I think my environment now influence me a lot since a lot of people here, not only expats like me love the urban jungle phenomenon.

It started with one pot, then comes another, then comes another, then the rest is history.Most of these plants are a year younger than my daughter now, so basically, these plant babies ” grew” up with us.We got older, they blossomed, pruned, and had babies as well.

I love being with them and though it´s a lot of work to take care each of them, it makes me happy.I also killed lots of them.I overwatered, I pruned too much, and learned from doing trial and error.I ma overjoyed when I see new leaves, or new sprouts.When my purple Oxalis Triangularis bloomed, I was jumping because they are so pretty. She had so many babies and I already gave away to my friends some of it.Some of my all time favourites are the Monstera Deliciousa, Adansonii, Mother in law tongue or snakeplant, ZZ plant, Fiddle Leaf fig tree, Rubber plant, African Milk tree, Arrowhead, Weeping fig, and Pilea Peperomoiodes.

Now that it´s Spring, my plants are happy to get more sunlight, extra dose of fertilizer and new soil. Some of them got moved into a bigger pot. It´s the planting season so they are really gearing for a new growth spurt.During the pandemic, I noticed that most of my friends, here and abroad have opt to do gardening and getting into plants.I felht good, and I know its really great especially when you have something that you are passionate about.

Besides, growing your own veggies and herbs are really cool. Nothing beats it when you personally grow it.This Spring, I planted carrots, radishes, herbs, paprika and tomatoes. I can´t wait to see them grow and hopefully, land on our plates.

I think living with plants requires a special dedication. It requires patience and hardwork. Maybe people loved only to design their homes with plants, but that also requires attention since plants are living things. You can´t ignore them once you put them in the corner.For me, each plant becomes a treasure.I bought them when they are so small ( I only buy baby plants ) and watching them thrive and grow gives me such happiness.

I frequently visits the library and borrow books about different plants and how to take care of them. Some plants really need special care from the other and that makes sense since every plant has its own personality. I mastered the watering schedule and pruning times, and I become addicted as well of propagating them. I have a big Pothos now and they mostly came from cuttings.

I think aside from painting, I would love to continue taking care of my plants until I can do it.

They are beautiful, cleaning the air we breathe, and they make our tiny home so liveable so I cannot ask for more.

I guess, this is the kind of obsession that I wanna keep.What about yours?

This post is totally inspired by the exciting Life in Colour Challenge hosted by Hey Jude which coincidentally themed with “GREEN” colours.Definitely, for me, green obsession is a kind of life, a lifestyle where green plants are the stars.

Anyway, tomorrow is maundy Thursday, and here in Germany, we called it “der Gründonnerstag” .Traditionally this means that we need to prepare and eat something that is “green”. Spinach, kale, green beans,lettuce and alike are normal favourites!

Soon it will be Easter, Until then, Tschüss!

Spring Adrenaline rush

I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.Anne Lamott

This week is Holy Week.
Schools are having their 2 weeks Easter break (Osterferien) so we are stay at home and trying to survive each day.We visited the Library few times to get more books.We need to get the girl her new big bike and for her to master her inline skating skills.We need to plan and prepare something for Easter but I haven´t figured it out yet.
The number of Corona cases are still rising up so tight restrictions are bound to be implemented over these days.Hard to think that it´s almost been a year since pandemic started and we are still in the same situation.I don´t think travelling is encouraged over here in Germany, we don´t have anywhere to go to. Since most of the shops are still closed and Easter celebration is coming, I guess we make something at home.The only luxury that we can afford during this time is out in nature, playgrounds, and social distancing.

I said to myself that there´s no need to fret and rush.

While on the other side, at least there´s a lot going on. There´s a kind of “rush” that is going on, the kind that I like.Every morning, I am awaken by continous singing and chirping of the birds, there´s much sunlight now as we entered the “Sommerzeit“, or summertime over here in Germany. Sunny days, and finally it feels warmer now.I can tell you that it is indeed Springtime.I know that for sure, I never doubted Nature, its true to it´s course.

Somehow this Gallery shows the Adrenaline Rush that Spring brings us.Just like Marty Rubin´s words–

The deep roots never doubts, Spring will come….”

Coming up is BBQ and grilling season.There´s nothing cozier than having warm grilled meals in the garden.We don´t mind the rush, but it´s awesome.We just take a long bike ride and run just in case we eat a lot!

It´s still chilly in the mornings but in the midday, the sun is really enjoyable.Most of my neighbours are working hard on in their garden as we did. We did new flower beds and I planted seeds for our elevated garden. I hope I succeed in propagating carrots, radish, and more herbs.Mind you, Germans take gardening seriously. In my trips in the garden shops, people swarmed over buying pots, soil, seeds,plants, fertilizers and wood and more gardening things. Almost all supermarkets here sells different kinds of plants and flowers. I spent almost a day repotting and transplanting all of my indoor plants. I was personally amazed at its amount, it´s exhausting to care for them but then it´s all worth it.I never regret that I have become a plant-lady, it´s not a prestigouos achievement, but the rewards are incomparable.

There is really a kind of green rush when Spring comes.It feels great to feel the chilly wind and not cringe anymore for fear of frost, to smell the dirt from the soil, and the simple genuine pleasure of decorating balconies and terraces with plants.Anything that blooms and grows signals life..For me, the sight of “Reincarnated gardens ” are amazing!

With all these, I am just grateful that we have a small garden to tend to.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. “– Charles Dickens

Indeed, Spring had sprung and we are not complaining.

What about you, what kind of “rush” are you into right now?

I don´t have anything grand to share, just wishing you all to be safe, healthy and enjoy some time under the sun!Until next time.

Tschüss.

German word of the day :Frühlingsfreude

The first signal of Spring –Crocuses

Here´s another interesting German word : Frühlingsfreude (n) which means Spring Joy.

Frühlingsfreude is actually a combined words of Frühling ( Spring) and Freude( Joy) . Anything that brings gladness in hearts during Spring .As always, nature comes first but it can also means a simple act of kindness, hearing all day long the chirping of birds, or even running on an early morning with fog.

Over the past few days these are what gives me Frühlingsfreude;

I smiled when I finally saw these tiny yellow buds, and purple Crocuses! They definitely brings me a feeling of new beginnings.It´s still so cold outside and mostly minus temps, good thing the sun shines graciously.

The amazing smell all over the house filled with the scent of freshly home baked Èmpanadas` and Frühlingsrolle or Lumpia for a light Dinner.

Frühlingrollen or Lumpia tastes better when shared with friends.

Taking long walks while soaking up under the sun.

I don´t know why but there are plenty of swans and ducks over here.Everypond, lake and river it is impossible not to notice a duck.So yes, seeing them at this time is always refreshing.The other day, we sat by the river and ducks came to us immediately, waiting for some bread pieces…!

I had also few trips to Garden shops ( since they finally reopened!!!) to get some soil , pebbles , fertilizers and seeds.This Spring I wanted to start a new Hochbeet ( or elevated garden) to plant some veggies and herbs).Its still minus temps at night so I am waiting until the last frost then I could proceed with garden work.

What had made you smile lately?

Until then, Tschüss!

Life in Colour : Green

Hops, the Green Gold `of Bavaria in Southern Germany.This wonder-plant is the main ingredient for brewing Beer.

I gave it a ” Go” when I read that this month´s color theme from Travel Words Life in Colour is Green. In German, its called Grün. In my native language its Berde .It´s one of my favourite color and inpiration in my Abstract paintings .I love it since it´s fresh, calming and very natural. Aside from Blue, I can´t imagine the world without the green color. I am a plant lover, nature wanderer and I find just looking at greens so Zen.

Here are some of the fascinating green moments in my travels and wanderings.

I find this Light Green table setting in a restaurant in Regensburg very warm and cozy.
Watching how the vast forest turns into a green paradise in the middle of Spring
“Green to me is a symbol of growth of nature. When I notice the color green it gives off a calming and peaceful feeling.” – Brenden

Few more weeks and its Spring here in Europe, I am sure my walks would be full of green sights again.For all my lady Friends, I wish you all Happy World Women´s Day!

The Green Windows in Failaka Island

Hops, the Green Gold ingredient of Beer

The Grass is greener in Bavaria

Baggersee Reflections

Stay safe.Tschüss.