Have you ever wondered what are the flowers included in the Flower of the Year Campaign (Blume des Jahres) in Germany?
I have no idea whatsoever, not until I came across this interesting list over Here. I find it really worthwhile to know that here in Germany they have such cause of protecting the Endangered Plants, let alone wild Flowers. Who would have cared? for others, they are just type of grass or weeds which grows wild on fields. Not so here ! They called it “Stiftung zum Schutze gefährdeter Pflanzen” , which was initiated by the wife of former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in 1985.The purpose of this campaign was to create public awareness about the ecological impacts and importance of wild flowers and protecting the endangered ones.
They published the flower of the year every October of the year in order to promote this campaign. I love plants and everything and I normally used to illustrate flowers as well using watercolor .I looked forward every year seeing them bloom like crazy in Spring through Summer !
This Summer, I have done quite a lot of running and leisure walks to capture them. Even when we do some family trips, I tried to photographed them and these one are by far my favourites these year! If you are in Instagram, you will see that they are on top of feeds of people who love nature and plants.
I love the fact that they exude a different aura even when the sun is about to set. For those of you who are new to Germany, a sight of Mohn blumen feld is something to behold. I always love to take a walk in every flower fields nearby to admire them.I guess I love seeing them better than tall buildings!
I am planning to create a Flower journal and printed them once I am done compiling them. I remember when I was a child, we always made a calss project out of dried plants and flowers. We put the flowers and leaves in between the pages of book and let them dry for a while. Dried flowers have another charm and it creates a bit of nostalgia.Nowadays, I do it with lavender flowers!
During this time that we have restrictions because of Corona virus, out in the green nature is one of our favourite pastime.We love leisure walks and staying out of crowded areas is far by the best to get going. I am doing my runs in the morning and seeing them in different forms is enjoyable.Gazing at the vast flower fields for a moment is a time well spent and for me, never wasted. Wildflowers are reminders that seasons and nature go by their own course even without human to interfere. They just pop out of the blue!
Compared with the mighty Tulips and Dandelions, they are quite humble beauties. The don´t need much, except lots of sunshine and rain to thrive.Streets and fields would be so dull without them I think.
Speaking of flower love and urban gardening, I would like to put into writing how much I appreciate my local town when it comes to their love for plants and flowers. Every one is crazy pampering their own garden and balconies with plants! It´s a fact that Germans love gardening and plants, in all seasons.Because of Corona crisis, the Landesgartenshau 2020 were canceled so we were not able to see the flower show here in Ingolstadt. But the thing is, Landesgartenshau gave so many flowers and garden plants to people of Ingolstadt. We were one of the lucky recipients of the box filled with 6 different flowering plants donated by them.their aim is to bring joy to all plant lover and give them a bit of the flower charm in every garden here.People driving Audis and expensive cars lined up just to get these free plants!
I guess summer days would not be complete without Poppy flowers and the rest of wildflowers. Together with Sunflowers, they remind me that sunny days and warm feelings are free gifts to enjoy without a cost.Now that we are still under Corona crisis, walking into nature is one of the best theraphy that we can reward ourselves!
” A life with plants is vibrant and full of joy “…
I go by these words nowadays.This is the reason why I respect the social media that I am engaged into right now especially the platforms that I am sharing this Blog and my artworks as a self-taught artist. Instagram , for example have made me discover the beautiful side of loving plants.Talented photographers, gardeners, home makers and all these crazy plant people have created a whole new definition of indoor gardening .You think it’s just a new trend, I tend to disagree, for me it has become a lifestyle. The kind of inspiration that I love. If you love nature overall , I guess its very difficult to not appreciate the primitive and raw forms of life that surrounds us— plants! Come to think of it, when people wants to feel better, or release some tension, they go to nature. I live in a very green city, I have an access to green parks and forest within 5 minutes away from my doorstep. I always visit parks with beautiful landscapes, with blooming flowers and plants, or simply taking a walk into green forests to have a quiet time and nature always do me good. I am so thankful that my new home now, Bavaria, is an oasis of nature. It is no wonder I wrote many things about nature here.
It’s a natural stigma, like an old adage. Even from the beginning, people gravitate to something that make them feel good, an addiction in a good way. Studies shows the many health benefits of simply getting your hands dirty by gardening. Its one proven way to release chemicals Dopamine and Serotonin. It’s not just for old people. Now I understand the joy we had while “Strawberry picking” last Summer or just by drooling over the new sprout of leaves from my plants.
It’s like seeing the eyes of my daughter when she smiles— its beautiful!
This post is very personal to me since this is the story of how I find an outlet of happiness by “nurturing” plants. I have shared to you how I’ve felt when I sold my first painting. It’s a moment of pure joy, a newfound purpose. When I have “revived”a dying plant, something left with only few leaves, but then grows back and bloom, the feeling is the same. My journey as a crazy plant lady started with a small pot of Chrysanthemums I placed in the garden, plants some stem cuttings of Jade plants ( I didn’t even know how to grow them, I just tried my luck!) followed by few succulents and cactus, then the addiction began. There can never be enough. I am always on the look out of houseplants that are both beneficial and gives aesthetic boost to my home. With this, I involved my husband and my daughter. They know how crazy I am with plants because they know plants make me happy. Here in Germany, where the level of self-wellness is very high, it becomes a second nature now for me to create a lifestyle for a better quality of life.
Just like parenting, plant nurturing is a journey of self-discovery of how much love you are willing to give. It’s way more than just watering them. You’ve got to feel your plants, getting to know them, and watching over them like a mother. I am a first time mother and nurturing is something that I am continuously learning up until now. Being an Expat-mama where I don’t have the luxury of having my immediate relatives for support have forced me to discover myself through the ups and downs of motherhood. It was not easy, there were sad days and tears were shed, especially when my daughter is sick or facing developmental delays. But there were also tears of joy, a sense of being needed, of being loved-back in return. It’s priceless. I know many mothers & parents can relate to this feeling.
Plants have helped me in the process of learning how to nourish a life entrusted to your hands—and let yourself be nurtured in return. This an important part of fostering a strong, secure sustainability practice or else you will just waste money. Plants are no cheap and requires maintenance just like having a pet. It’s a beautiful purpose in life. I’ve lived in 4 different apartments in the last years and every time I build a new “home” for myself. Each one is a different surrounding and Expat life is like camping. A modern-day nomad. When you are new to a foreign place, or unsure where you are going in life, I find ways to fully integrate as much as possible. This is the reason why I always try to find beauty here in Bavaria. I focus on the positive side and making this place feels like home. Being a crazy plant mama helps me refocus my energy on staying grateful, abundance, presence, and manage my stress accordingly. My plants have help me “set my roots” here in Germany.My plants have taught me how to become a better person! And they remind me that my actions have a significant effect on them. I don’t think that I can make a single plant alive if I am neglectful. Having houseplants requires responsibility.
Just like Painting, colors, shades of paint and the medium that I use allow me to embrace every shape and form to create an art composition. I’ve become fascinated with plants and colors that I usually see in my surroundings. Germans are good home makers. I love the way they make their gardens and decorate their balconies with houseplants. From large curtain-less windows, I got a chance to sneak peek on their huge planters, with cascading plants all over. There’s something about the way a place looks so peaceful and cozy when it’s adorned with plants. I noticed that Germans also love fresh flowers.They have different plants and flowers for each season and one of the things I love about visiting the Fresh market is the fresh blooms in display! And speaking of Bavaria, here, almost, or at least from what I see, no matter how tiny your apartment is, there is always a pot of plant or flower in it.
I’m telling you, my biggest expenditures lately are my Plants and painting materials. The two important things that gravitates me to living a less-stress life.Living with plants in every room of our apartment have become a new natural for me in a short period of time. Some have stayed, and some have had to go, but the best part overall is seeing a growth happening, right before my eyes. I killed many of them , I was sad, disappointed at my self and blamed my “overwatering” nature. I am no expert, nor a green thumb. I just experiment, follow the rhythm of nature, researching about how to care for each type of plant, and this actually works for me to keep them alive, and especially —thriving.
My daily routine includes tending to my plants, as I tend to my love ones, feeding them & nurturing them. I am grateful every time I roll down the roller shutters from our living room to let the sun floods the entire house, giving the golden sunshine to my plants.Through the days, I dream of new ways to grow green life indoors and cultivating new plant sprouts. I clean the house surrounded by pots of Jade plants, ferns, Zamioculcas Zamiifolia ( or lucky feather),Monstera deliciosa, and Alocasia. I prepare meals for my family in the view of my stunning Oxalis Triangularis, and Snake plant ( Mother-in Law tongue plant) . We share sumptuous meals as a family in the dining area with my Lily (my Fiddle leaf fig tree) , Calatheas, and spider plant. In our garden, I plant herbs, and grow tomatoes, leeks, rosemary, basil and paprika from leftover veggies. Plants bring beauty into our lives and illuminate for us just what that kind of beauty can do to change the texture of our days and reconnect us to the cycles of the moon and stars and sun. If you are searching to live a more meaningful life, search for more beauty. Stop the negativity. And that begins, as all life does, with plants.
I read in one article that house plants reflect how you feel as a person because they are completely dependent on you. You can tell by the state of your houseplants whether you feel good about yourself or not.
“ Plant addiction or not, it really doesn’t matter. If you love what you do and you have joy in your life with whatever you fill it with—-it’s your choice. All addiction pathways are the same no matter what the chemical.
As long as you feel rewarded you reinforce the behavior to get the reward.”
So in other words it all comes down to the fact that we can’t change our craving nature but we CAN change the nature of what we crave.
What do you crave for in life?
I am curious to know, what is your channel of happiness at this moment?
Do you also love plants? How was your experience?
Please feel free to share your opinion of this post and if you are thinking of starting an indoor garden for yourself, you might want to check out what I’ve written on Houseplants that I actually didn’t kill.
Thank you once again for reading my friends. A long weekend is coming up over here in Germany and I am already busy thinking how to spend those days! Can’t imagine that within a month, I’m going back to school and start a whole new routine! Until next time.
I am very motivated person, especially when I am painting, but I discover that lately, my mood is greatly affected by the kind of surroundings that I am into. I realized that adding “greens”and cultivating plants have helped me so much to manage my stress and helped me take control of my focus. When I visit gardens, botanical or plant shops, I am in a happy place. It’s not just about the visual effects from plants that I love, I also adore the fact that houseplants add texture and life to a space especially with a more minimalistic theme like what I am into.
I am no-genius gardener or a skilled horticulturist, I just LOVE plants!
I don’t call this an obsession but a new passion. I guess if you LOVE something that you do, then it’s really good for you. For me, Green is the new Black. So I don’t feel guilty that I am indulging myself into my plant therapy and so far, I am so happy with the results. But it was not that easy at the beginning. The moment I bring home the plant, it starts dying, I feel frustrated. I won’t lie, I have killed so many until I have finally settled on best approach to keep my plants healthy, green, thriving, and best of all——keeping them ALIVE!
What is your plant’s personality?
One way I learned about plants is to do some research about them. It’s easy to take care of something that you are familiar with since plants are variedly different.
If you have a small apartment, better choose plants that can adapt to your space. It’s not just all about buying plants from the store and bringing it to your home. It’s all about incorporating it to your lifestyle. If you’re thinking of adding some plants into your home, then this post might inspire you. I have said to myself before that I am a notorious “brown thumb“, but then I bent myself in keeping them alive or else, I would really consider myself a “complete failure”! ( Crossing fingers!)
I wanna share with you 9 plants that I manage not to KILL (Hooorraayyy!!) and gratefully nurturing up until now .
1.Dumbcane ( Dieffenbachia , Leopard Lily)
This is actually a present from my parents-in-law once we moved to Germany. The photo above shows the mother plant, I already transplanted the other sprouts into another pot and that one is also thriving. It is very sensitive to direct light and overwatering is very crucial since it will rot the roots.I find this plant so pleasant that it adorns or living room in all seasons. Best to put in a corner where there is indirect sunlight .
Note : This plant is toxic. Not to be eaten. The leaves, if chewed or eaten, can cause temporary swelling of the tongue and throat, leading to a temporary loss of speech and the common plant name of dumbcane. While this is usually not serious, it can cause suffocation. Avoid placing the dumbcane plant where curious children or pets might be tempted to taste it.
2.Cornstalk Dracaena (Dracaena fragrans ) or Massangeana
One of the best plant for purifying the air and removing several types of toxins. Its tall tree-like shape makes it a great addition to any room.Very easy to maintain. Take note that its leaves are toxic so keep away from pets.
Did you know that the dracaena fragrans was a plant used in the NASA’s clean air study which proved to remove a considerable amount of toxins from the environment.The worst thing’s to do with this plant is over water it or let it stay in direct sunlight for too long, otherwise it’s a tough cookie.
3.Silver Bush , Cushion Bush ( Calocephalus Brownii)
This is one of my favorite houseplants since late Spring. I find it so pretty and unusual. It looks so artificial with its silver bush and can add instant “life”once you place it near the other greens. It’s very easy to maintain this plant, again, it needs a good draining soil and too much water is the friend of this plant.
In Australia, Silver bush is also called cushion bush, because the twigs used to be used as filling for mattresses and cushions. Its suffix is ‘Brownii’which refers to the Botanist Robert Brown who discovered this plant in 1817.
4.Purple Shamrock , Love Plant ( Oxalis Triangularis )
I got this purple gem as a present from my neighbor. She gave me a small pot of this with only a few strands. Since then, it grew wildly, so I propagate and transplanted a total of 4 plants within 3-4 months. Yes, it’s really that easy. Oxalis triangularis or commonly known as ‘Purple Shamrock’ or Love Plant. Its purple triangular-shaped leaves are so beautiful, so amazing that during night-time, it closes and opens up again once it sees sunlight. It needs a good draining soil, and requires less water and moisture.
I place this plant in our kitchen window where it has an abundant indirect morning sun and glows perfectly well.This plant is a must have if you want to keep a homey atmosphere in your patio, balcony or just beside your bed.
5. Spider plant, (Chlorophytum comosum, airplane plant, St. Bernard’s Lily, spider ivy, or the Ribbon plant)
Another plant that I love is this cute Spider plant. It reminds me of the wild plants we have in Philippines .The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is considered one of the most adaptable of houseplants and the easiest to grow. This plant can grow in a wide range of conditions and suffers from few problems, other than brown tips
I find them Spider plant so easy knowing that they are one of the most popular houseplants. Best for beginner plant lovers just like me.These tough plants tolerate lots of abuse, making them excellent candidates for newbie gardeners or those without a green thumb. Provide them with well-drained soil and bright, indirect light and they will flourish. Water them well but do not allow the plants to become too soggy, which can lead to root rot. In fact, spider plants prefer to dry out some between waterings.
Succulents hit me hard. I find them so addicting. The first time I lay my eyes on them I immediately wanted to take home a bunch. But sad to say that because of my over-enthusiastic attitude, I have also “killed”so many. Back them I didn’t know how to keep succulents alive and I don’t have much idea. After learning my mistake, I manage to grow them and keep them thriving. I actually have so many “babies” which I replanted .
Number 1 tip : Do not over water and sometimes, its best to leave to actually leave them alone. They need at least 6 hours of sunlight. If you have winter season, its best to keep them indoors before winter comes so it helps them to acclimatize.Avoid glass containers or anything that doesn’t drain.
7. Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
This is one of the first plants that I successfully grown from cutting a stem. Often called as a money tree ( as per Feng shui) and when grown indoors, Jade plant attains size like a small shrub. I keep in a place with partial indirect sunlight. I find this plant super tolerant of poor soils and its thick leaves and stems acts as reservoirs of water. Just take note that they are not thriving well with Overwatering so resist your urge to water often.
Do not water a jade plant too often,or as per schedule as this can cause root rot, only when the top soil is dry to the touch.
8.Dragon Tree or Drachaena Marginata
Just like my Yucca palm, the Madagascar Dragon tree is another perfect plant that requires little attention you can totally forget it exists.It can grow up to 8 feet and also toxic for pets.
Dracaena plant care involves keeping the soil moist, but never soggy. Drooping or yellowing leaves indicates over-watering or poor drainage. Learning how to care for a dracaena includes finding well-draining soil in which to grow your houseplant dracaena.
This plant prefers warmer temperatures. Be sure to remove any yellowing leaves and trim brown tips to groom the natural leave shape as needed. This is also a great plant for natural air purification. Yes, plants cleans the air!
9.Cactus (Kakteen, Cacti)
Need I say more, cactus are super trendy and is everywhere. From chic homes to effortlessly stylish spaces, cactus is definitely one of the popular houseplants. I love Cactus and I have always dreamed of having a huge cactus collection but my daughter seems to be so charmed with it so I best keep it to minimum since she has already hurt herself by the pins and hairs.
The photo below shows the very first cactus plant that I bought. It was so tiny back then with one single pad .Look at it now after a year, the sight of the new spikes are getting me super-excited I can’t wait to propagate them next spring.
If you are a Decoholic like me, then you might as well jump into this cactus trend and start your own indoor garden with cactus.A popular plant during fifties, it seems only natural that with the revival of mid-century design elements in home furnishings and accessories, architectural plants like cactus would be embraced once again. But how you display your cactus plant and what you display it in, is the key to creating a fresh, modern look fit for today’s interior. Best of all, they will survive even if you neglect them! They will greet you alive even from a 2-months holiday! They are known to be drought-tolerant instantly highlight the mood in any space.
Other plants that I nurture is the English Ivy which is thriving so well, my Christmas Cactus, Anthuriums, Lavenders, tomatoes and sweet peppers along with Begonias. I also love to grow herbs which I usually use in cooking like Rosemary and Basil (Basilikum).Will definitely do an update of this post next year for their growth status so stay tuned!
The most obvious benefit to having plants around your home is the visual impact. Of course flowers around your home can bring color and interest, but simpler green plants can also help a room look cleaner and more polished. They can even help you cover up blemishes on your walls or unsightly cords running along your floors.
Wild entanglement, Just like human beings, each plant has its own story.
Amsterdam has one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world called Hortus Botanicus. It was established in 1638 by the city municipality as Hortus Medicus, a herb garden with medical plants for Amsterdam doctors and pharmacists. The reasons for establishing a specialized medical garden were very serious: at that time the cities of Leiden and Utrecht experienced the plague epidemic (1634-1637) with thousands of victims. Additionally, several monasteries moved out of the quickly growing city and there was not enough space in Amsterdam to plant herbs.
The Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. Although it is rather small nevertheless it offers you an excellent collection of different plants. It is a perfect place for everyone who wants to feel and experience the nature in the middle of the bustle Amsterdam.
The Botanical garden is home to one of the oldest potted plants in the Western world – the “Eastern Cape Giant Cycad”. This plant was brought to the Netherlands more than three centuries ago.You can also see an example of the tallest tree species in the World – the Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), which is impressive not just because of its height, but also because of the reddish bark.
The botanical garden in Amsterdam has some amazing plant highlights for its visitors: the Victoria water-lily, is a giant water-lily that flowers at night and only for two consecutive nights – the first night it is a white flower, the second night it’s a pink flower and then it closes and disappears under the water surface. The magic of nature! Another highlight is the Quiver tree, a tree-like aloe species from southern Africa as well as the Wood’s cycad, a dinosaur among the plants that is considered as an ancestor of flowering plants.
Every Sunday there is a free tour at the Amsterdam botanical garden at 14.00 (2 pm). Reservations are not necessary, just find your guide under the large oak tree near the entrance.Every Sunday in July and August the Amsterdam botanical garden is open till 19.00 (7 pm) and Dutch jazz artists play live music on the outdoor terrace.
If you plan to visit Amsterdam, make sure you drop a visit to this amazing Botanical garden & get lost in the myriad of greens & serene beautiful nature. If you want to learn more about Hortus Botanicus tourist information & timings, you can check it Here.
This post is my Day 6 Entry in response for 7-Days Nature Photo Challenge which I was nominated by Stella of Blog SimpleDimple . Stella has always been bubbly &, spreading warm love in the great community here in WP. If you have time, please do pass by her page & get to know her through her soulful posts.
Stella, Thank you once again for mentioning me in your post and giving this challenge.
*The rule of this challenge is quite simple: Post a nature photo and nominate someone else per day for 7 days.
For today, I wanted to nominate Amie of Becoming a Wild Family on this Nature photo challenge my gorgeous Blogger friend, Yes, she is still rockin’ in her Blog entries even she has 4 amazing cuties tagged along in her wild adventures.
She is one of the Expat Bloggers that I met here that really shares her bubbly adventures about raising her kids out into the wild nature. What I admire about her is that She is a nature enthusiast and homeschooling her children .
All these made Amie my perfect choice for this challenge.
She is passionate about getting her little family get into nature as much as possible. She is a very hands-on mother & instilling core values into her children relentlessly.Even without this challenge, I would always look up to her page for inspiration. and would recommend for you to give time to check her awesome Blog.
To Amie, I know your hands are full & time is precious in our world, but if you would take on this challenge, I would appreciate it so much.If not, I still want you to know how much I appreciate you.
Thank you and I hope you have fun & enjoy the next 7-days writing about nature.