Tutorial – How to make a wooden christmas tree

Five years ago I took 2 large pieces of cardboard, cut out a christmas tree, and wrote a tutorial about it. That cardboard christmas tree lasted a few years, but in the end it got recycled together with yesterday’s newspaper. The year after, we decided to go for the same theme, but bigger, and with a longer expiration date. A wooden christmas tree. In green MDF. Lights on, and Hello christmas!

Kerstboom uit MDF

Only downside: decorating options for a wooden christmas tree are limited… So this year, we went for an upgrade. What if we painted the tree with chalkboard paint, so that our boy could draw on it? And what if we painted it with magnetic paint, so we fi-nal-ly have the perfect place to hang those christmas cards? Wouldn’t that be great?

Wooden christmas tree

Yes, I want a wooden christmas tree!

No problem! If you are a tiny bit handy, you can easily make one yourself. Or, if you are like me and you need to stay away from saws for your fingers’ sake, you can also get your husband to do it, of course 😉

What do you need?
  • 2 MDF boards. Ours were 110 cm wide, and 180 cm high, but you can choose whichever size you want
  • A ruler
  • A set square
  • A pencil
  • An electric screwdriver
  • Some screws
  • A jigsaw
  • Sanding paper
  • Magnetic paint
  • Green chalkboard paint. Mind you, we had to have this made. Apparently chalkboard paint comes in all colours, except green.
  • Sturdy tape
The preparation – How to draw a wooden christmas tree?
  1. On the MDF board, determine where the centre of the christmas tree should come, and draw a perpendicular line across the lenght of the board.
  2. Divide the total lenght in parts. For our tree that is 180 cm tall, we have 3 parts of 50 cm high, and one that is 30 cm high. Mark these parts on the centre line that you drew in the previous step, and for each part, make sure to draw a perpendicular line across the whole width of the board
    Tip: If you are using different measurements, make sure that the top of the tree is roughly 1/3 shorter than the other parts.
  3. Mark the total width of each part on the horizntal line. For our tree, that’s 110 cm at the bottom, narrowed down to 84 cm, 60 cm and 34 cm.  This is the total width of each part. Make sure to divide it evenly on both sides of the vertical centre line.
    Tip: If you are using different measurements, keep the following formula in mind: (Bottom width of tree minus number of vertical parts) divided by the number of vertical parts. For our tree, that meant (110 cm – 4 cm) divided by 4 = 26,5. The reductions we actually used were 26 cm, 24 cm and 26 cm.
    Wooden christmas tree
  4. On each horizontal line, place a mark at 5 cm from the outside in. You will need these to draw the corners of the christmas tree.
  5. Connect the dots to draw a real christmas tree.
    Kerstboom uit MDF
How to saw 2 equal parts
  1. Put the MDF board on which you made the drawing on top of the second MDF board.
  2. Take your electric screwdriver, and screw a few screws through both boards, to stick them together. Make sure not to do so inside your drawing, it needs to be outside the drawing (you’ll be sawing the parts with the holes off so they won’t be part of your tree).
  3. Take your jigsaw, and cut out your christmas tree. Don’t spend too much time on the corners yet, we’ll finish those in the next step.
    Tip: Cut round the whole tree first, it will make it easier once you need to be more precise.
    Kerstboom uit MDF
  4. Now that you’ve cut out the christmas tree, you also have cut off the parts with the screws, and your boards are no longer connected. Put them on top of each other, and stick them together with tape.  Do this very carefully, so the corners are perfectly matched.
    Kerstboom uit MDF
  5. Take your jigsaw again, and finish the corners.
    Tip: Round the corners, it will be easier, and it looks a lot nicer than having sharp corners.
  6. Measure how thick your boards are, and make a notch in the centre of each part. Make sure the notch is 2 to 3 mm wider than the actual width of the tree. The notch in the bottom part should also be higher than the notch in the top part. For our tree, the bottom notch is 104 cm, the top one is 76 cm. Kerstboom uit MDF
  7. Use your piece of sanding paper to sand all edges. This is to avoid rough patches and hitches.

There, you have finished your wooden christmas tree!

Kerstboom uit MDF

How to finish the wooden christmas tree
  1. Paint the tree with the magnetic paint. Make sure to add at least 3 layers.
    Tip: After each layer, test with a magnet how strong your tree is already. Based on that, you can decide whether more layers are needed or not.
  2. Paint the tree with a layer of chalkboard paint. One layer is enough, otherwise the magnetic paint will no longer work.
    Wooden christmas tree
  3. Start drawing! And get the magnets out!
    Wooden christmas treeWooden christmas treeTip: DON’T use chalk marker to draw on your christmas tree. It’s almost impossible to wipe, and I’ve learned that the hard way. If you do make that mistake, use a magic eraser, that does work wonders.

2016: New Year resolutions and a sweater or 3

2015 has closed its door behind us for more than a week now, and, to be honest, I don’t miss it one bit. Not that 2015 didn’t bring any fun, on the contrary, but still. Just when I thought I would boost my own – and hoping I’d boost some of yours as well – positivity, both hubby and myself saw slightly more of the hospital than we would have wanted to. So, less blog posts here during that time, I wasn’t really in a writing mood. I did knit a lot during that time, as some of you may have noticed on Instagram.


So 2015 did end on a positive note, and I managed to finish not 1, not 2, but 3 sweaters in all!

gebreide truien

The first one was the dino sweater, and I mentioned that one already in my previous post.


I finished my own Christmas sweater 2 days before the deadline.

christmas sweater

And I finished hubby’s sweater (that had been cast aside for a few weeks so I could focus on my own sweater – selfish knitting!) just before 2015 ended. Yay!

gebreide mannentrui

As of now, we tend to have a self-knitted-sweater day now and again with the whole family. Who’s with us?


Anyway, the 2015 door has been sealed forever, and everyone in this house is once again healthy. 2016’s door is wide open. And does it have any resolutions on its door step? Well yes. Small ones. Things I would like to do, and not so much things I want to force myself to do, if you get what I mean.

So, what do I want to do then?

  • Eat less sugar. Really. And if I fail to do so one day, I’ll just start again the next day.
  • Take up running again. I’ve been trying to do so for 2 years now, and I just don’t seem to get past the lesson 21 – lesson 24 infinite loop of start to run. This year, I really should. I’ll feel better for it.
  • Take more time for myself. I’ll start working 80% as of February. We’ll see what that does for me.
  • Live now, and stop focussing on everything I still have to do.

I’m not sure yet what effect this will have on the blog. Last year I started with the resolution to write every week, but in the end, it brought some stress with it. So I’ll just see what 2016 brings. I hope you won’t mind.

How about you? Big resolutions? Small resolutions? No resolutions?

gebreide truien

The #boostyourpositivitychallenge – My morning routine

You may have noticed it on several blogs and Instagram already #Boostyourpositivity time. One of the challenges: share your morning routine. In my case, I have 3:

  • One for office days
  • One for homeworking days
  • One for the weekend (although that’s not even a routine)

Office day routine

  • 6.00: Alarm goes off. No snoozing on office days, get out of bed immediately.
  • 6.01: Bathroom time: shower, clothes, hair, make-up and teeth. At super speed.
  • 6.20: Grab things together, get out of the house, and start riding that bike.
  • 6.33: Get to station, hope that the train is on time (or late when I’m late). Try to cover the distance between the back of the bike stand to the platform on the opposite side of the station as dast as I can.
  • 6.38: Train leaves. At this time, it’s still pretty quiet, and most of the time I have a 4-seater spot to myself. Stretch, read newspaper, eat breakfast. As quietly as possible, since nothing is more soothing than a sleeping train carriage.
  • 7.20: Arrive in Brussels (if the train’s on time) and walk to the office.
  • 7u3.: Arrive in the office. Turn on computer, get some tea, and enjoy the silence.

This morning routine is the most strict one, for which each minute counts. Each detail can cause a delay. So I try to prepare these mornings as much as I can the evening before. Food, clothes, bag, everything is in the right spot, so I just need to grab in the morning. Even my bike lights are premounted the night before. The only way to get any quicker, is to go to sleep with my clothes on 😉 I do fear winter, since more clothes will without doubt lead to more minutes needed to get dressed. Maybe I should invite in a foldable scooter, so I can gain some minutes when getting from one side of the station to the other.

To make this all work, I also cheat. On office days, I leave the morning routing with kid to my husband. To make up for this a bit, I do put our boy’s clothes ready in the evening. At that time, I let our boy ‘choose’ his own clothes. I offer him 2 choices for each piece of clothing, and he picks what he wants. That way I can still influence how clothes are combined, and I avoid that my husband ends up with a boy who refuses to wear what’s been picked out. Win-win.

So why do I choose to go for a routine this strict? I like the early train. It’s quiet, it’s not packed. It takes me to the office early, allowing me to start quietly, and to get going before my colleagues arrive. Have I mentioned how much I love peace and quiet? On top of that, starting early also allows me to go home early, so I can spend some extra time with my 2 favourite men.

Home working days

About once per week, I work from home. I really need a day like that to break my week, since I cannot cope 5 days in a row using the routine described above. It goes without saying that the routine on home working days is slightly more relax:

  • 7.00: Alarm goes off the first time.
  • 7.09: Alarm goes off a second time
  • 7.18: Alarm goes off a third time. Conversation with hubby:
    • Me: What time do you get up again?
    • Hubby: About now. Or later.
    • Me: Do you get to school in time then?
    • Hubby: Sure. Kind of.
    • Me: Shouldn’t we get up?
    • Hubby: Mmmmm.
  • 7.20: Get up, eventually. Wake up our boy. Get down for breakfast.
  • 7.40: Tell our boy to get on with it. Does he have to sit on the potty that long? (Yes). Can I at least put on his clothes while he’s on there? (No). Meanwhile, hubby prepares the schoolbag.
  • 8u: Both men are ready to leave and jump on the bike. Depending on the number of times I hit snooze earlier, I either am dressed and switch on the computer, or I quickly shower, and turn on the computer 15 minutes later. Have some tea, and enjoy the silence of the home office.

The weekend

I’m a lazy bum who likes to stay in bed as long as possible. Especially after a week of strict morning routines. ‘Long’, is relative, of course. With child, I’m glad when it’s already 8 am before the first eyes open in this house. Although, sometimes they turn out to be mine. Most of the time, our boy jumps into bed with us, and we goof around a while.

We usually have breakfast around 8.30 – 9.00. In pyjamas. And we stay in pyjamas for as long as we can, depending on the duties of the day. Turns out our boy has the same pyjama monster gene as I have. Who doesn’t want to hang around in pyjamas all day?

That’s all of them. How about you? Strict routines, or pretty chaotic? And are you taking part in the #boostyourpositivity challenge?

Normandy part 4 – Mont Saint Michel

The summer of 2015 brought us to Normandy. The report of that trip consists of 4 parts:

Today, part 4: Mont Saint Michel.

Thé must see of our trip was definitely the Mont Saint Michel. We went on the day that the French farmers had blocked the road in protest for being underpaid. They had announced this demonstration, but having no internet, we kind of missed that. So it came a bit of a shock, to find that many tractors on the road.

But eventually, the road blocks turned out to be a benefit for us. How? Well, we were able to park our car in the city near the Mont Saint Michel. For free! From there, there’s a walking/biking path that takes you to the Mont Saint Michel in 4 kilometres.

Mont Saint Michel

And if you want, you can take a turn halfway the walking path and go to the visiting centre, where you can hop on a free shuttle bus that takes you over the brand new bridge to the Mont.

Mont Saint Michel - Passerel

We opted for the latter, so our little boy wouldn’t be tired already by the time we reached the Mont Saint Michel. That worked: when we arrived, he jumped of the bus, and ran through the gates where he started doing a little dance while shouting ‘I’m in the castle! I’m in the castle!’. Never a dull moment.

Mont Saint Michel

On an average summer day, the Mont Saint Michel is packed with people, and all you can do is go with the flow. This time, with the farmers blocking the way, there were less people there. Still a lot, but there was no need to queue, and we could just walk on, allowing our little boy to go discover.

Mont Saint Michel

He was even able to catch a glimpse of the dragon’s tail.

Mont Saint Michel - Draak

When the sun decided to come out as well, the day couldn’t get any better.

Mont Saint Michel

On our way back, we hopped on the shuttle again, but this time we got off one stop sooner, near the hotels. We had spotted some cows there before, that we wanted to check out.

Mont Saint Michel - Normandische koe

For our little boy, that meant petting each cow individually.

Mont Saint Michel - Koeien

And with this, I can conclude our summer in Normandy. How about you? Where did you go? Did you visit the Mont Saint Michel already? Planning to go there soon?

Mont Saint Michel

Normandy part 3 – Animal kingdom

The summer of 2015 brought us to Normandy. The report of that trip consists of 4 parts:

Today, part 3: The animal kingdom.

Not very far from our cottage in Rouperroux, in Le Bouillon, you can find the Parc Animalier d’Ecouves. You can compare this park with a petting zoo that’s grown just that little bit bigger. When you arrive, the first thing you see are rabbits and guinea pigs. But once you’re inside (well, outside, but through the gates), there are quite some more exotic animals to be found. Camels that don’t mind posing for the picture, kangaroos, wolves, lamas that turn out to be alpacas, and so on.

Parc Animalier d'Ecouves

I really liked this park. The animals have a lot of space, and the owners really make an effort of trying to let that space look like their natural habitat. If you’re in the neighbourhood and you have one or more kids around, this place is worth a visit.

Parc Animalier d'Ecouves

A bit further away, and a bit bigger, is the Zoo de la Flèche. I had mixed feelings about this one. The park is very nice, and for some of the animals the living spaces are magnificent.

Zoo de la Flèche

The bears have a rocky patch of woods, with a stream running through it. Very idyllic. The lemurs have their own island. Other animals, such as the girafs and the kangaroos on the other hand, only have a very bleak patch of nothingness. I really hope they will tackle this in the near future.

Zoo de la Flèche

What you can do here, is to sleep ‘in between’ the animals. You can rent a room that looks out on part of the park, so you can sit face to face with a lemur, or even a wolf. With a window in between, of course.

Zoo de la Flèche

La maison de la Perche is a park that focuses on ecology. It’s a large estate around a castle, and you can find horses, donkeys and bees there.

Maison de la Perche

The domain is vast, and you can walk as you please. Here and there you find some explanation on how you can change your ways and be a bit more ecological yourself. Really great for a leasurely stroll.

Maison de la Perche

But we didn’t necessarily have to drive very far to do some animal watching. Closer to home, I thought I’d spotted a piece of garden hose lying in the sun, next to a path in the woods. But all of a sudden, that piece took off. Always a bit of a surprise to a city slicker like me. Although I’m pretty sure the garden hose/snake took a slightly larger fright than I did.

Cows galore as well. The owner of our cottage was a dairy farmer, and one night she showed us how she worked. I’ve never seen that many calves together. And a cow up close and personal, it’s quite impressive, isn’t it? One moo, and our little boy, who’s usually in the front row when it comes to animals, did think it wise to take a step back. Maybe he’ll learn to be a bit more cautious after all.


The animal that startled me the most during our trip, was a hummingbird hawk-moth. I’d never heard of it before, but one day, I was sitting outside, reading my book, when suddenly I heard buzzing, slightly louder than your average bumble bee. The thing seemed to be in search of human contact, since it kept coming to my face. Or maybe I should just stop using shampoo with honey extract, that may be it as well. Anyway, the beast was buzzing in front of my face, with the tail of a hornet, and the wings of a butterfly, and it kept on buzzing it’s low yet urgent hum.


I wanted to get as far away from it as possible, but the thing kept following me. At the same time, our little boy wanted to examine that intriging beast (What’s that mommy? Is that a butterfly, mommy? You don’t know, mommy? Is it a bee then? Or a bumble bee? Mommy? It’s a strange animal, isn’t it, mommy? Are you sure it isn’t a butterfly, mommy?), while I just wanted to determine whether it would sting or not. Not. Just a rather big, unharmful insect. That I spotted in our own little Belgian garden as well, in the meantime.

The animal kingdom, I still have a lot to learn.

How about you this summer? Did you encounter any new species you’d never even heard of before?

Next week, part 4: Mont-Saint-Michel

This was August

Another month’s gone by! Below a list of everything I’ve been up to this August.

  • Harvest time in the garden: carrots, tomatoes, beans, and strawberries.
  • And harvest time in the façade garden: cherry tomatoes and a pumpkin.
  • Kajak polo in the first row. Pun intended.
  • A new insect species. Well, to me that is. The firebug. I’m pretty impressed by the warrior mask, no?
  • One pair of socks, finished.
  • One dino sweater, in the making.
  • A personal Disney explosion. I couldn’t help it, my 16-year old self took over.
  • A lucky clover. That’s the second one I found this summer. Maybe happiness truely is just at your feet.
  • A semi cleaned sewing corner. It’s a start, and better than it’s been in a long while.
  • Baking cupcakes, and then forgetting to add the eggs. Vegan is the word. And they were delicious. Anyone wants the recipe?
    veganistische koekjes

So, how was your August?

Normandy part 2 – Wandering about the towns

The summer of 2015 brought us to Normandy. The report of that trip consists of 4 parts:

  • Into the woods
  • Wandering about the towns
  • Animal kingdom
  • Mont Saint Michel

Today part 2, wandering about the towns.

To keep a bit of an overview of everything we could visit or had already visisted near our cottage, we drew a little map. Not really according to the rules, but enough to get us going.

Kaart Normandie

The ‘boulanger’ closest to us, was to be found in Carrouges. Someone told me this town has been selected as most charming town in France. Very petite, great bread. And they have a castle.


Castles and ruins where you can explore and conquer, that’s just what our little boy needs to get rid of all his energy.

For that same reason, we also scored some points in Domfront, where parts of a castle can be found in the park.


Another big hit, is a nice park. Not those boring ones where you have to stick to the path, but semi wild ones, where you are allowed to get lost between the trees, and where you can climb as much as you want. Such a park can be found in Bagnoles sur l’Orne. At first, this park tries to fool you. You have the feeling you’re walking in a botanical garden and you’re not allowed to touch anything. But then, all of a sudden, you’re on top of the town, with a fabulous view, and trees galore.

Bagnoles sur l'Orne

On top of that, there’s a big spa (which we didn’t visit), and a big flea market on Saturdays where they sell just about anything. And I bought nothing, yay for me!

When it comes to parks and castles, Falaise has it all. A big park, where you can go in just about any direction that you want. The easy way, or the hard way.


As for a castle, Falaise used to harbour William the Conquerer, and you can still visit his humble home. Part of it you can visit for free, the other part not. If you decide to go in, you get a tablet with you, that shows you what the castle used to look like back in the day. We decided to skip this tour, but I think it may be interesting to kids that are out of the toddler years.

Falaise - Willem de Veroveraar

As if a park and a castle weren’t enough already, Falaise is also home to a puppet museum. Automated shop windows with puppets moving about, appeared to be quite a big hit in the fifties. Turns out the French were pretty good at making these, and they are still boasting about it. Some of these moving displays are now to be admired in Falaise.


It was nice to see, but the exhibition is rather small, especially compared to the price you pay. On top of that, the tour starts with a very dark and creepy movie about 2 kids who enter their grandpa’s old workshop and who find a couple of living puppets there. That movie is shown in a very dark room, and you cannot leave that room until the movie is finished. Add a creepy tune to it, and each visitor will have at least one nightmare, must have been the thought of those who made it.

Another town we visited was Alençon. Good for a nice stroll, especially on Saturday, when there’s a bio market, or just to get lost in all the small alleys.


Also rather close to the cottage, was La Ferté-Masé. We needed to go there to get to the closest supermarket, but there’s also a rather big lake, and a beach with playground.

La Ferté-Masé

There’s also loads of other stuff you can do there, either in or beside the water, but we skipped those. My antisocial/introvert self prefers to stay away from other human beings (especially) when on holiday.

The very last town was Sées, with a big cathedral where you could go and see a light show all through summer. We didn’t see this, since it was at night and toddlers go to bed slightly earlier than the sun does during the summer. Our plan was to visit the cathedral during the day time then, but there was a funeral at the time we were there.


Quite a lot of wandering, we did. And we saw so many churches, that our little boy nowadays is frequently heard saying ‘Look! A church! Are we going inside?’

That’s it for our city adventures. Next week, part 3, the Animal Kingdom.

Normandy part 1 – Into the woods

The summer of 2015 brought us to the woods of Normandy, to the region of Basse-Normandie. Our local headquarters was a cottage in Rouperroux, a small town near Alençon. Three weeks away from everything and everyone, except for the dairy farmer next to us, bordering the Parc Naturel régional Normandie-Maine.


Three weeks, that’s kind of impossible to summarise in 1 single post. Believe me, I’ve tried, but that post kept on going. So, 4 posts instead:

  • Into the woods
  • Wandering about the towns
  • Animal kingdom
  • Mont Saint Michel

Today, part 1 – Into the woods

While planning our holiday, we chose Rouperroux because it was so remote, and so close to the woods. In our mind’s eye, we would put on our hiking shoes, close the door behind us, and go explore a new part of the woods every day.


In reality, things were slightly different. First of all, we could not just close the door behind us and start hiking. The French road system doesn’t seem to be very fond of hikers and bikers. I risked to go for a run by the road twice. No cycling lane, no walking path, just roads that are only wide enough for 1 car, and where the locals don’t want to ride any slower than 90 km/hour. I saw my life flashing before my eyes several times. On the plus side, I did burn me some extra calories.

The car it was, every time we wanted to go into the woods. And those woods, that’s something else again. The French, they divide their woods into lots. So when you plan a hike, you plan according to these lots. Which means you are not really hiking in the woods, but more in between 2 lots of wood. Sometimes on a very wide, very straight, very long path.


But sometimes also on a path that hasn’t been used for months, and where the giant ferns seemed to take you right to Jurassic Park.


The result? Tick bites for the whole family. That made those woods slightly less attractive to us.

Anyway, enough nagging. I can’t help it, the Scottish woods we visited last year have ruined our expectations for the rest of the world for life. So, I must say, not all woods in France are like this. They do know how to do it right. Proof of that is Roche d’Oëtre. Numerous walks to choose from, and all very idyllic. We chose one taking us to the valley, where we could then walk on next to a stream, before we needed to climb up again.


Descending, water, climbing. Every ingredient to keep a 3-year old motivated. Score!


If you want to climb even more, or if you have bigger kids, you can also choose to climb through the trees. You have to pay for this adventure, but it looked pretty fun. And they even thought of the smaller kids: for the 3 to 5 year olds, there’s a free mini tour. And our boy liked that very much.


Apart from that, we also found a Parcours de Santé not that far from where we stayed. A fitness trail. How very nineties is that?


But this one is worth mentioning. Not the outdated infrastructure that automatically pops up in my head when I think of a fitness trail, but a nice trail in a lovely part of the woods near Fontenai-les-Louvets, with a path that met my expectations. Every few meters there’s a new exercise, and the whole family put some effort in it.


Conclusion: If you are looking for a holiday in the woods, Basse-Normandie is not the best region to go, unless you don’t mind hiking in between the woods. If not, I’d simply advise to go a bit further to Suisse-Normandie, where you can find Roche d’Oëtre.

Next week: Wandering about the towns.

This was July

A bit late already for a July overview, but the reason why is explained in the first bullet point already. Since this is what July brought me:

  •  3 weeks in Normandy. Away from everything and everyone, in the woods, in between little villages. I’ll write a more elaborate post on that later on.


  • 3 weeks of no internet and nearly no television. And that felt so good, that I postponed the going online a bit longer when we got back home. As for television, we don’t have cable at home anymore, to avoid just watching whatever is on. But we are addicted to quite a number of shows and we do tend to binge watch several episodes in a row. So our couch potato level can be rather high still. Not that I used all that no-watching time in Normandy to exercise. No, I was still a couch potato, but this time with a book.

Ouvrez les yeux

  • 4 books. I know that does not sound that impressive, but hey, 3 of those counted at least 800 pages. So yeah, I’m pretty proud of those 4 books.
  • 3 weeks with no makeup. After some kind of allergic reaction on my eyes before we left on holiday (and of which I still don’t know what the cause was), my skin was grateful. If I would have gone 3 weeks without coffee and cookies, my skin would most likely have been even more grateful, but alas. Less coffee (and that while I’m actually a tea person) and less cookies, brings me seamless to the next topic.
  • Resolutions. Inspired by the Flow holiday box. So yeah, I’m going to better my life. Again.


  • A Dutch-speaking satnav trying to show us the way in France. Hilarious! Well, sometimes. Could be quite frustrating as well.
  • 1 lucky clover.

Klavertje vier

  • Seeds. Every piece of fruit I had was thoroughly dissected. And in between I also drew up a new plan for the vegetable garden. Taking into account rotation and everything. It’s only half finished, though. But if I get too organised, I scare myself.

Cavaillon zaadjes

  • One and a half sock. I needed a new knitting project, and it need to be compact. Socks it was.


  • When we came back home: 1 very red tomato, and 1 pumpkin plant that took over our facade garden and that’s already supporting a pumpkin.




So, how did your July go? Lazy, or very intensive? At home, or far away?

Something’s growing in our garden

It’s been six weeks since I last showed you our garden. Since then, quite a few things have changed. Time for an update!

First the bad news: the spinach did not make it. I couldn’t take it any longer, and I made an end to it. May it rest in peace.

Then the good news: all the other plants are doing well. The carrots and beets are growing slowly.

Rode biet


The pepper plants from Albert Heijn’s tiny garden are going up as well.


Even the strawberry plant that was barely visible last time is making progress.


And the savoy? Well, I’m pretty sure it’s not savoy, more something like andive.


Could it be that Albert Heijn put the wrong label in my tiny garden? Can anyone confirm that this is andive? And tell me whether it’s indeed not a good thing that they have grown this big?

The tomatoes are doing well too. In about a month’s time, I went from being a layman to being an expert. Removing suckers (yes, that’s what they call the branches that start growing in between your stem and other branches), topping off (making sure your plant doesn’t become a stairway to heaven) and shaking (making sure your flowers date to have them make tomato babies), all terms that I’m familiar with now. And it’s starting to pay off, yay!


Since my last post, I also got some plants from friends and family. My aunt gave me borage, chard, two types of strawberry, pumpkin and lady’s mantle. My colleague gave me Indian cress. And a neighbour gave me some beans. And all that is growing beautifully.

Mijn tuin


On top of that, we bought an olive and fig tree. Small ones, but they do bear some fruits already.


And even the small facade garden we have in front of the house has surprised us with some vegetable plants. Hubby had bought some ornamental plants at the flower market in town, and he got more than he bargained for. Since then, there’s also a tomato and pumpkin plant growing in that (very) small front garden.


Loads and loads of plants, and all that in a tiny city garden. Fortunately, hubby gets very inventive now and then. He reused the old stairs and made 5 more crates. 1 for the compost, 2 for plants, and 2 with all kinds of stuff we need to take to the recycling park. After which I can get going again.


And it turns out I’m not the only one who likes to work in our garden…

Bij aan het werk

How about your gardens? Time to harvest? Or are you not into vegetables?