Category Archives: Gardening

Progress on Claude Monet’s garden

Hi beautiful.

I hope that you are well. It is definitely cooling down over here and this seems to have reignited my enthusiasm to create a magnificent garden like Claude Monet’s in Giverny. Due to my inherent Pitta (fire and water) constitution in ayurveda, I tend to find the warmer weather a little bit challenging. I have to watch that I don’t over heat and I need to make a point of really cooling down my activities.

I thought I would share a few photos and tell you what I have been doing in creating the garden of my dreams. I am learning that creating a garden of my dreams in such a hot and dry climate is going to be a life time of learning. The soil in our garden is very poor. Sohail has been digging holes for me to plant a few fruit trees and he digs up sand and rocks! I am filling up those holes with lots of compost, rock minerals and potting soil. So far, I have planted a Japanese plum, a Brazilian cherry and another Japanese plum is planned to go in to the ground soon. I am hoping that the trees will provide us with shade on the lawn in summer and beautiful blossoms in spring.

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If you have a look outside Monet’s house, near the front door, you will see that there is a sea of forget me nots, with pink tulips growing amongst them. I have endeavoured to create the same thing with a pot next to my front door. I have planted some tulips in a pot with the forget me nots. One thing I have added to my organic potting mix is rock minerals. This really nourishes the soil. I am noticing that my seeds have started germinating just four days after planting. I always add a handful of rock minerals to whatever I am planting.

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The first thing that Monet and his family did was to plant a vegetable garden that would supply them with delicious food. I have got four vegetable planters in the backyard and here is a picture of one of the tomato plants going crazy. The tomatoes are all green. Even though it was very hot in summer, the summer has not been very long, so I suspect that is why the tomatoes have not ripened. I have picked and put them in a bowl near a window, but they are also not ripening. Can anyone give me some wisdom on growing tomatoes? Should I just let the plant die down and wait for the fruits to turn red, or is it too late? I have some peas that have self seeded and are starting to climb up the bottom there. I love how mother nature is just doing her own thing!

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The last thing I will show you is my nasturtiums. I am so pleased with how they are growing. Monet has a Grande Allee underplanted with nasturtiums on both sides. The nasturtiums creep all along the path and cover it completely by the time it is autumn. I have planted them near my vegetables and they have grown beautifully. I am so pleased with them that I am planting some more on the other side of the vegetable garden too. I think that if I work up the soil, they will grow even better next year.

I will leave you with a quote from Elizabeth Murray, who helped to restore the Giverny gardens in the 1980s:

“Cultivating beauty nurtures spirit, which blossoms into creativity, rooted and sustained in love.”

I am wondering if you are doing anything special in your outside space? If you would like to see what else is inspiring me to get outside, you can have a look at my Pintrest board. If you have one too, I would love to know what it is, so that I can see what inspires you.

Blessings to you.

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How to create a garden like Claude Monet

Hi there beautiful!

Today I would love to tell you about how you can create the garden of your dreams.

I have inherited a massive garden in the house that we are living in at the moment. I am sure that there are much bigger gardens out there, but this one has felt quite overwhelming to me. We live an hour outside of the city, in a semi rural area.

It is beeeeeeeautiful. We live on a dirt road, we have kangaroos hopping outside and beautiful Australian gum trees all around.

I really do feel like I am in heaven.

You see, beauty is one the most important things in my life. I live and breathe my life to create beauty all around me. It fills my soul.

The problem has been that this incredible garden that I have inherited is a lot of work. So, for the last year, I have sort of just let it deteriorate.  it wasn’t in the best shape when we moved in, so I used that as my excuse not to do anything about it.

Have you ever done that? Felt so overwhelmed by something that you just leave it.

I am a recovering perfectionist and the typical tendency of perfectionists is to procrastinate. We procrastinate and procrastinate and then things become so overwhelming that we panic. The 3 p’s of perfectionists: perfectionism… procrastination… panic.

Not a good combination, is it?

The thing is that we are never complete. Nothing can ever be perfect. It can only be perfect when it is finished. And nothing is ever finished.

Everything is a beautiful, ever evolving process. When we stop growing, we die. Not that anything ever dies, energy just transforms, but that is is topic for another day, ha!

Anyway, I realised that if I wanted to create Monet’s garden at Givenry, I would have to start somewhere. (Yes, that is my dream, to have a garden like that!)

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I have started just being in my garden. Just going out there with no agenda. Seeing what calls me that day.

I have tidied up my vegetable garden. I have put up a mini greenhouse which has been sitting in a box for over a year, I have planted seedlings, I have started building up my soil, I have been mulching, I have planted sunflower seeds in the shape of a teepee and I have started nurturing my compost bin and worm farm.

And when I say I, I actually mean me and the children. As a mother, you know that your children follow you wherever you go. I like to think of my children like little puppies following me around. Always happy, excited and wanting to know how they can be involved in my latest project.

So, Annie and Xavier have been doing all of this with me. And they have been inspired by the garden just as much as me.

It took Monet 40 years to create his garden. He had 8 children helping him and 5 full time gardeners. I have 2 very small children and an occasional helper in Sohail, who works in his corporate job in the city all day.

So, I may not achieve Monet’s garden in the next year, but I can appreciate the beauty in creating it, all the same.

It is never done. It will always be changing. And it will always need my attention.

One of my teachers says that when you step outside, all your problems disappear. Truer words have not been said. The smell of the earth, the feel of the soil in your fingers (I very rarely wear gardening gloves), the crunch of the leaves under your feet, the sounds of the birds, the wind. The appreciation of the passing of the seasons that can only be appreciated when we spend time in nature every day.

So, please, gorgeous one, get yourself and your children outside!

Plant a tomato plant. Or a box of beautiful flowers. Learn how to grow your own food. A wonderful place to start is with Nicola Chatham. She has got great tips, e-books and courses that will take all the perceived hard work out of gardening for you.

Whatever you do, just do something in the garden! Even if you only have a windowsill. Connect with nature. Nature is the ultimate healer. Nature connects you right back to your soul.

It won’t be perfect. Especially when you have little people around you. Little peeps who want to do everything you are doing. It will take twice as long. It will not look like you envision. You will kill a few plants. You will cook a few worms (guilty as charged).

And you will be forever changed because of it.

So, just DO IT!

Go, go, go…

Get off Facebook and this blog and smell the earth. Feel the wind in your hair. Get some cow poo from the local farmer and go and love your soil.

Enjoy your connection.

Blessings to you.

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