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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several in my Mariette's Back to Basics LLC Boutique, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

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Monday, June 28, 2010


The daylily is a flower that only blooms for one day; hence its name!
This is our very special Daylily 'White Tuxedo'...

This spring has been so enormously lush; lots of rain and even now in early summer we got plenty of showers. The grass and the trees look so full and green; the best ever - we recall.

 Our Italian cypress trees have grown so much and also the evergreen live oak on the right (only partly visible) is quite a monument in only ten years time. It is the subtropical climate that we have here. Also our fan palm is quite happy. 

But I really wanted to show you our special Daylily Hemerocallis WHITE TUXEDO

Here they are...

One picture is taken in full sunlight on June 10, and one in the shade, to give a different color effect. These are bought on June 25 of 1997 from our then neighbor Katisue Herrington. Meanwhile they've moved away and she is no longer with us... But whenever those beautiful White Tuxedo bloom we think of her, as she hybridized them...

Friday, June 18, 2010

{Heavenly Gardenia Jasminoides 'Aimee Yoshida'}

This is the season of so many heavenly fragrances in our garden.
So again, I will share it all with you, my dear blog-readers, family and friends, whomever finds me out here.

In my previous post: {May 22 Gardenia by Royal Albert and blooming Gardenias in Baccarat vase} it was with ordinary Gardenia blooms but now we have the HUGE, corsage style Gardenia jasminoides 'Aimee Yoshida' 

Again being presented on some Royal Albert Gardenia china inside a French Baccarat crystal vase.
This time it is the large cake platter.

Beside the Aimee Yoshida there is another Gardenia jasminoides, that's equally stunning and holds as well as a cut flower, as this one. Contrary to the ordinary Gardenia jasminoides, which turns yellow already in a day! But, due to the heavy tropical rain showers we've received the last weeks, I could not have one right now. It had new buds but that is wrong timing...
Kartuz Greenhouses in California, does have them both! This is the Gardenia jasminoides Miami Supreme so you at least have an idea about its beauty!
Another source is Glasshouseworks in Ohio. Just scroll down.
Check: TopTropicals Gardenia out as well and don't forget to scroll down to see the lovely pictures of all these beauties! 
They even go on to say that Gardenia jasminoides Aimee Yoshida  is also called First Love...
Ah, that might explain Jo Malone's inspiration for a fragrance that is such a seduction for the senses!
Not First Love but Lasting Love...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

{Edible Flowers}

This blog's subject is in reply to a comment by Lilo from Moment, a lovely blogger friend from Niedersachsen, Germany. In her comment on friend Johnanna's blog from Silber+Rosen, Germany... she asked if the pansies that Johanna had on her shortbread cookies, were edible. On her blog, scroll down to see the pansy shortbread cookies.
So that's the theme for today.
Yes, Lilo, they are edible! And a whole lot of other flowers, besides those pansies. In fact I have for years now the German book with the title: Köstliche Blüten - Rezepten aus dem Kräuter- und  Blumengarten by Marion Nickig/Heide Rau. Edition Ellert & Richter ISBN 3-89234-527-9
For sure this lovely book with recipes from the Herb- and Flowergarden will be available at Amazon in Germany. Here on my blog I only have access to the US Amazon... but it is available here, I did hyperlink it.
Just to wet your appetite: here follow photos from the book. They are scans that I made from the Dutch magazine Nouveau in which they appeared years ago. Let's first find Madelief, another blogger friend from The Netherlands as the first recipe is made for her!
Sorry about the creases, I kept them folded inside the book...
Above are Meizoentjes or Madeliefjes...
that is the Dutch word for Bellis perennis a European variety of Daisy
Holünderblüten in German and Elderblossom in English for syrup.

Wood violets for the salad!
Soup with cowslip, primrose...

To even it out, something in English here above for those readers that can't read Dutch...
 The recipes in English

The Ice Cream is delicious and I went through the trouble of also crystallizing the wood violets myself!

The University of North Carolina has a leaflet with a listing of Edible Flowers and their uses.
Here are some more German and English books about Edible Flowers listed:

And to top it off, a British book about THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Sheila Pickles who used to be managing director of Penhaligon's, the exclusive London perfume house.

{5 Varieties of Hydrangea Are Blooming Now}

  • Over the last week I've taken several pictures of our Hydrangeas. So here they come:

  •  This is the Hydrangea  Serrata Pretty Maiden that we got in 2000 from Wayside Gardens but they no longer have it in their collection. 
  • For the most extensive Hydrangea collection you might have a look at Wilkerson Mill Gardens

  • Hydrangea Serrata Pretty Maiden, a Lacecap variety.

  • Hydrangea Serrata Pretty Maiden in a vase.

  • As it turned out, they are not great cut flowers as they shed the tiny buds, you can see on the oak table... But they sure are pretty in the garden for their looks!

  • This is Hydrangea Macrophylla Ayesha.

  • Hydrangea Macorphylla Ayesha close up.

  • Just an ordinary pretty blue Hydrangea doing its very best!

  • The ordinary blue Hydrangea in a vase indoors; these keep very well as cut flower and even as dried flower.

  • A white Hydrangea.

  • This has an exceptional blue color and we got it from our dear friends The Bogles.

  • A close up of the Bogle variety...The true color is a lot deeper than in this picture!

Friday, June 11, 2010

{Angels engraved on lucky calendar coin of 1969}

It was in June of 1969 when I had read the weekly local paper 'De Echo van Horst' and spotted an advertisement from the practical Training College for Mushroom Growing. So before lunch, I did go over there to apply for the job; and got it. The founder and principal, Mr. Vedder, told me that with my long hair I reminded him of his daughter Lizzy... Later I got to know that cute little daughter of age five. Well, I loved the job, attended also the very first ladies course ever given on the subject of mushroom growing. That was in 1970! Sounds like ages ago that women were not considered to do the very same things as men do... Mr. Vedder turned out to be one of my most favorite teachers. Over the years, thousands of students would agree with me on that! His book, translated into eight official languages, has often been called the Mushroom Bible. It is still available in print in Spanish, as well as in English, at least here in the USA and in Spain. He wrote his first Dutch edition in 1962.
There certainly was a mutual sympathy but nothing else. As I've mentioned before in the blog: {Our Daughter Liz}, that my first cousin Bertie was Lizzy's friend; my paternal grandmother was Pieter's Mom's best friend and my paternal uncle was Pieter's friend at the photo club... I had no inkling that fourteen years later I would become his wife! Up till 1980 I didn't even know his first name as we always referred to him as Mr. Vedder...

Okay, let's pull the curtain of that special year 1969 and have a look: 

Angels are my favorites and on this huge 3.75" (19.5cm) bronze coin they playfully open the curtain ~ so the year can begin! Famous Engraver G. Simon, designed it and he also had become instantly famous with the design of the 50 cents (centimes) coin for Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco. That made him become the Royal Engraver! He has done numerous coins.
My angel coin is in French, listing the beginning of Spring; Summer; Autumn and Winter. As well as the dates of Pentecost and Christmas.
Things have changed in 41 years!

As the angels pull the curtain at the end of the year 1969, let's have a look at some of the highlights since then:

That's me with the long hair at that time... loving roses already! Some antique French roses from an elderly lady that I helped out for some pocket money at the time.

Pieter at the same age as I am in the above photo... in the Dutch military.

Pieter a couple of years later with a head full of hair...

Our civil wedding at the City Hall in Horst aan de Maas, The Netherlands

Happily married, regardless the jet-lag as we landed the day before from a flight back from Atlanta, Georgia USA to The Netherlands...

After our Church wedding in a parish near Osorno, Chile

Honeymoon in Chile, looking into Argentina. I am proud to have readers from both countries!

At the harbor of Cape Town, South Africa on November 24, 1985.

In front of The White House, Washington DC 1987.

After having lived and worked in Pennsylvania and Italy, we moved back to Georgia, USA into our new build home and my Dad from The Netherlands helped us move in.

With our foster daughter Anita, in Indonesia where we lived and worked in Central Java.

Photo taken for the book: A Profile of Dublin & Laurens County Georgia where our story appeared.

At the banquet of the millennium Rotary District Conference.

Trip to the Geuldal in South Limburg (my former Province), The Netherlands during the May 2000 Mushroom Science International Congress.

Going to our annual Crescendo of the Dublin Laurens Arts Council.

Even get to wear my Dirndl to go to the Oktoberfest that was held bi-annually by our best friends Col. John A.Whigham and Dr. Rebecca Whigham.

Picture taken by our foster daughter Anita after midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Spooky our cat is in the picture too, on the left of me... he passed away because of heart-worm!

Again for a reception of the annual Rotary Club's District Conference. Since we no longer are International Consultants we at least get to go! We missed so many opportunities while being abroad someplace else... weddings of friends and such.

This picture is taken at a wedding in Dublin, Georgia.

Another Rotary District Conference banquet where they always ask for wearing the 'Dublin' green jacket. Got Pieter a Brioni 30% silk with 70% cashmere jacket from Neiman Marcus Last Call that is a brighter green than they wear here. The Dublin green jacket we once took to the Rotary Club of Dublin Viking in Ireland to the their Club meeting. When they asked what an ugly color green Pieter was wearing we got cured! They were not in agreement in Dublin, Ireland with that being their Irish green. Indeed, from my fashion education I know better so I've taken care of that one.

Anyway, Pieter looks a lot sharper in a Burberry tuxedo than in the green jacket! I am wearing a silk batik top that I've made from an Indonesian formal shawl, being hand painted with gold. Added frogs closures (Brandenburger sluiting in Dutch or Brandenbourgs) that I found in Spain while on a tour there. Lined it with black silk lining from my favorite West Coast specialty store (HUGE!) in San Francisco Britex. That are the perks when you travel the world; you find all the luxury that is out there and happen to come upon the most unique stores... For those of you that sew or design, check out Britex Notions.
Let's end with this and toast to many more happy years in good health!

MARIETTE'S BACK TO BASICS © 2013. All rights reserved

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