The Latest Ladies’ Fashion Reading Trijntje Oosterhuis 7 minutes Next Ben’s New Grapes

Trijntje Oosterhuis

Dear reader,  

Over the last couple of newsletters, you have been introduced to our new team member Vlad. Vlad writing the newsletter for a few weeks gave my father a few weeks off of writing, which was nice, as he was in England for “business”--also known as visiting friends, when he came back he tried to convince me we should join this Champagne club his friend is a member of–and he told you about that last week. When he came back from the UK, there was more than enough to be done at home, as it is the moment to plant flower bulbs right now. There are a few good weeks left to finish the job, but I was told to include this message in the newsletter either way: don’t wait too long to finish up in the garden, it might get too cold soon!


Now, in order to translate this week’s newsletter into English, I have a bit of a harder job on my hands than usual. Last week, we visited a well-known Dutch singer, Trijntje Oosterhuis, to help her with her garden and to film a video of us together, working with her. I do, however, think that she’s not super well known internationally, so you might not know her at all. Anyway, her first big hit song was in the nineties under the name Total Touch. Total Touch was a band consisting of Trijntje and her brother, Tjeerd Oosterhuis, and their most famous songs include Somebody else’s lover and Touch me there. In The Netherlands, she is very well-known: she still sings a lot, does concerts, and has other entertainment-industry things going on: for example, she used to be a judge and coach on TV-singing programme The Voice of Holland from 2012 to 2014, and she participated in the Eurovision song contest. So, we were very excited to visit her and work with her!


We opened the first box of flowers in the kitchen, so we could film a short segment on opening the flower bulbs. The full video is available on Trijntje’s Instagram, @trijntjeoosterhuis.


My father had visited Trijntje before in order to look at the garden. She had lots of good ideas and plans, and we tried to select bulbs that are best suited to make those a reality. So last week, it was time for the fun part: loading the car full of bulbs and going over to her house to work in the garden… and eat lunch and drink hot chocolate with rum, honestly, it was almost like this visit had nothing to do with business at all :)


The Fluwel-side of the gardening team of this day consisted of, obviously, my dad, my aunt Paulien, my cousin Pracht (she was lucky: school had a day off), and myself. Trijntje had also gathered friends and family to spend a day in the garden, so with all of us together, the job was done in no time. We did a few things that would be fun to do in other gardens as well, so I’m going to use this newsletter to tell you a bit more about some parts of her new garden.


I started with a mixture of different kinds of flower bulbs. When the bulbs were mixed, we sprinkled the mixture out in the garden. Not just through the flower beds, but also throughout the lawn. Because of this, the garden will get a spring look early on in the year, as one of the kinds of bulbs in the mixture is a Crocus. They will show up early to announce the start of spring, so you know that it can’t be much longer before you see other things starting to bloom as well. And though it might feel a bit weird to spread bulbs out throughout the lawn instead of in a special, designated place, but don’t let that stop you: there are no rules for planting flowers in your garden, except the ones you make yourself! Go for it with the Hocus Crocus or Crocus tommasinianus!


The making of the mixture: just empty all the bags of bulbs in a large pot/cauldron and mix!


We also did a lot of flower pots with Tulips, Daffodils, and other kinds of flowers that will do well in them. Another nice thing to do is that if you have a large pot with something like a small tree or other perennial in it, you can plant flower bulbs around that to give it a bit of an extra kick during spring. The plants that are already in the pot will only get more beautiful because of it.


The bulbs you sprinkle throughout the lawn can be put in the ground at the place they ended up at when you sprinkled them so they get a fun vibe; Flower pots are ideal places for your creativity as you can give each one of them a totally different look and they will still look good together, especially if you don’t want to commit yourself too strictly to a single ‘look’ for your garden.


Then, we also put Hyacinthoides non-scripta, also known as Blue Bells, in the front garden. Blue Bells have a way of making any garden look like a fairy tale place, especially if you put them around or under bushes. That extra touch of colour will really make a big difference.


After all that planting in the lawn, the bushes, the flower beds, and just generally around the house, it was time for a break. We had hot chocolate with rum and “tosti’s”, the extremely Dutch food of bread with cheese, toasted in a pan or a special kitchen appliance known as the tosti-ijzer. And I’ve just explained who it was we are visiting, so it probably won’t surprise you that my dad had to demonstrate his dancing abilities while we were at it.


But you should also know that any kind of musical talent is decidedly not there in our family. You can’t be good at *everything*, right?


Last but not least, probably the most special place of the garden: the flower pot that belongs to her young daughter. She had been looking forward to planting her own flower bulbs all week, her mother told us, and when she came home from school she wanted to start right away. She picked it up faster than anyone else: I think she had learned everything she needed to know from my father in about 5 minutes, and after that she went on directing her mother to plant all the remaining flower bulbs all over the garden.


Some varieties we used a lot in this garden are Daffodils Hello Sunshine and Tender Beauty, two very different kinds of Daffodils. Hello Sunshine is exactly what people think about when they hear the word ‘Daffodil,’ and Tender Beauty is almost the opposite of that, so the Daffodils are represented very well here. This is also what we used in the XL-flower pots that already had a little tree in it: my cousin Pracht used them to surround the stem of the tree so that it will have a nice necklace of Daffodils next spring.


Narcissus Hello Sunshine


Narcissus Tender Beauty


I hope you’ve been able to get some inspiration for your own garden. Hopefully, the weather will be good for planting in the next few weeks.


Kind regards,

Pien van der Veek