Apples, pears and sunflowers

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Last weekend the weather was promising, and after spending all week indoors at work, pining after the sunshine from behind my desk, I really felt the need to spend some time outdoors.  I’d read about a new place in the far west of Amsterdam where we could go to pick organic apples and pears ourselves, but I couldn’t imagine what a magical place I would find in Fruittuin van West.

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The staff was very friendly, explained what they will be growing there in the future and how to pick the fruit properly.The trees were laden with fruit. It was the perfect activity for a sunny Sunday to get some fresh air and be active outside.  In the end we carried home 10kg of delicious pears and apples. It was so much fun to pick our own fruit and much more satisfactory that just buying it at the market:-)

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As we were leaving I realized we could also pick sunflowers on the other side of the street! There stood a wild field of amazing sunflowers – yellow ones and also orangey-red ones like I’d never seen, of all different heights and sizes… Simply gorgeous!

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Lovely urban garden in Geuzenveld

Dahlia

Dahlia

Now that the days are getting shorter and the wind is blowing hard outside, I am spending much less time on my balcony. I was looking through my phone and found some pictures I took at the beginning of this month on a sunny day in a beautiful neighbourhood garden that is just opposite my boyfriend’s apartment building in Geuzenveld (West-Amsterdam). Through the summer I have regularly passed by to check out how things were growing and test my plant-recognising-skills (that still need some practise!). 

Sunflowers in Dr H Colijnstraa

Sunflowers and cabbages in Dr H Colijnstraat

I love the way that this small square of paradise has been set up in this very residential part of town on a corner of unused land, between the huge modern Parkrand appartment complex (which you can see in the background) and a building site.

Some kind of gourd

Some kind of gourd

The neighbourhood is full of rabbits so the only way to keep these plants safe was to build a wooden wall around the garden. The plants are grown on raised beds and there are all sorts of things from huge sunflowers to herbs, dahlias to strawberries…

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In my ideal world there would be urban gardens like this on every corner, where people could garden together to grow edible and decorative plants. People from different generations and backgrounds could learn how these plants grow and this would help create a real community spirit by contributing to a common project.