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As September slides into October, heralding the rapid advance of autumn, here’s a quick round-up of the colours of my Dutch summer…

colours of a dutch summer 2016

being away at peak seedling planting time meant no vegetable growing adventures for me this year, but my mini rock garden, and the allium bulbs I planted in the autumn last year, put on a very good show!

colours of a dutch summer 2016

august mid-morning moon  |  laser 3.14‘s perceptive brand of street poetry

colours of a dutch summer 2016

gira loves this beautiful blue shweshwe duvet cover (made by my super-talented mum)… i suspect it might be because he knows how good he looks on it :)

colours of a dutch summer 2016

soft pink early morning views from the studio

colours of a dutch summer 2016

leiden is rocking the pink too!

coloursofadutchsummer06

lotus @ hortus botanicus, leiden

colours of a dutch summer 2016

gingko  |  venation

~ and you don’t get greens like those above, without a bit of the below ~

colours of a dutch summer 2016

lush

colours of a dutch summer 2016

flying things
street art in leiden  |  stained glass window designed by willem bogtman, haarlem, 1920’s (as seen at the ‘living in the amsterdam school: designs for the interior 1910-1930‘ exhibition at amsterdam’s stedelijk museum)

colours of a dutch summer 2016

everyone loves the sun(flower)

colours of a dutch summer 2016

rainbow cherry toms, ready for slow-roasting

colours of a dutch summer 2016

blue-eyed visitor at my studio window  |  radiant brickwork, amsterdam

colours of a dutch summer 2016

brick gables, haarlem  |  beautiful berries (buds? anyone know what this fascinating plant is?)

colours of a dutch summer 2016

to the beach!
kite-flying  |  fallow deer grazing on the verdant dune grasses at zandvoort

colours of a dutch summer 2016

grey is a colour too

colours of a dutch summer 2016

au revoir summer!

Botanical gardens, with their rich diversity of plant habitats conveniently brought together in one place, are fertile (no pun intended) hunting grounds for colour, texture and pattern inspiration. Although Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus is tiny compared to other botanical gardens I’ve frequented (namely London’s Kew and Cape Town’s Kirstenbosch) it is historically significant as one of the first botanical gardens ever established (founded in 1638) and is no less fascinating than its bigger counterparts (size isn’t everything!).

These are some early experimental shots taken there recently with my ‘new’ macro lens – oh, how I love it!

One of my walking routes from home in to ‘town’ takes me past a quiet bit of water (between two busier canals) and the back of the Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam’s botanical garden. It’s such a beautiful spot, always tinged with a bit of mystery and magic whatever the season, and if it’s possible to covet a building (which, it seems, it is!) then I have a serious case of palm house envy.

The Hortus’s palm house (and, in fact, the entire garden) is not on the grand scale of the palm house at Kew, but it’s the unassuming mellow brick and glass, and the human-scale of it, that make it so appealing. It doesn’t dominate the landscape, like an overwrought wedding cake*, it nestles into it and they become one…

It’s hard to believe that this magical landscape is, practically, in the middle of the city!

If you stand around long enough gawking at palm houses, autumn leaves and their watery reflections you’re bound to attract some attention. When two handsome strangers approach for a chat…

… it would be churlish not to hang out for a while. Topics of conversation are limited however – mostly we talk about the deliciousness that’s lurking beneath the dew-damp carpet of fallen leaves.

Hmm, beak-smacking good!

* Actually, I love the majestic greenhouses at Kew! But for the sake of this comparison the ‘wedding cake’ simile seemed appropriate ;)

Hortus Botanicus palm house built 1912, designed by Amsterdam School architect Johan van der Mey (also responsible for this gem)
Kew Gardens palm house built 1844-48, designed & built by Decimus Burton (architect) and Richard Turner (engineer)

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Elegant step-gables and spring sunshine in Amsterdam #gable #step_gable #trapgevel #canal_house #singel #grachtenpand #spring #sunshine #new_growth #green #pattern #symmetry At the Melkweg last night for some RTJ music and mayhem... #melkweg #runthejewels #RTJ #ElP #KillerMike #livemusic #neon #typography #stars #milkyway I ❤ tree skeletons… soon to be bursting into new leaf, so I’m enjoying these graphic lines while I still can #dawn #silhouette #treeskeleton #graphic #filigree #pattern #colour #gradation This magic has just started to unfold in the ‘garden’ on our little roof terrace. Methinks spring has most definitely sprung! #spring #lente #blossoms #plum (?) #pink #petals #stamens #delicate #growth #seasons #cycle_of_life #roof_garden #haarlem Dawn colours #dawn #silhouette #dome #cathedral #kathedralebasilieksintbavo #studio_view #rooftops #haarlem Dressing W-A-Y out of my comfort zone for the “glitter and glamour” themed wedding party of friends tonight. Gulp… they say it’s good to step outside one’s comfort zone now and then, right?! #shimmery #sequins #glitter #festive #ottodame #not_black #colour #pattern #texture

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