JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Garden season started

This week I started the garden season.

Monday 17 April

Today we both worked from the office. When I came home from work, I liked to see the dandelions in our garden. Seeing the light streak through the photo was less pleasant, but that is how it goes when you are not careful with the camera.

DW has her garden season well under control. That is different compared to last year. I am slightly troubled by my desire to use the tiller machine. I suppose I have to give up a part of that dream and prepare some of my garden activities by hand.

Last year I started by calling the beds sowing beds; later in the season, I called them salad beds. Anyhow, I sowed them on 14 August.

North Holland field lettuce (Row 25 to 27) and Swiss Chard (Row 36 to 38) survived the winter! This is the second bed starting from row 20. The first bed things are growing, but I don't think it is anything I planted there.

There is no point in driving around with a tiller machine in these buckets, so I must do these by hand. But not tonight. This evening I am only doing reflection on how things went.

Tuesday 18 April

DW went to the office today, and I worked from home.

Yesterday I was contemplating how DW had jump-started her garden season. I am not talking about the plastered walls that have not yet been painted, but I suppose that is another story.

Since I worked from home today, I had no time to commute home after work. Immediately after the working day ended, I could go out in the garden to work on one of the sowing beds/salad beds. I also had another thought in my mind for some time now: Why am I not taking photos of myself while doing things?

As mentioned above, the combination of these two thoughts was that after work, I logged out, grabbed a tripod, and went out into the garden to work on the first salad bed.

The soil was not that bad and pleasant to work, but it was still chilly wind. I let the sheep get every pluck of grass I removed, and they tried to use the calories. That was difficult because the grass was loose, so now they could not rip it off as they were used to. Since their "dad" was busy, it had to be good stuff, so they did not give up. For every new pluck of grass, at least one sheep wanted to try it.

I discovered that a bunch of loose-leaf lettuce had survived the winter. I could separate them and plant them in four rows. That means I also jump-started my gardening season! I was thrilled by this discovery.

I still need to fill up more soil in the beds, and then I also need to figure out the plan. But before I can worry about that, I think I will also clear the other bed.

When I was done, I collected the weed in a bucket, and one sheep became interested in the goods. It is Selma, she likes green food.

DW came home late, and she was tired. I made the supper, that was great fun. She told me the recipe step by step, and I went along. That worked very well.

Wednesday 19 April

It was sunny today; we collected 52 kWh, and our peak was 7 kW. It was also windy today, with an icy dry wind. I worked from home in the morning and had a half day off after lunch.

We went to an animal supply store to buy salt stones with garlic and food supplements for our sheep. The garlic makes the sheep somewhat resistant to flies.

Today we decided to buy a tiny house. We got the house reserved for us. Now we must figure out what preparations to make and when to get it. I asked for a drawing including the sewer, water, and electricity. We can dig a trench to the correct spot and install pipes accordingly. The house will be placed on large stones, those we need to order. We will need 12 stones.

In the evening, I cleared the second sowing bed/salad bed. This work was not finished, but I had an excellent beginning. Also, I brought the tripod with me to take some pictures.

The sheep were ready this time to receive snacks. Selma especially liked the grass and weed I pulled out of the bed.

Thursday 20 April

Today I worked from the office the whole day. DW worked from home. After work, we started to move the sheep fence area. They still got access to the rain roof and hey holder but changed the net to be around the rain roof and then let them go on the north, west, and south side of the house.

This is our first time trying the circles around the fruit trees. It made it so much easier to put out the net. We let the net go in front of the house's façade because we still need to make the bottom part of the façade sheep resistant. I will try to make that happen this summer. Now they have enough to graze for two weeks.

There was no time left for work on the sowing beds. Besides, I was too tired to do that.

Friday 21 April

Today I worked from the office, and DW worked from home. When DS came home from work, he made pancakes for us. So sweet of him.

When I came home from work, I started to plant two grapevine plants we got from friends. I decided to do it next to our current grapevine. I moved our current grapevine to this spot on 29 March 2021. That was two years ago. At first, it was doing well, then it was like it was dying, and then it started to live again. Peculiar.

We got that old grapevine when we bought the last house. I moved it from the back garden to the front garden, where it was warmer. So this is the third move that this plant has survived.

Now our old grapevine will get friends fresh from the plant shop. One grapevine with white seedless grapes, "Vitis vinifera Himrod," and another regular sort with red grapes with seeds, "Vitis vinifera Boskoop Glorie." We never knew the name of the original grape because it was acquired by the previous residents of the old house.

In this part, in front of the container, I want to clear the weed using the tiller machine. First, I need the tiller machine to run, which will not happen soon.

I packed bags for the rest of the evening because we will go on holiday to our cottage in Sweden tomorrow. DS stays at home, taking care of sheep and plants.

It was a beautiful evening. The sun set behind the trees in the west.

Saturday 22 April

Today we were traveling to Sweden!

Our sheep were resting in the front garden when we started to pack the car for the journey.

While packing the last things, DW sowed one row of red cabbage seeds in the sowing bed I cleared on Wednesday evening. I need to make up the administration of what is where, but she sowed the cabbage in row 20.

DW started driving around 07:00 in the morning. She drove over Groningen into Germany. At 9 in the morning, she stopped at a rest stop with a WC. The WC was filthy.

We switched so that I was driving and she could rest. Unfortunately, she developed a headache while driving, so she had to rest. I drove through Germany and in Hamburg it was long traffic jams. I took a detour in Hamburg city.

The weather was fine; it was sunny and not that windy. I had anticipated traffic due to the holidays, but it was not that bad, except in Hamburg, but there are always traffic jams in Hamburg.

Perhaps one of the reasons for the headache was coffee withdrawal symptoms? Right before we entered the Hamburg area, we had decided we needed to drink coffee, and then it was so much driving around in the city that we had no convenient place to stop to buy a cup of coffee. When we passed Hamburg, I figured out the next traffic jam would be in Reinfeldt. We left the autobahn and drove to Bad Oldesloo, where we went to a Beckerei and had coffee.

After the coffee, we drove Road 75 to Lubeck, passing the traffic jam. It was a gorgeous route with trees in full bloom. At Lubeck, we returned to the autobahn and continued our ride to Puttgarden.

We arrived at the ferry between Puttgarden and Rödby at half past two in the afternoon. It was not crowdy at all.

We ate a little of the pancakes that we had brought with us. It is a little dull on the ferry, but DW had knitting, and I did some urban sketching. The last time I did this was long ago, so my portrait skills were rusty. I had one model that looked a little like Arnold Schwarzenegger with fancy shades.

Here is a photo of when the ferry is entering the Rödby harbor. Usually, I would put the horizon at one-third from the bottom or the top for a photo like this. I took it from the restaurant through the window, so to create a better composition, I would need to tilt the camera, but then the reflection of the lamps would be visible. It is interesting how the story around the photo is part of it, although you cannot see it.

I drove through Denmark. Usually, it is DW doing.

We arrived at the cottage at half past eight in the evening. I was tired but happy that we had arrived at the cottage.

Sunday 23 April

We went to DF and DM to see the preparations for their solar panels. They live near our cottage. Their house's roof is unsuitable for panels, but they got plenty of space for a solar installation on their property. A platform had to be created on a hill with good sun exposure.

This is only the initial preparation of the installation. The person operating the digger is Robert, and he is making the platform and installing a yellow pipe from the platform to the house so that the people installing the panels can push the cables through.

The price of electricity has increased a lot since Putin started the second invasion of Ukraine last year. It is necessary to lower the electricity consumption if that is possible. DM and DF have found a couple of simple, clever ways to decrease their own consumption by over 30%, and now when they get panels, the situation looks even better. Robert was a hard-working person that had very little time for small-talking. It was unclear when the installation would be finished so the panels could be used. I hope it is before the summer is over.

We wanted to continue the project from the previous holiday at our cottage. We will cut and split the trees we harvested back then into pieces this holiday. This part of the wood store shed was empty. I started sawing pieces, and DW split them.

I cut the logs from left to right, making straight cuts in passes over the logs, creating a type of staircase shape. A cut line goes as it wore straight through the heap of logs. That way, the logs that are barely cut in an earlier pass get cut near where they will be cut anyway.

It is more challenging to split a piece with a half-made cut in the middle of the piece. It is also more economical because a log could be cut a little in one pass, and that exact location doesn't need to be cut again in the next pass.

I noticed I had been driving the day before. I was not entirely restored from driving, but nevertheless, I had already created a good dent into the logs heap the first day.

To take it easier, we went inside, and I had a new activity I planned to work on this holiday: Repairing my work trousers! The last time I repaired my Jeans was a year ago, in February 2022. The repairs were good; I could use the Jeans, but I made the patches too small, and doing it by hand was tedious. This time I will use a sewing machine. We brought DWs machine with us from the Netherlands to our cottage, together with a stack of Jeans that could need to be fixed.

This was my first repair project.

I removed the seam at the side of the trousers to access the place I wanted to repair.

I created patches from the jeans that I repaired the last year.

Here is the patch upside down.

Look, two patches!

Sewed the edges.


DW was spinning, and I was sewing, so we almost forgot the time! We were going to dinner at DF and DM tonight!

They treated us on homemade pizza. Each person put their pizza toppings together, and this was my pizza.

Then the pizza goes into the oven. Here is the result! That was delicious.

​​​​​Here they are, DF and DM. I took a portrait of them in the middle of a sentence. They are enthusiastic about solar panels and how they saved so much electricity this winter.

DM is working a lot in the garden to prepare it for the coming season. She had a lot to tell us about the latest developments.

This week I have been writing blogs continuously for four years. That is not bad at all.


Next week we will do things at our cottage. Stay tuned for more exciting stories.​​​​​​​

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.