A Conversation for Gardeners' Guild
Alfredo Started conversation Oct 18, 2007
It's almost from a diary, but that's the way it is.
Since 1994 I live at a beautiful historic neighborhood of Amsterdam.
There's a very small canal along side my studio and the houses at the other side are very old, while mine is part of an ugly, modern building full of cheap studios.
The first thing that I did when I got the studio was planting a few climbing plants. Year after year these plants grew higher and higher and I even developed a method that made the plant halfway to grow down instead of up.
Especially at the side of the canal is very dangerous to go higher and higher.
After a few years the building got more "green" and even birds started to create their family lives in it.
After the troubles I started to get with my general condition, I had special tools to be made to manage the plant without having to do every job with my very big ladder.
Through the years I became more and more ambivalent about the whole "project", because a climbing plant can cause stress and I could not hire (pay) anyone for years to do the job of cutting and reshaping.
Finally I did find a boy (25) and he did pretty well.
Totally out of the blue I got a letter of the lesser that the climbing plant had to be cut down to the bottom and destructed.
My first reaction was almost apathy.
The days after anger and that gave me the energy to fight back and to look for alternatives.
No one joined in fighting back but I still tried.
After two weeks I knew I would not win.
I already was looking for alternatives like nice ornaments of iron and a sundial.
I also found out that there are many species of the climbing plant and after a long research I choose the "Hedera Helix Glacier" , that needs ten years to reach its limit = 4 meters high.
But first everything had to be removed and just a short while ago "my boy" did the job while I was in my painting studio in Belgium.
When I came back I saw the same ugly new building as I had seen when I came to live here.
The remnants of the plants made a very big pile and I had to arrange to get it taken away by the local government. That was a hell of a job and after a few weeks some neighbors rang the bell and asked me straight forward when that pile would disappear.
I know the Dutch bureaucracy almost better than anyone else in Holland and that's not only a cynical statement, because bureaucracy can also be a tool to reach ones goal in Western Europe.
Well, this time I felt stuck between a hard rock and a wall.
I took one hundred euros in my pocket to go down town and try to find someone who would clean up the street for me and bring it all away.
I took my coat and bicycle and go outside my building.
Suddenly I see that all had been taken away. Most probably by one of my e-mails.
So that was a great relief.
But there was and is also rising up another great relief; no climbing plants any longer.
Step by step I had become lonelier over the years, because of the situation as it was.
Because it all went slowly, I was not really aware about how heavy this burden year after year felt for me.
It's also a combination of personal supporting power and the risky job that had to be done.
Now, oct. 2007, I feel, the climbing plant has taken far more energy and emotions than it should be worth it.(according to me and my stake was very high).
Over the years I whished to share the yearly task, without success, realizing the balance between private action, etc. etc.
Last weeks, while the whole pile of the plant was put in a save corner of the street- waiting for its final destiny - I had more talk at my door than I ever had before, during the life of the plant.
Over the years,appearently, it had made me lonely.
I felt taken hostage by the plant and the whole situation.
It all wasn't worth it, but I still back my own decision in the first weeks of my new studio.
Greetings from Holland
~:*-Venus-*:~ Posted Oct 19, 2007
KB Posted Oct 19, 2007
Some climbing plants are really not worth the trouble.
What was your condition Alfredo, if it's ok to ask?
Alfredo Posted Oct 19, 2007
Well, I’m not a very balanced person, although I have known years of real self confidence.
P.S. Well I can say to the more balanced peoples; your life is as easy as eating chocolate.
Everything stimulates everything in a positive chain. 80% is done by the process itself.
The same can be said about the underworld; negative spiral. Also 80% by itself.
If I look at all these "spirals" behind me, I already live about 120 years. Pretty old.
As "sensitive" as I am (pretty extreme), my willpower appears to be extremely strong (I'm glad I got that)and I often rely on it.
Yes, I do like nature and plants a lot. Often watch BBC about it.
Did have a very romantic and large garden when I was father with a family of four daughters.
oldest - 32 - is teacher at city ballet of New York.
Less old is police officer in Amsterdam
Less old is all round professional in the world of TV productions.
The youngest has been spoiled by an ever joyful father; in the blackest days she was a very uplifting spirit for me.
She's manager in a huge Dutch Railway museum, with all kinds of entertainment and education.
They are flowers I enjoy the best.
But I do have a studio at the Dutch Belgian border on a land of a former lover of mine from 1995.
It is huge and very inspiring landscape. But she also is not that "easy", so sometimes I'm not there at all.
And guess what; at 3oo meters from her home/my studio; I found out a heartbreaking relief centre for.........................
I always wanted to have one and now I can just sit in the middle of them and in all peace we are present there.
They have been severely misused (like 37 young donkies from only one mother...)
At BBC world I saw a docu of war veterans in USA who take care of traumatized animals and that inspired me to look for more opportunities for me at that donkey centre.
I'm sorry; yes the plant is gone and now, afterwards, it's a relief and my way of living has been drastically changed. If anyone wants to take care of the neighborhood; fine, but not me any longer.
Greetings from sunny Amsterdam
Alfredo Posted Oct 19, 2007
I thought I had some pictures on line about me and flying my kite at the belgian border.
At this moment not, but I'll put there some new ones anyhow.
Have a good time
Alfredo Posted Oct 20, 2007
Spielberg these days, is making a movie in Hungary about the famous "tulipmania" around Amsterdam about 1620-1622.
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