Lily of the Valley and How to Grow Them on the Balcony

Seeing my lily of the valley finally coming to bloom on the balcony, after four years or more in waiting, makes me happy. This potted plant had been sent to me from Switzerland on Mother’s Day.

In the language of flowers, the lily of the valley symbolizes marital happiness.

The following spring, I transferred the plant from its small pot into a wooden flower box on the balcony. It spread its green leaves throughout the box, but that was it.

Yes, after five years at the least, I was tempted to throw it out and told the plant as much. That was sometime in March of this year. It worked! Out came a single flower.
It used to be my mom’s favorite flower, so I did not want to give up so quickly. But the pep talk surely helped.

Mid-April 2018

By mid-May, I had the nicest lily-of-the-valley on my balcony. One of my friends wondered why I did not cut them, and put them in a vase. I have no need for cut flowers! Potted plants are much better anyway – perennials are good for the cycle of life, and bees and other insects appreciate them too.
Cut flowers are for consumerism.
And yes, I get a whiff of them on the balcony with every breeze.

Early to mid-May

By early June, I noticed the first seed pods.

Early June 2018

This is what they look like in August. A bunch of orange berries decorate the balcony. It will be time to harvest them when they are shriveled and dark.

Mid-August 2018

Today, on 31 August 2018, the first seed pods have entered the shriveling stage, and it’s getting closer to harvesting time.

End of August 2018

Read more at Gardening Know How: Lily Of The Valley Seed Pod – Tips On Planting Lily Of The Valley Berries https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/lily-of-the-valley/lily-of-the-valley-seed-pods.htm

 

Enthusiasm and Grit

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all, become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good.”

– Roald Dahl

Canal Nantes-Brest in Josselin, France

Passion and perseverance will give you confidence and grit for long-term goals.

Definition of grit: courage and resolve; strength of character.

More about that by Angela Lee Duckworth in this TED Talk: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Planned U-Bahn Strike Tomorrow, Friday 13 April 2018

A planned strike will impact the U-Bahn service tomorrow, Friday 13 April. It will include all U-Bahn and tram service in the Frankfurt area, and this means that the U3 train will not service the Oberursel area.

Note: The strike will not impact regular public bus service or the S-Bahn.

Here is a translated version of the RMV’s official closure notice.

More information about the service disruption can be found (in German) at rmv.de.

 

School Life in South Korea and Finland

South Korea and Finland – what a stark contrast in school life.

Student life in South Korea: cram school till midnight, four hours of sleep are the norm, school attendance in high school till 10pm, high cost of cram school education, study for exams only, pressure to get into a top-notch university, etc.

Finnish students have a 20-work school week. This allows them to spend this extra time outside of school to do practical things:  meeting friends, spending time with family, having time to earn some money on the side, reading for pleasure, etc.

Classic Scrabble

For decades this board game has been an all-time favorite. It was invented in the U.S.A. in 1948, and this classic wooden Scrabble was first sold in the UK in the 1950s. It is available in more than 30 languages. More than 100 million games have been sold worldwide.

This game is suitable for kids, adults and learners of English of all ages. It can be great fun, and it is educational as well.

It has 100 polished wooden tiles, 4 wooden tile racks and a classic game board based on the original 1950s design.

For more information or to order, click on the image below.

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