Lier is a small but beautiful town in Belgium. Most of my immediate ancestors come from there though my mum and dad were born in Brasschaat and in Diest respectively. Goyvaerts is not a common name in Belgium, but in Lier you see quite a few signs with this name on it. I feel at home there, it’s a lovely typical Flemish town with a huge car free ‘grote markt’ and a beautiful cathedral, its bells and Carillion chiming out over the typical town houses. A most interesting beguinage dating from the 13th century, a fine library, a large school of music, the Zimmer tower with it’s astronomical clock, on it’s façade it gives the times from all around the world. And many more special cultural and scenic corners.
Anyway, my eldest sister still lives there and she has a small town garden in which I went to take some photos recently. It’s a neat garden, she has one raised bed where she already had a crop of herbs last summer, but trouble with cats is making her hold back this year, so we discussed how to make it so the cats cannot use it as toilet. But there are many beautiful shrubs and flowers in her garden. Since the soil is quite sandy and of course Belgium gets quite hot in the summer, her lavender is doing extremely well, so we did harvest a lovely bunch of these flowers to dry and use later for making sachets to use as presents. There is Turkish sage – Phlomis russeliana, growing in her garden, growing tall and showing bright yellow flowers, much loved by the bees! Along the verge of one of the flower beds it is full of ripe wild strawberries, very sweet and tasty. An arch made of willow twigs lets you enter the rear end of the garden, a woodbine trails along it and is also in flower. Some beautifully scented roses together with the privet hedge in flower make this garden full of wonderful scents, a garden that anyone would love to sit in on a summers day.
Phlomis russeliana (Turkish sage)