Journey to Martha Besseling

May I invite you? To a trip to the dreamlike garden of Martha Besseling in Luxembourg.

Martha and I met many years ago at my first bookstall at the Luxembourg Book Fair. We got talking back then about the little booklet "Shortbread", which has become a little baking book classic in its fourth edition by now, and a wonderful friendship developed out of it. I have the feeling that the joy of cooking and the passion of gardening are often very close to each other. They are all the beautiful themes of life! The enjoyment and the sense of beauty really do connect a lot!

Next Thursday evening, the focus of our monthly Instagram LIVE series will be on gardening. So I'm really looking forward to an evening stroll through Martha's garden. Her signature touches me deep in my heart, as her love for plants is everywhere with her!

"My passion for gardening - it's in my DNA - my love of nature and everything that flies and crawls, I owe to my parents, who were great hobby gardeners themselves. The time spent in my parents' garden with family and friends is indelibly imprinted on me." Martha

And so our walk was like a little journey.
Martha followed her great love from her home country Austria to Luxembourg in 2014 and was initially very conflicted in her heart. On the one hand, there was the sadness of saying goodbye to her family, her friends and her much-loved garden in Austria, and on the other hand, the anticipation of a new chapter in her life in a hitherto rather unknown country. But, in every new beginning there is magic - with this hope, full of confidence and love, her life in Luxembourg began on Valentine's Day 2014.
A really good day that has brought her happiness to this day.

When she met René during a gardening trip to Madeira, her husband was probably aware from the start that "his Austrian" must be a passionate gardener and would probably also like to put down gardening roots in Luxembourg. René, as someone who is not "garden obsessed", has always supported her in her passion for gardening from the beginning of their life together, which touches her deeply to this day.
Their first purchase in their new home was new bookshelves - "all what you need is a library and a garden" - as Cicero already knew.
At the first garden fair in May, a rose pavilion was bought - that was the start for her new garden and for the planning, which was quite quickly transferred from the sketches she had made herself into reality. It was to be a garden with different spaces and since the already existing "garden" (hedges, meadow, conifers, walnut tree) offered a lot of design freedom, Martha could really let off steam in terms of gardening. Conifers were felled (but still had their last appearance as Christmas trees in the community), paths and seating areas were paved, a formal pond was created, new hedges were planted as dividers for the garden rooms, hundreds of box trees were given a new home and numerous roses, perennials, shrubs and trees were planted.
In the first few years, Martha still grew vegetables in the boxwoods with great enthusiasm - but the root pressure of the green border has unfortunately put an end to this passion.
So, peu à peu, a green living room has been created, which was completed for the time being with the last building activity, the erection of a garden house.
Unfortunately, a hurricane 4 years ago uprooted an important design element - her walnut tree including rambler rose - but a garden is like life - change - nothing is constant, everything is in flux.
In her garden there are also many plants in pots - many of which have moved with her from Austria - each plant has its own story - others are travel souvenirs from different countries.



Die Weisheit meines Gartens

Die Früchte der Gelassenheit



Marder, Rose, Fink und Laus

Löwenmaul und Irisschwert - Gartengeschichten



Die Tage des Gärtners -

Vom Glück im Freien zu sein



Bin im Garten



Mein Garten im Wandel


Annabelle - Hydrangea arborescens

Buchs - Buxus

Kandelaberehrenpreis - Veronicastrum

Brandkraut - Phlomis

Knöterich- Persicaria


Lampenputzergras - Penisetum

Ziersalbei - Salvia „Blue Angel“

Spanisches Gänseblümchen - Erigeron Karvinskianus

Bartnelke - Dianthus nigrescens


Eisenkraut - verbena bonarisiensis



Basilikum - African blue



Glyzinie - Wisteria

Seerose - Nymphaea

Sardine spread from a recipe of Martha's grandma
Ingredients :
1 can of sardines preserved in oil (100g)
20 g butter
1 teaspoon capers
Some pepper
2 hard boiled eggs
plus baguette
1. puree the ingredients & season with a little pepper.
2. serve the spread on fresh baguette & garnish with edible flowers.
3. enjoy!