They torture plants in Belgium

Happy Monday, everyone! Today is the first day of school for Kaia--4th grade! Yikes. How did that happen? Anyway, now that she's back in school, I'll have more time to get the blog into high gear, so look for Gardeny Goodness to be way more interesting on Facebook and Instagram in the coming weeks, and for some little bonuses here and there on the blog itself. Help me out, would ya? Keep sending in photos of your awesome gardens, and of your garden travels. In the meantime, back to our crazy vacation. Which, by the way, was the first we've taken in well over a decade, besides family trips to the beach and such. We were in dire need after this crazy stressful year. But now I'm hooked, and we need to institute some serious austerity measures in this household so that we can save up our meager pennies and do it again!

Anyway, after two nights in Amsterdam, Rob and Kaia and I picked up a tiny little rental car and headed out of the country with Bruges, Belgium, as our destination. So many people recommended this old city, telling us that it was exceptionally beautiful, that we thought it was worth the trip. The drive itself was quite an adventure.... We had requested a GPS with our rental car, but they didn't automatically give it to us, and Rob forgot to request it. "It'll be fine," he said, "how hard can it be? We have a map!" Yeah, a map in DUTCH! Let me tell you, navigating in a foreign country where you do not know the language on the street signs is, well, a challenge. But once I convinced him to stop trying to explore every city along the way, it was actually kind of fun.

Just a few miles before we arrived in Bruges, we started noticing something very curious. The plants were square. No really, I've never seen such sharp edges on hedges as the ones in front of the Belgian houses we passed! It was truly impressive, but a bit unnerving. And these tortured shrubs were everywhere along the road to Bruges! On the way out of town the next day, we just had to stop to take photos of some of the most impressively trained shrubs and trees, which you'll find below. Later this week I'll share some pics of a tiny little gem of a garden we found right outside the window of our little B&B. Stay tuned.

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