Today we had mucky fun making seedbombs under the old cherry tree in the Park Frankendael orchards. We used our hands to mix gracefully aging seeds (collected, purchased and gifted over recent years) with terracotta clay powder, soil and just enough water. When the consistency felt right, we squeezed the mixture into small balls, just the right size to fit into egg cartons. When we ran out of egg cartons, we wrapped the rest of the seedbombs in newspaper strips.

These beautiful balls of latent life and colour are now drying out on my roof terrace. Once they have dried sufficiently, we will store them in our homes and then carry a few around, ready to launch into needy spaces at opportune moments. The intention is to launch them all by the end of October, spreading thousands of herb and flower seeds around the city, in pleasing spheres of goodness.

If you would like to make seeds bombs with us, feel free to come along to the orchards next Wednesday morning at about 11am. (Call me on 0627596930, if you want to join as the plan has changed, sorry for the late notice). If possible, bring along an empty egg carton and leave your best clothes at home.

If you know somewhere that could use some seed bomb enrichment, do let us know in the comments below. We will try to walk by and launch some love and seeds onto the location.


NL doet Compost heap building!


I have organised another NL doet event this year, because the orchards needs a smart new compost heap and we need some help to make this happen.  Would you like to help?

10.00 – 11.30

Saturday 8th March 2018

River of Herbs orchards, behind Huise Frankendael, Park Frankendael.

We don’t add any food waste to our compost heap, simply green waste from cutting back the perennial herbs which grow in the orchards. Most often, our green waste is laid as a mulch beneath the growing plants but sometimes there is just too much to handle so we need a place to keep it tidy. Over time, the collected green waste rots down and makes great quality organic compost which we then use to enrich areas of the orchards soil.

A few years ago, the green team at Elsevier joined us for a morning and helped us to willow weave Continue reading “NL doet Compost heap building!”

Benefits of urban herb gardens

Whilst studying for her MSc in Spacial Planning at Wageningen University, Ioana-Cristina Musat became the first university intern at River of Herbs in Amsterdam.  It was an absolute pleasure to work with Ioana and the Spacial planning department at Wageningen.  As well as her full report, Ioana kindly created the following summary which outlines the main ideas and concepts resulting from her research. We hope that you find it inspiring and useful – we certainly have!

River of Herbs always welcomes enquiries from well motivated students who have ideas for internships or other forms of collaboration. Please contact Lynn at with ideas.  Continue reading “Benefits of urban herb gardens”

Stijlish Sunday gardening

Photo credit: Mahaut Vidal

​3pm til 5 pm this Sunday (25th November) – Celebrating the old Stijl Tuin behind Huize Frankendael. 

The day after, gardening contractors will dig up what’s left and begin to restructure the garden. Edward Clydesdale Thomson, artist in residence is organising gluwijn, hand tools, plant care advice and a good send off for the plants. The Yew trees will be moved to the local cemetery de Nieuwe Ooster Begraafplaats  (which is also a national arboretum) so we won’t be touching them but everything else can go. That’s the mature Box hedging (buxus), Catnip, Day lilies, Japanese anenomes, Acanthus, spring bulbs, Artemisias and more and more and more. 

The following day, restructuring of the garden will begin. The Stijltuin behind Huize Frankendael is an officially listed historic garden and whilst keeping the original design intact, new plants are to be added. 

Join us on Sunday afternoon if you can!

Looking forward – Orchards

Pale pink toadstools growing within a hollow trees stump Frankendael orchards
Photo credit – Carolina Ivanescu

On Wednesday, several hardy volunteers gathered at the orchards to make chai tea (with the new Kelly Kettle), ate Caro’s oat cake and planned for the coming months. Here is a summary of what we hope to achieve over the coming months:


Kids walk including the barefoot path, Kokedame making again, Infusion crafting

Poisonous herbs workshop, Dyeing Continue reading “Looking forward – Orchards”

Frankendael orchards

Secret gardens in Oost

River of Herbs orchards bench Bobby van Vliet
Bench crafted by Bobby van Vliet from fallen tree

Since 2014, River of Herbs has been caring for four beautiful shady orchards, within Amsterdam’s Park Frankendael. It’s a beautiful location, far from the busy city and yet a stone’s throw from tram line 9. Each Wednesday morning, a small team meets between 10.30 and 11.30 to garden, connect and drink Continue reading “Frankendael orchards”