More orchard videos

Have been removing creeping grass from the Geranium Orchard today. Nice to have a couple of visitors and enough green space so we could each forage or work in seperate orchards!
The Geranium Orchard today. Before the grass came out.
Grape hyacinth and Lungwort in flower.
Fairy Orchard – Looking for Sweet Cicely amongst the Wild garlic. Third time lucky in this clip. Sweet Cicely smells and tastes of aniseed. It also has soft delicate leaves.

Spring time

I’ve been spending a lot more time than usual in the River of Herbs Orchards – have been squeezing in some weeding and fresh air time between online teaching for my school. The regular RoH team have been doing beautiful things there as you’ll see. The woodchip paths were refreshed over the past couple of weeks and the nettle orchard has a new path and the beginnings of a herb spiral.

Here are a few photos and  video clips to share the green urban vibe.

New path and the beginnings of a herb spiral in the Nettle Orchard

Zen hedge trimming

Tomorrow morning in the Park Frankendael Orchards from about 9.30am, we’ll be continuing hand-pruning the massive hedges that wrap around the herb gardens. It seems to be off the Donkergroen work list and off the gemente/council list but they desperately need cutting.. and we don’t want them hacked into oblivion so last week we began plodding around them and will do this week by week, pruning the lot by hand.

Fancy helping for half an hour or so? Then join us in the morning, please bring along a pair of secateurs and a zen mentality 🙂 It’s certainly not a difficult job but it’s a big job!
It’s behind Huize Frankendael (restaurant Merkelbach). Call Lynn on 0627596930 if you’re not sure. But she’ll be communing with the hedges through the morning so won’t be checking messages much.

Join the team!


We are urgently looking for volunteers to join the River of Herbs orchards team – would you like to join us?

Because our numbers have dropped recently due to changes in volunteer work days, we now have a tiny team and we need to expand!

Could you spare a couple of hours a week to help with light gardening with this friendly group?

We work organically, along Permaculture principles and in harmony with the local ecology and landuse partners

The orchards house old fruit trees and were set up as ethical foraging gardens in 2014 by Lynn and a fabulous team of enthusiastic nature lovers.

The four orchards are full of beautiful edible herbs, mushrooms, fruit trees and bushes and countless wildlife.

We like to experiment with interesting plants, share food from our foraged harvest and generally have a good time together.

Regular gardening restarts on

Monday 4th March,


If you need more information please email

Spring Planning Meeting

The days are getting longer. Before we know it, the world will be covered in a verdant carpet, spring flowers and buzzing friends will be everywhere!

It’s time to meet up and plan. To consider what we want to accomplish in the orchards and city this coming season.

On Sunday 10th February, we plan to meet at the Gardening Library in Transvaalbuurt. Time of gathering to be confirmed. 12.00 – 13.30

I’d love to see you there, if you want to get involved in any way with the River of Herbs project.


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!