How I grew my own private paradise

by Marlies Dekkers

Forget about Johnny Depp’s private islands or the infinity pool at the Hanging Gardens Ubud; my favorite place to chill in my bikini is my own roof.

I think it’s one of the greatest luxuries in my life; the fact that I only have to walk up a flight of stairs to enter paradise. (the fact that I have a walk-in closet just for my swimwear comes a close second, but more about that later) My roof has a spectacular view of Rotterdam, and four years ago I started growing my own herbs and vegetables there. I’ve got mint, cilantro, chives, beets, thyme, you name it! When I lounge in the sun with some dear friends, reading, laughing, dancing and drinking mojito’s made with freshly-picked mint, I feel sheltered and happy. I’m on top of the world.

It took me a while to get the hang of gardening, and I have to admit a lot of plants bit the dust the first year. Quite literally, because I hadn’t figured out a proper irrigation system yet! I may still not have a green thumb, but tons of gardening books and many failed experiments later, I have created a lush little jungle for myself. I find gardening both relaxing and very empowering. How good does it feel to skip the supermarket and eat something straight off ‘your land’!

When I look out over Rotterdam from my roof I see so many unused spaces that could be turned into little gardens. You really don’t need much! As a matter of fact, one of the gardening books that really inspired me was ‘You grow girl’ by Canadian garden guru Gayla Trail, in which she shows how to turn any space, from a tiny fire escape to a suburban backyard, into the lush garden of your dreams. This is fun stuff, like concocting home made pest repellents and growing and bagging your own herbal tea. (check her site for daily inspiration: http://yougrowgirl.com)

Go ahead, create your own little paradise. And remember, all it takes is a dream, some seeds and a windowsill.

Most loved
Between king and QUEEN

MD Friends

Between king and QUEEN

by marlies|dekkers

Who is Tasya van Ree? The mysterious girl in the big black hat has been fascinating art connoisseurs and fashion lovers alike since she burst onto the scene with her stunning black-and-white photographs of celebrities like Michelle Rodriguez and (one-time lover) Amber Heard. I asked the Hawaiian-born visual artist of Dutch-Japanese ancestry (41) about her art and soul. “Between both King and Queen is where I exist.”

BRAVE ballerina

MD Friends

BRAVE ballerina

by marlies|dekkers

Sara Mearns (31) is New York City Ballet’s boldest ballerina. A passionate, intense dancer, she started dancing at 3 and starred in Swan Lake when she was only 19. But instead of resting on her laurels, Sara has kept challenging herself with daring projects, from a collaboration with hip-hop dancers to a leading role in a Broadway show. I talked with the fierce Swan Queen about sacrifices, body confidence, and how to turn pain into gain. “I’m not the typical skinny, tall, long-neck kind of ballerina.”

The art of love!

Marlies Says

The art of love!

by marlies|dekkers

Get your creative juices flowing

This Valentine’s, don’t wait around for that love-note or those fancy chocolates to feel loved and desired. Express yourself to fall in love with yourself, now!