Here's how to keep your succulents beautiful outdoors

Vetplanten buiten

Outdoor succulents are a nice addition to your garden. They give your garden an exotic look and you do not have to look after them much. After all, succulents require very little care. Ideal for people who do not have such green fingers or who are going on vacation for a few weeks. Yet not all succulents do equally well outdoors. This is because some originate from a much warmer country. These will have difficulty surviving especially in the winter. A number of succulents are suitable for the garden, because they originate from the Netherlands or a country with a climate similar to that of the Netherlands. Which ones they are, and how to take care of them, you can read here!


A first succulent that is very suitable for outdoors is Sedum, also known as succulents. Sedum is a collective name for a family of succulents that consists of some 400 to 500 species. Because the choice is so large, you can choose to place a mix of different Sedum succulents in your garden. This species of succulent is found throughout the northern hemisphere. A number of species also occur in the Benelux in the wild. So the Sedum succulent goes well with the Dutch climate. This species is hardy, can survive in both shade and sun and needs very little water. Therefore, these plants are very suitable as outdoor succulents. In the garden, this plant is often used as ground cover. 


Another suitable succulent for outdoors is Sempervivum, also called house garlic, thunderleaf or thunderbeard. The translation of this Latin name is "Always Alive," a perfect description for this plant. In fact, Sempervivum plants are evergreen and very easy to maintain. The plant is found in European mountainous areas, among others. Again, Sempervivum is a collective name for many different species. The plants come in all kinds of different shapes and colors. Most plants even change color seasonally! The Sempervivum plants can stand full sun very well and hardly need any maintenance. That is why you often see these succulents as patio or balcony plants. They are also widely used in rock gardens or on green roofs. Finally, Sempervivum are also very nice to combine with other plants in the garden.

Jovibarba Sobolifera

Another option is the Jovibarba Sobolifera. These succulents can withstand temperatures as low as -25°C and remain green all winter. Jovibarba plants are therefore also very suitable as outdoor succulents. The advantage of this plant is that it can survive in any climate, hot and cold as well as frost and drought. Jovibarba can adapt well to the environment they are placed in. However, naturally this succulent is found in the mountains. This makes this plant very suitable as a rock garden or, for example, between stones. Jovibarba prefer a slightly moist, sunny spot with stony soil. The plant combines well with other plants and will not overgrow. In spring, this plant will begin to bloom with greenish-yellow flowers that remain on the plant until early fall. 

This is how to keep your succulents beautiful

There are a few things you can pay attention to in order to keep your succulents as beautiful as possible throughout the year. For starters, it is recommended that you use potting soil specifically for succulents. This potting soil consists of a combination of 70% universal potting soil and 30% gravel or sharp sand. Then you can cover this potting soil with mulch layer of decorative gravel to prevent rotting of the leaves. Furthermore, keep in mind that succulents do not like humidity. They may even die from it. Therefore, it is advisable to place the plants in a greenhouse or under an eaves during the winter, for example, to protect them from the rain. 

Tips for succulents outdoors

Furthermore, handle succulents with care as well. This is because the leaves of succulents can be damaged if you handle them carelessly. Therefore, make sure that you never hold the plants by the leaves, but rather by the root ball. In addition, plant the succulents so that the leaves stick out above the ground. Finally, keep in mind that potting soil can easily get stuck between the leaves of the succulents. To prevent fungal diseases, it is therefore wise to regularly remove this potting soil using, for example, a brush. This will keep your succulents beautiful all year long!

Marianne Rosenberg

Marianne Rosenberg

Marianne Rosenberg is a German singer known to many people. She sang the popular song ich bin wie du. She doesn't have this vocation from a stranger because her father was also a musician. She started at a young age of only 15 when she was discovered during a talent show. She is also one of the few women to have created a song together with Paul McCartney. She also participated in the Eurovision song contest of '76 with Lieder der nacht. In the gay scene her songs are still very popular. She has participated in the preliminaries of the Eurovision song contest several times. From 1993 she disappeared from the spotlight for a while. In 2009 and 2014 she made a comeback with her songs from the old days.

How is Marianne Rosenberg now?

The German Marianne Rosenberg was hit hard by the virus at the beginning of the corona crisis. Fortunately the 65 year old singer noticed the symptoms in an early stage. She not only tested positive but also had severe flu symptoms. After three weeks of quarantine, she has almost completely recovered. Fortunately, during this difficult period, her friends and family were there for her. They took good care of the famous singer. Meanwhile, the singer is getting better. Fortunately, she doesn't have any heavy after-effects of the corona contamination. Whether we'll be able to see her on stage any time soon remains to be seen. Nothing has been announced yet, but maybe this will happen when everything is open again.

How was her career?

The career of pop singer Marianne Rosenberg started early at the age of 15. It wasn't something she didn't know because her father was a musician too. She recorded several singles and was regularly in the top 50 of the Dutch and Flemish music charts. She even stayed at number 1 for a week and then at number 2 for a few weeks. This was quite unique for that time because the top positions changed almost every week. She was known for her disco hits. She also participated a few times in the preliminaries of the Eurovision song contest. This did not have the success that was expected. In the years that followed she recorded a few more songs, but eventually decided to stop. Her big comeback in 2014 was also unfortunately not as successful as expected. However, she remains a great icon especially for the gay world and gay top 100.

Which languages did Marianne Rosenberg sing?

In the beginning Marianne Rosenberg only sang German schlager. These were not as popular in her own country as in the surrounding countries. Especially in Holland and Belgium she was an icon for the society. Here she performed regularly for about ten years. In 1989 she tried to change tack. She then chose to make an English song. However, the results were disappointing and she decided to take it easy for a while. In 2004 she also made new productions of her old songs. These were very popular for a short time, especially in the Netherlands. She got help from the big names of the time who made sure things went very differently for her. She ended up in the top 100 in her own country with this. In 2019 she released a new single that again ended up in the top 100 of the German charts. The expectation is that we will see her again when the pandemic is over. Meanwhile, she is already 65, but she certainly has no desire to stop singing.

Why is she so popular in the gay world?

In the gay world, we see a lot of people listening to German Schlagers, including Marianne Rosenberg. It is cheerful, but also a little bit wrong music for this time. The wrong songs are well appreciated by the men and the women in this target group. Marianne has no trouble with this at all. This was precisely the motivation for her to release a new song in 2019. Because she herself had a corona infection in 2020, she is still very careful at the moment. However, we still expect her to tour with the new song through countries like the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium when the pandemic is stable. She has built a great career in these countries and she certainly doesn't feel too old for this.

What did Marianne Rosenberg mean to us?

Marianne Rosenberg was a true pop idol, especially for the Dutch and Flemish youth and adults. With her self-willed German Schlagers, which also contained a touch of disco, she reached the top of the charts several times. However, this did not always go down well in Germany where she actually sings for. In 2004 she tried a different approach with an English song. This was no success at all. Fortunately, this woman doesn't give up easily and 2 years ago she released a world hit in Germany. Especially in Germany and the Dutch gay culture this song is played completely grey. Also the old songs of her are getting more and more popular.

What can we expect next from Marianne Rosenberg?

We expect Marianne Rosenberg to perform again when the corona crisis has subsided a bit. The German singer was infected herself at the beginning of this pandemic so she knows exactly what kind of consequences it can have. However, she's nowhere near ready for retirement, even though she's almost the age for it. This woman is still far too lively and energetic for her age. The fans can't wait for her to get back on stage.

Vegan shoes. What are they?

Vegan shoes

Vegan shoes are becoming increasingly popular for both men and women. There are also vegan sneakers for men and women so you can make a fashionable choice. Many people choose these shoes for a better environment. But it also contributes to an animal-friendly society. It also fits in with the vegan lifestyle that many Dutch people are participating in. They are also called the green and environmentally friendly shoes. And in addition, the range of these shoes is constantly expanding.

Vegan shoes made of pineapple leather

When you're looking for environmentally and animal friendly vegan shoes, pineapple leather is the first choice. Most of the time they use materials that you can reuse. In most cases this is plastic bottles and recycled cotton. But there are also vegan shoes for women that are made from hemp, cork or mushrooms. In general, most people are satisfied with the quality they get in return. It is a new way of making shoes and this process still needs to be tuned. However, you are already contributing to the next generation!

Animal-friendly vegan shoes

If you are looking for a pair of vegan shoes or sneakers for men or women, the best thing you can do is surf the internet. You can find all kinds of shoes and boots made from different materials. But you can also find all the common models. Some popular types are sneakers, boots, ankle boots and of course slippers. This will only increase over the years. Also for men there is enough to find, it is not necessarily only for women.

Raw materials for vegan shoes

The raw materials for vegan shoes consist mostly of recycled material. For example, waste cotton or plastic bottles without deposits. But there are also cork shoes for women that are completely vegan. Not only do you contribute to a better environment by buying animal-friendly products, but the transport process is also often shortened, resulting in lower CO2 emissions. Some also call it the carbon footprint you leave on the earth. This you improve by buying vegan products.

Vegan friendly shoes for women

On the internet you can find an extensive collection of vegan shoes for women. These sustainably produced shoes are a true fashion statement. By wearing these shoes, you show that you want to contribute to a better environment. But you also show that the use of animal products has to be stopped. From stylish pumps to sturdy boots you can find it all in the special vegan stores. More and more big names are added to this list, so it is expected that they will soon be available in every shoe store.

Sustainable ecological vegan shoes

Vegan shoes are bought because you want to stand for something. In most cases this is an animal friendly or environmentally friendly society. Large online stores such as Zalando also have a special vegan collection in their range. In addition, these shoes are transported in a sustainable way which significantly reduces CO2 emissions. But Scapino also has a large collection of vegan shoes made from recycled plastic bottles. This way we can all contribute to a cleaner world. This also protects marine animals because the plastic bottles hardly end up in the sea.

Animal-friendly solution

Vegan shoes are an animal friendly solution . It is checked that no animal elements are used in a shoe. In a stylish way, you get the chance to be kind to nature and animals. Doesn't everyone want this? By reusing footwear, you also reduce the amount of waste in the sea and ocean. This way, more and more animal species can find their way under water and live in peace. Sandals are also made vegan, so you can wear them all year round. We all need to do our bit for the planet. Now you can do so with vegan shoes without having to compromise on quality or appearance.

Benefits of vegan shoes

Radar researched the pros and cons of vegan shoes. They found out that they are an animal friendly way to keep the planet green. But most vegan shoes are waterproof, so your feet won't get wet. Or how about the easy maintenance you can have with these shoes. Often it is also super cheap and therefore you save a lot of money. Because of the stiffer material choice you will have less wrinkles in your shoes or boots. And these are just a few of the many benefits.

Disadvantages vegan shoes

As we just discussed, there are unfortunately some drawbacks to vegan shoes. They retain a lot of heat, so you may experience sweaty feet more quickly. This is only for people who are extremely sensitive to it. It also doesn't mold to your feet so it has to fit right away or else you shouldn't take them. The shoe breathes less so the heat is retained. This is an advantage in the winter but a disadvantage in the summer. Although most people wear sandals or slippers in the summer we don't experience this as a problem.

Fruit leather vegan shoes from Rotterdam

In Rotterdam they have invented a new development method for the production of vegan shoes. Fruit leather can be made from fruits like mangoes and peaches. When you remove the pulp from these fruits and let it dry, you always get a hard mass. This is the ideal base for a shoe. Also the possibility for apple leather is investigated. Unfortunately there are no results yet.

Maintenance of vegan shoes

Maintenance of vegan shoes requires less time and attention. Often, a cloth and some lukewarm water will be enough. This is because the material is very sturdy and therefore naturally repels dirt. It's a kind of fake leather that you don't have to rub with special products. Just make sure you use some water repellent the first time. This way you can make your shoes waterproof for a small price.

Camping with the forester


Camping with the forester is the way to completely unwind. The ranger can lead you through nature and tell you all about it. Studies have shown that walking in nature reduces stress levels and increases the happiness hormone. Besides that you can not only go there in high season but also in winter. Several nature reserves are then transformed into camping grounds. You can get delicious hot chocolate and mulled wine. There are also pop up campsites. For example, only during the high or low season tents are set up for visitors. The possibilities in summer often include breakfast and you can sometimes also book a lunch or dinner.

Why camp with the forester in winter?

Winter camping is a new way of camping with the forester. During the winter camps the enjoyment of camping is even more. This is because there is fraternization and you can drink delicious hot drinks with each other. It is also better to admire the starry sky because it is much darker. But also the winter sun is an experience never to forget. So you also get a better resistance because you bivouac in the cold. So it is not only cozy but also healthy. In the winter there are unfortunately no options for pole camping. This because of the dangers of hypothermia and that there is less supervision.

Where can you camp with the forester?

If you go camping with a forester, you do this of course on nature grounds. In the Netherlands there are more than 22 nature parks run by Staatsbosbeheer. Take your own original tent and place it literally in the middle of nature. This is an experience you have never had before. You will be able to relax completely and enjoy the many species of animals that can be found there. Most nature campsites have a toilet block and electricity.
But there are some where you don't have this.

Back to the old normal

So you can go back in time and enjoy the silence without a phone. With some regularity pop up campsites are also set up. These are only temporary because nature also needs to be able to breed and live. The nice thing about this is that you get breakfast every morning and coffee and tea all day.

What makes this a unique experience?

Because you come to the ranger and he knows the terrain you have a unique place to camp. He or she will also guide you through nature so you can get to know more animals and plants. But it also contributes to the general development and gives a lot of rest. You actually go back thousands of years in time. Many generations before us lived the way we do now. In this way, you learn to realize what kind of preferred position we are in. It teaches us to take a moment to be grateful for what we already have.

On which campsites can you camp with the forest ranger?

In the Netherlands you can camp with a forester at 22 nature reserves. Some of these places even have wild animals in the vicinity. Of course this happens under controlled supervision but it is a unique experience. Sometimes there are even nature pools or swimming pools nearby where you can go with the children. Or how about enjoying the peace and quiet between the Wadden Sea and North Sea. Enough possibilities and there is something for both young and old to experience.

Pop up camping with the forest ranger

Some nature reserves are not suitable for year-round camping with a forest ranger. That's why there are several pop up campsites to find. As an example the pop up campsite in Terschelling. Here you can enjoy the nature with pop up tents during the summer months. They even put up a tarp tent where you can get beer, wine and soda. You can also reserve a lunch or dinner in advance. And of course the terrain is equipped with sanitary facilities and electricity. You also get 2 bikes which you can use to explore the area. And every morning a delicious breakfast is included.

What is pole camping and can it be done by the forester?

Pole camping was an option with the forester. However, there is the corona crisis for chosen to stop this indefinitely. This form of camping is done within 10 meters of a pole. However, the enforcement of this is an intensive task for the forester so it is not feasible to make this possible everywhere. Usually there is a limit of maximum 72 hours of camping. This is to give others the chance to camp on the most beautiful place in nature. Never forget to take a garbage bag with you because there are high fines for leaving garbage behind.

What is Birria?


Birria is a classic stew recipe from Mexican cuisine. It is made from both beef and lamb. And most people add some goat cheese as well. You can combine it with any kind of meat you have at home. Make sure you choose meat with bones because it gives extra taste. In the Netherlands we don't know many Mexican restaurants. But in America this is one of the most popular dishes.

Birria change

Originally Birria was only made from goat meat. Nowadays it is mainly made from veal, beef, lamb or pork. In this way every family has the opportunity to make Birria regardless of the budget they have available. And this makes for several variants that are created by family recipes.

How to make Birria

Birria is made by preparing beef and lamb in combination with stock. In Mexican cuisine they like a lot of spice, so using different kinds of chillies in the stock is no luxury. If you don't want it too spicy you can choose to remove the seeds. Just like we do with the hachee in the Netherlands, this dish should be simmered for hours. Depending on the ingredients you add you will get a sweet, sour or even spicy taste. It is also an ideal filling for a taco.

Making Birria tacos

Birria is a dish full of culture and tradition of Mexican cuisine. Never throw away the meat broth and serve it with the taco. You need a good quality corn tortillas or you can make them yourself. In addition, the meat is the most important thing you put in it. Here you are free to combine different types of meat it is a recipe you make to your taste. After the meat the chilies are the most important. Depending on how spicy or sweet you want it you pick the chillies. Preferably at a grocery store because they usually have the best quality. Also the spices are up to you. Usually there is coriander and oregano in it. To give it some extra spice you can add some garlic cloves.

The beginning of making a taco

Based on the recipe for 10 people, you need 1 kg of meat to make that Birria stuffing. A tip is to ask the butcher for a piece that you can cook for a long time. Season it with the desired herbs. When it has a nice brown colour it is sufficiently cooked. In this phase you also fry the onions so they become golden brown. Next you prepare the peppers and remove the seeds if you don't like them. In between taste it to see if it has the desired taste and add extra pepper if desired. Be careful with peppers because you can't take it out again. It must simmer for 1.5 hours to get the right taste.

Birria tortilla

We recommend for the Birria recipe that you use corn tortillas. You can heat these on high heat in the pan or grill. A variation is to dip the tortillas in the gravy to give it even more flavor. Also, when you heat the tortillas, you can put some grated cheese on them. We Dutch are not cheeseheads for nothing. Then you can spoon up the Birria and close the tortilla on both sides. If you like it crispy you can put both sides on the grill for a few seconds. If you like you can garnish it with extra vegetables or herbs and that's it!

Where is Birria eaten in Mexico?

Especially in street stalls in Mexico you can find the most delicious Birria. But also the small cafes or so called mama cafes have classics like this on the menu. Often this is made of the meat that is cheap or available in season. So it may be that you have a different taste in the winter compared to the summer. This also applies to the vegetable and pepper variations they make of it. Often the Mexicans marinate the meat the night before. This gives the meat a chance to absorb the flavor.

Step-by-step plan for making Birria

First of all you start with roasting the peppers. From this you make a pepper paste for the Birria. If you do not like spicy, remove the seeds. You can do this in a blender with some vinegar blending. Then you are going to spice up the meat and rub it in with the herbs you like. Leave it overnight to get the best result. Make sure you cover it with cling film and put it in the fridge for the best result. 

When you let this stand overnight you can start cooking the meat. When you have cooked the meat you can add the broth and let it stew for a couple of hours. When you do this at 175 degrees you need 3-4 hours. Then you make bowls for the visitors so they can serve the meat themselves. Do not throw away the cooking liquid because it is delicious over the tortilla or wrap.

Where is Birria made?

Birria is a meat stew that is often used on special occasions. Think of weddings and parties in Mexico. But it also does not hurt to eat this recipe on a weekly basis as delicious as this is. Often it is served with tacos or tortillas. The meat and the spices can be prepared one day in advance which saves you a lot of time. The next day you can make a nice boiled broth of it and serve it with the taco or tortilla. But also during Christmas and Easter this dish is often made in the Mexican kitchen. It is a festive dish which you can compose to your own wishes.

The culture

Birria is not only a tradition in Mexico but it is also part of the culture for many Mexicans. You will find them in many restaurants or street carts and everywhere you will find a different taste. This is because everyone has his own variant and not only with goat meat. The evolution and the limited supply of goat meat has made it possible to also use lamb or pork. Beef is also recommended because of the good stewing possibilities this dish offers. Each state has its own variation but especially for the people from Jalisco and Guadalajara this dish is part of the culture.

Where is Birria popular?

Besides Mexico, the Birria taco is also a popular dish in America. There, thousands of people a day eat this delicious taco or wrap filled with a meat stew. Also in America they use family recipes. Many Mexicans moved to America to break with the Birria. This has succeeded and more and more new restaurants are opening here. Since 2009 it is already one of the most popular meals you can eat here. And the current generations are slowly passing it on to the next generation.