I love when a rather uninteresting day turns into something special through a simple twist of fate.
It was a dark and cloudy day in Amsterdam – rather like today in Australia – and my brother and sis-in-law were in dire need of light fixtures for their new flat. So we piled into the car and headed waaaaay out into the country to a spot that boldly proclaimed itself as having the largest selection of chandeliers in Western Europe – the Kroonluchter Atelier De Rode Hoeve.
Fully expecting a gray, austere warehouse filled with gaudy lights, we were absolutely delighted when we turned down a tree-lined country lane and pulled into the prettiest little spot plucked right out of a scene from the English countryside.
The “store” was a collection of beautiful old homes and cottages connected by winding stone paths, overgrown gardens and all manner of unique odds and ends.
I left my sibs to their shopping and spent a very happy couple of hours wandering and photographing.
Everywhere I looked was a treasure trove of delights: a cast iron stag head mounted on a wall, lichen-covered statuary almost hidden in the bushes, and lovely old urns and pots holding carved boxwood.
I loved the many clever containers used to hold the numerous flowers: rusted cast iron baskets, stone boxes, and battered old pots that looked perfect on the mossy pavers.
There’s something nice about being “forced” to stay in a place for hours on end. Often when I visit a garden, I motor on through, retaining only a cursory memory of loveliness. Not here. While my siblings hemmed and hawed over styles of lighting, I really got to know this garden. And I loved it.
The exquisite hodgepodge of manicured hedges and wild undergrowth made my heart happy and gave me all sorts of ideas for a garden of my own.
This ivy-covered arbor and gate-way was so wonderful it made my heart ache a little. Can you imagine traipsing through that to get home each day? Bliss.
On such a day I would love one of my brother’s famous brunches.
We’d start off with a bowl of fresh fruit: kiwis, plums and oh-so-ripe peaches, followed by perfectly toasted grainy bread, and scrambled eggs studded with sun-dried tomatoes and topped with luscious slices of smoked salmon.
Afterwards we’d linger over steaming cups of strong Dutch coffee topped with froth so thick you can spoon it up like cream.
I can’t wait to show you more of this gorgeous Dutch garden.
Where is your favorite garden?