zondag 19 oktober 2014

Autumn storms on it's way
































Can't believe I am still posting photo's of my garden, whereas it's already half October. The garden is still looking fine. More leaves are falling and the garden house already feels damp inside, but there are still some roses, dahlia's and asters.

With autumn storms on it's way, my eldest daughter and I moved the garden chairs and tables to the greenhouse and to a safe place on the veranda of our garden house. We put the table linen and pillows in plastic bags, to take home with us. We pruned and tied up the climbing roses, cut the grass, replanted several perennials and brought wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of old plastic pots and other stuff to the garbage disposal on our allotment complex. I forgot how much you can do with a pair of extra hands. It's much more fun too!

I baked an orange meringue pie this week. My first one ever. A lot of work, but very tasty! You can find the recipe here. I used normal oranges instead of Seville oranges.

On the photo's you can see some of my latest vintage finds. In one of my next posts more will follow.

Hope you enjoyed some fine weather this weekend too!

Wishing you a happy week!

Love,

Madelief x















































zondag 12 oktober 2014

A sweet surprise































Sometimes you are in for a sweet surprise. I thought the garden would be covered in a thick layer of autumn leaves and there would be no colour left, but I could not have been further from the truth.

Opening up my garden gate I step into an enchanted world. Rays of sunlight peak through big fluffy clouds and mist. The garden path is covered in red, yellow and amber coloured leaves. There are pine cones and hazelnuts everywhere. As I approach the garden house, I hear them cracking under my feet. It looks like there are hundreds of spider webs. I feel the wetness of them on my face. Hoping there are no stray spiders in my hair, or worse, my clothes. Since I have the garden, I am less afraid of insects, but there is one particular spider in the garden that still gives me the shivers. The body of the spider has a width of 1 cm and its legs are long and hairy. I had one in the sink of the outdoor kitchen recently.....and in my dreams that night. Yuk, what a nightmare :-)

It was my intention to lift my dahlia tubers and put them in storage, but the plants still looked lush and green and were full of flowers. There were even some new varieties in bloom, which I had not seen before. As the weather was fine, I fetched a chair and sat in the sun for a while. The Dahlia tubers can wait, so can the tulip bulbs.

Thank you for your sweet emails and comments on last weeks post. I haven't been able to reply them all, but I can assure you they are much appreciated by my daughters and I.

Have a great week ahead!

Love,

Madelief x












































zondag 5 oktober 2014

The last roses
































Words don't come easy to me today. My head is full of memories of my love Jan, who passed away a year ago. 365 days without him..... The girls and I miss him sorely. His humour, his hugs and wise words. And his laughter, which was really addictive.

It has been a difficult year. Getting used to living without him. Trying to accept what has happened and to know that he won't be coming back. Now and then I think it has all been a mistake and I want my old life back. I know it won't happen, but how I wish it could. 

With much love and gratitude I look back at the 30 years we spent together.

In today's post some photo's of our garden, a place we both loved and spent as much time in as we could. The last roses are for Jan.
  
Thank you for your kind comments, emails, cards and sweet little gifts we received over the year. They made our days a bit brighter.

Wishing you a Happy weekend!

Love,

Madelief x







zondag 28 september 2014

A culinary tour of the castle









When you approach De Haar castle, you think it was built in the Middle Ages. Nothing is further from the truth. Baron Etienne van Zuylen van Nijevelt decided to rebuilt his ancestral home on the ruins of an old castle, at the end of the 19th century. Sparing neither cost nor effort. The Dutch architect Pierre Cuijpers was given the job. He built the castle in neo classical style. It was finished at the beginning of the 20th century. Although it looked medieval, it had modern comfort, like a well equipped kitchen, a central heating system and hot and cold water in most rooms.

The last baron, who passed away in 2011, used to visit the castle in September. He gave sumptuous dinner parties for his family and friends. Among his friends were celebrities like Roger Moore, Brigit Bardot and Maria Callas. For this event he flew in a well known cook from Paris, who would prepare the meals for him and his guests.

The foundation who now runs the castle, decided to give culinary tours, which you can join. Showing you the kitchens, wine cellar, sitting rooms, dining rooms etc. To celebrate the birthday of one of my friends, who is a good amateur cook, we decided to join the tour. We hoped the chef, who is quite a stunner for his age, would be the one to show us around. You can imagine our disappointment when this wasn't the case and we got a tour guide instead. Although enthusiastic and a good story teller, he was not nearly as handsome as the man himself! Ha, ha! We hoped to hear some culinary secrets too, but alas..... Nevertheless it was great fun and we had a good laugh :-) Furthermore, the rooms and especially the kitchen with the enormous ovens and copper pans, were really impressive. Definitely worth a visit. You can find more information at the castles website.

The castle and gardens have recently been renovated. I visited years ago, when it looked a bit neglected. Cannot tell you how surprised I was to see how beautiful it all looked now!

Wishing you a happy new week.!

Love,

Madelief x

* Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to take photo's inside

















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