Our holiday was spent in the province of Gelderland, the Netherlands. We stayed with friends of ours who live there. We stayed in the former coach house shown on the picture above, such a lovely old building and full of character.
Our holiday home had its own private garden and is set in the large gardens of Huis Voorstonden. One of the advantages of staying at Voorstonden for our holiday is being able to bring some of our cats along.
Sam came with us as he's a very old cat who has special needs. He needs, among other things, a lot of TLC and we're the only ones who can provide that for him so Sam had to come along.
Vita also came with us, as did Pippa, here she is looking at all the plants we bought at the nurseries,
and Kadootje came too. The others stayed at home and were taken excellent care of by a close family friend who adores cats and finds it a real treat and honour to look after part of the Bliss team.
Voorstonden is a very small village close to the very ancient city of Zutphen. The center of Zutphen is very
beautiful with so many old houses and there are many people there who love to garden, even when there isn't a garden available as you can see here
and here. There were hollyhocks everywhere, turning the narrow, cobbled streets into rather colourful and cheerful places to be.
A typical Dutch phenomenon are the Hofjes, houses built around a central courtyard, usually specially built for widows, old age pensioners and such, by rich patrons of the city.
Here's the entrance to one of those Hofjes and the picture below shows some of the old houses built in the 15th century around the central courtyard. The houses in the Hofjes are much sought after as they have a very special atmosphere. Living in a Hofje is like living in a close knit community and it's very secluded from the rest of the world.
Gelderland is known for its beautiful countryside and we did a lot of walking and cycling there. We visited lovely Klein Knoevenoord, a wonderful garden designed and maintained by 2 gents.
We went to see Piet Oudolfs private garden and took a good look round in his nursery too.
There was the lovely old castle Cannenburch nearby and we took a guided tour there, which was fun.
There were also some very pretty kittycats we went to see at Ouwehands Zoo. These white lions were very pretty and cute too. Here, kitty .. kitty!
The Hessenhof nursery was also visited as they grow everything organically there so that was right up my street. It's a lovely nursery with an unbelievable amount of plants, some very rare ones too. And yes, of course I bought some plants there, how could I resist?
Another fun nursery with beautiful gardens was the Boschhoeve in Wolfheeze. They had a lovely ornamental kitchen garden there so I was a very happy bunny, spending at least one hour in that kitchen garden alone. Pure bliss!
We also visited De Wilde, a lovely rose nursery with a beautiful rose garden to delight your eyes and nose.
All good things come to an end and so did our holiday. It's good to be back though, we missed our kitties that stayed at home and our blissful garden too.
Home, sweet home!