A Garden Party in Holland

A Garden Party in Holland

. 4 min read

Garden parties are the very best reason to lovely-up your yard. Why have people over and sit around your dining room table? You can do that in the wintertime! A garden is a feast for the eyes.

We just got back from a 3-week business/pleasure trip to New York and Holland. While I was away, I was thinking about what I’m going to do in my garden come June.

Holland Garden Party

Our last night in Holland was spent our dear friends, George and Carla, at their home in Hilversum (a suburb of Amsterdam). They invited us over for a backyard barbecue. The weather was perfect and the conversation was invigorating. We laughed a lot, ate very well, and drank plenty of wine.

And we enjoyed Carla’s beautiful garden.

The Food

Garden Party Hors d'œuvres 3

Salami, French cheese, bread warm from the oven, crisp red bell peppers, smoked mackerel, garlicky green olives, crunchy radishes, and crispy white wine.

Wonderful Brown Bread

Gorgeous brown bread. I wish we could get bread like this in America!


And lots of butter for the bread.

Seth and Ann Marie

And these are just the hors d’œuvres, mind you. We hadn’t even started the barbecue grill yet!

George BBQing Bacon

Here’s George barbecuing bacon. I have no idea what kind of bacon this is (I’ll have to email and ask) but it was seriously the best bacon I’ve ever had.

Indonesian Garnish for BBQ

They served the barbecued meat with this Indonesian garnish. There is a lot of delicious Indonesian food in the Netherlands.

The Conversation

You don’t really expect me to remember what we talked about, do you? I had umpteen glasses of sauvignon blanc.

I do remember a lot of talk about politics, and oh yes, we talked about Sinter Claus, the Dutch Santa Claus. Apparently their are two Santas in the Netherlands. One comes on December 5th and the other one comes on December 25th. The first Sinter Claus who comes on December 5th has black elves — they are black from the soot on their faces from coming down the chimney.

Carla and Her Brother

Carla’s brother stopped by for a glass of wine or two.


I love how, in the Netherlands, if you want to visit someone for a drink, you don’t have to get in a car — you can just ride your bike. No worries if you’ve had too much wine.

The Garden

Beautiful Carla

Carla’s garden inspired me. It was proof that you don’t need a big yard to create a truly beautiful garden.


The garden was a cozy outdoor sanctuary. It was full of color and light. The grass was soft under my bare feet.


Cherries not yet ripe enough to eat.


I love all the little touches, like this goose (or is it a duck)?  The splashes of green against the red brick.

Seth in the Garden

I kept slipping away from the table to take more photos. The light kept changing and I captured the best moments.


Carla’s roses on the trellis in the side yard.

Front Yard

And the front yard — isn’t it stunning?

Hilversum Cat

And this is their happy cat.

Share Your Comments Below

What are your garden plans on this Memorial Day weekend? I am planning to get out and do a little gardening, and then we’ll barbecue.

If you don’t have any plans today, are you planning a garden this year? What are you going to plant?

Disclosure: I wrote this post while participating in the Sowing Millions Project by Real Food Media on behalf of Seeds of Change. I received product and exclusive content to facilitate my post. My thoughts and opinions are my own and not of those of Real Food Media or Seeds of Change.
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