A Birthday garden party.

So last Saturday we celebrated my husband´s 40iest birthday with a big garden party. Since I turn 40 this year too but my birthday is right before christmas (and nobody is really interested in attending a birthday party then) we decided to go big with my husband´s birthday and invited both of our families, friends and half the village. So now I have an excuse to skip my birthday entirely...wise choice since I won´t be doing anything like this again soon! Turns out throwing a party for 60 people is quite a task; smallish nervous breakdowns and sleepless nights included.

Anyway, happy to report it all went well, even fabulous if I say so myself. The weather cooperated nicely (oh the anxiety I had about the weather), we had lots of help from family so everything went smoothly (thank you!!!), most people showed up and I think everyone had a good time. As for the set-up, we borrowed simple tables and benches from our neighbors and bought those fabulous paper tablecloths that totally look and feel like fabric. I think the blue looked so nice in my mostly-blue garden!

We had a big barbecue together with lots of salads, breads and cheeses followed by a massive amount of cake and while I was super nervous that we wouldn´t have enough food, I have been eating leftovers for the past three days...of course. By the way this carrot salad is such a crowd pleaser. It used to be in that empty white bowl... 9 pounds of carrots gone in a minute!

Also I bought two sets of string lights (these) and I love love love them. They´ll stay up all summer.

All in all, very happy with how it went. Now I need a holiday though. Ha!


Walled garden update. 

I am still insanely busy - we are gearing up for my husband´s big fat 40ieth birthday celebration this Saturday and I am feeling nauseous just by looking at my to-do-list - but the walled garden looked so good this evening that I ran to get the camera und took a few pictures. It´s been super dry around here (again, just like last year); not a drop of rain for four weeks now so it is definitly a challenge to keep the garden happy and thriving but I think so far I´ve managed it well in the walled garden. Everything is about to bloom in here, just a few more warm days and it will explode with color, but I think it´s lovely right now already with the restrained color palette of whites, blues and pinks.

Spot the dog?

See, I even managed to keep the lawn green-ish! 

I still think this Iris is the prettiest. 

Spot the cat?

Acquilegia, my love.

Ok this is not in the walled garden, but it´s still pretty. I got the idea for that line of chives on Pinterest and love how it turned out. So thank you Pinterest.

See you (hopefully) next week with a few pictures from the party and another book club post! 


Book club: Barbara Bonisollis cookbooks.

I know what you´re thinking - she is writing about cookbooks now?! Well, rest assured this space won´t turn into a food blog! It´s just that these particular cookbooks are very much linked to gardening. Barbara Bonisolli is a food photographer who lives in the Bavarian countryside and has a large veggie garden, hens and bees. She cooks with ingredients from her garden and her first cookbook ("Barbara kocht", since renamed to "100 Rezepte aus meinem Garten") has a very unique concept where she writes about gardening in each season followed by wonderful recipes. It´s one of my top 5 favorite books probably because I can relate to it so much (very simlar life style), but also because the photography is gorgeous and the recipes are both easy and super delicious.

She now has a newish cookbook out called "Das vegetarische Kochbuch" (the vegetarian cookbook) which features, you guessed it, vegetarian recipes only. This time the gardening part is missing (probably something that works only once anyway), the layout/design of the book is simpler and the focus is definitely on the recipes. The photography is still gorgeous and I have already bookmarked a million recipes to try from the book (see first photo), which is saying something!

Like the first book this one is divided in seasonal chapters which makes it very handy for this gardener who needs to do something with her produce but needs a little inspiration in the kitchen.

A few more pictures from the book. I really love that we get to see her garden and even peeks of her home. It just makes so much sense and gives you a little glimpse in the life of someone rather than just a collection of recipes. I feel like this is a concept that could be taken further - for example, whenever I read a book about beautiful gardens I am always desparate to see the house of the gardener as well! Maybe someday I´ll write a book like this.

So in conclusion, big recommendation! Barbara Bonisolli´s new book has its own website which you can find here. Thank you Callwey for sending over a review copy!

PS: I think these books are only available in German for the time being so sorry for my international readers, but I thought you might enjoy this post anyway! (Update: I hear they are available in Dutch!)


A garden update. 

So, at long least a garden update! Let´s start in the walled garden. Not too much happening here yet, but the tulips are out. I made an effort last autumn with the tulips in here, it was mostly mix and match before and I wanted a more unified look. In the process I relocated the hot pink tulips to another part of the garden, only the one you see above must have escaped my attention! 

I planted white, soft pink and dark violet tulips in the four main beds. They are still developing right now but I can already tell that I like the look. Will plant more this autumn. 

And of course the forget-me-nots are blooming! A favorite of mine. These are so gorgeous in reality but somehow it´s hard to catch the beauty in a photograph. You´ll have to trust me! 

I love this picture! Anyone know what kind of bee this is? (It is a bee, right? God I am so helpless at these things. Why don´t we learn useful things in school?). Anyhow, our apple trees started to bloom last week.

Our lilacs aren´t quite there yet, but it´s only a matter of days now... can´t wait. 

This is a bed beyond the walled garden where I planted one hundred of those gorgeous white tulips and tons of muscari two years ago. Sadly 80 percent have been eaten by the voles, but what is left has developed nicely. 

In the veggie garden, things are very slowly coming along. We had a few terrible days weather wise two weeks ago with hail, ice rain and hard frost in the night and while thankfully nothing perished, it was a major set-back. 

Garlic! And to the left and the right are *supposed* to be carrots which refused to germinate until a few days ago. I had already gotten used to the idea of a year with supermarket carrots, but thankfully it looks like we might have some after all. 

Lots of baby plants which will go in the beds in the veggie garden very soon. My tomatoes are still so tiny because back in March one of my tomboy cats managed to send a tray of just germinated tomatoes flying and I had to start them again. Ah well, we´ll get there eventually.

It was a gorgeous evening when I took these pictures. May really is quite something. Feels so good to finally be on the other side of winter. 


Gone fishing. 

Hello! I remembered I had a blog... I am so sorry for the radio silence! It´s just that life is insanely busy right now and the blog sadly has to take the back seat. But I promise an update for next week as well as a new installment of "book club". Two posts in a week, can it be true? We´ll see.

For those in Germany, have a very happy extra long weekend!

(Photo by Nicola Holtkamp. Is it summer yet?)