Images of the Netherlands in Winter Part 2

This is the second installment of my sharing some of my favorite photos from my trip to Holland over this past Christmas break (2015).

My family is very fortunately to have extended family to stay with and visit in the Netherlands. It is the birth place of my mother and it was wonderful to soak up the people I am lucky enough to call family. For my children, it was their first time on an airplane, and turned out to be a wonderful way to show them their family roots. Here are the littles in Holland as the family gathered to celebrate the boy's 10th birthday on Christmas Eve.

My husband and I nearly wore out the kids with our cross country trekking..but we did get in some amazing sights.

Giethoorn, Overijssel
Giethoorn, is a famous village in the Netherlands where travel is done primarily by boat. The homes are accessed via canal and row boat. While I suspect this village is primarily just for show now, there did seem to be a few permanent residences. 

Giethoorn, Overijssel
Perfectly thatched roofs and brightly painted shutters adorn the homes. It was a misty and damp day, when we visited, but it only added to the quiet and peaceful atmosphere.

Giethoorn, Overijssel
Outside of town are vast wetlands full of grasses that are cut for the thatched roofs. We happened upon a home was mid-roof replacement. I was in awe at how the grasses are bunched and laid. It is only after they are laid out, layer by layer, that they are cut to precision to form the perfect roof lines.

Giethoorn, Overijssel
The gardening geek in me loved checking out what types of plants were used. Hydrangea's are a favorite choice. If you have a pretty cottage in the Netherlands....a hydrangea is required.

Another common garden staple is to have a hedge. Buxus or Fagus (a type of boxwood or beech...pretty sure I saw more of the beech) was the most memorable. It makes sense to have hedges around gardens. They create wind breaks as well as privacy. Hedges can be deciduous or evergreen, but it was the hornbeam that I believe I noticed most often as we traveled around the country. I'm hoping a dutch native will set me straight if I am incorrect.

And for those of you interested in garden shopping as well as interior design....well, do I have the stop for you! My cousin took me to a fantastic store called Tuinland in the city of Zwolle. They were having an after Christmas sale. It took great restraint not to purchase another suitcase and buy out the store.

I loved this store because so many of the decorations were 'natural' and winter-y without being cartoonish. It was a fun space to wander and admire.

In the next post, I'll share some pics of the city of  Delft and the Summer Palace / Hunting grounds of the Dutch royals called 'Het Loo'.

Here are links to my prior posts on this winter's visit to the Netherlands:

Cheers, Jenni


  1. Beautiful scenes! Must have been a fabulous experience for you all. We have thatched roof like the ones you show in some areas of the UK - like the New Forest which is about 50 miles from where I live.

  2. I lovely spot to live as long as the garden doesn't flood.

  3. I would love to visit that village! Do you speak dutch?


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