Our last day in Belgium began bright and early at the Ghent Sunday flower market. This lovely central spot or courtyard in Ghent becomes a flower market each Sunday morning. All week long we drove by this space and it was completely empty, on Sunday morning the area was completely in bloom. Isabel explained that g0ing to the flower market is a Sunday morning tradition. Villagers get their fresh flowers for the week as well as plants for their garden here. The product was absolutely perfect and I would have loved to bring some of these plants home!!

After viewing the plants I went to see the cut flowers.

Look at these fresh cut tulips!!!

This market was so much fun.

Our next stop was to the private residence and studio of designer Katrien Vandierendonck. In spite of the language barrier I fell deeply in love with Katrien. It was clear that she was a gentle, loving, soul. She wanted so much to share her world with us and I could have stayed here at her place forever. Katrien had created the most wonderful work environment and her home and gardens were to die for. Truly this place was like being in the middle of a movie set. It seemed as if I had stepped into another world.

In spite of the rustic primitive decor of her home there were lots of soft feminine accents like crystal chandeliers, china, and billowing soft fabrics. I loved how those elements came together in a room with a huge farm table, a mysterious set of stairs, and a big burning fire.

These stairs were in the big room that we ate and designed in, they lead upstairs to a beautiful bedroom. I have always wanted a bed with that type of fabric canopy.

This birch board box was created to cover up her radiator. I loved realizing the heat was coming from this beautiful birch box.

Pretty floral tea cups.

Katrien began designing in front of a roaring fire. We were all seated at a long table in front of her. The table was set with linen and pretty floral china. As she created a piece she would place it on the long table for us to enjoy.


As you can see creating a structure is very important with these Belgium Designers. Learning how to build these contraptions was very exciting and it’s a design trick I cant wait to try!!

Katrien shared while designing this piece that ” simplicity is not the stamp of a beginner, but the mark of a master.” As she spoke Marc (Isabel’s handsome husband) or Lieve would translate for us. There was something very special about this.

Perhaps my favorite structure was the wire enhancement Katrien did on her crystal chandelier.  By adding a wire base to her chandelier she was able to add hanging blooms to her chandelier. This design was also featured in a home interiors design magazine.

Completely beautiful!!!

After all of the design had been completed we stepped into Katrien’s amazing gardens. Her incredible eye for design was very obvious even in her garden.

Her sweet baby was in almost every picture. I think his name was Max.

Because her land is flat she wanted to create the sensation of rolling hills, so she planted her flowers in a swirling back and forth formation. I can’t believe how well this worked.

Beautiful fences were created with broken branches and old vines.

A view of her home from the gardens behind her house.

This area was created for bonfires. The large stumps were used as seats and a fire pit was in the center of this space. The area was completely enclosed with a fence that her son built.

One of my favorite parts in this garden was a mound that Katrien had created. When we came along to this out of the place bump I was very curious.  Katrien explained that she had created the mound so that she could see her garden from a different perspective. She also admitted that she did not like to look at her neighbors maze or corn. This allowed her to get above the corn and see the view. Seriously I cant believe she thoughts of this.

After the garden tour we dined on a chicken and corn chowder at the big table in front of the fire.

For dessert we had homemade Belgium waffles.

We also appreciated the sculptures of Katrien’s daughter.  After our fabulous time in this home we headed to the village of Brugge. Here we shopped at antique stores, chocoloate shops and enjoyed a festival that was going on. There was also a historical tour we could go on as well, but I went shopping instead.

This was a beautiful city with amazing shopping and wonderful things to see.

Back at the hotel Laura and I modeled our fabulous hats. Hat of the day became a continuous and fun photo op for our group!! Laura is the owner of Faith Flowers and the person that organized this trip. I will never be able to thank Laura enough for this incredible opportunity.

These pictures were taken outside of our hotel the Marriott Ghent. This hotel was completely wonderful and centrally located. We sure did do a lot in one day!!! This was our last night in Belgium. I most certainly loved this place and the amazing friends I made along the way.

  • Sally Henderson Says: (04.26.2012 | 01:55)

    The flower market is fabulous, as is everything about your visit with Katrien, including her Bernese Mountain Dog!!! I’m so glad you all had a great time!

  • Trish Van de Merkt Says: (04.26.2012 | 02:12)

    So much fun and inspiration!!! I was thinking about you yesterday and how inspired you must be! That house and garden….so beautiful. So happy for you.

  • Terri Says: (04.26.2012 | 02:56)

    The flower market on the last day? That is a form of torture!

  • Kelly Sullivan (Botanique) Says: (04.26.2012 | 04:48)

    Wow, it sounds like this has been a completely wonderful trip! Thanks for documenting and sharing it all. I love that arrangement with the twig structure and the pink ranunculus.

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