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Gardens of Holland, Old and New


By AndrewR


Last weekend, I went on another short break to Holland to look at gardens over there.

First stop was the newly restored Het Loo Palace near Appeldorn. This was the home of William of Orange and his wife Mary who came to Britain to become monarchs towards the end of the seventeenth century. If you have seen the gardens at Hampton Court which they had made, you can see they were trying to recreate the gardens they left behind. This is the main garden

The Queen’s Garden

and The King’s Garden

The latest fashion for gardens is for prairie planting. This was originated by the designer Piet Oudolf and we visited his own private garden. First impressions are a monochrome of bleached grass but closer inspection reveals splashes of colour. I would be interested to see this garden at different times of the year to see how it develops during the growing season.

De Wiersse, described as the prettiest garden in Holland, was created by a Dutch heiress and her English husband about a hundred years ago. He was a retired military man and laid out the woodlands with long, straight paths running through them

while she planted up the flower garden in the Arts and Crafts style, popular at the time

Finally we spent a few hours at the Gardens of Appeltern, a permanent exhibition of gardens in various styles to showcase hard landscaping, plants and the work of different designers. I could quite happily have lived with this walled garden with a central canal and richly planted borders

But beware of leylandii hedges – they harbour giant wildlife!

More blog posts by AndrewR

Previous post: Is It Autumn Yet?

Next post: More Gardens From Appeltern



~lovely trip away Andrew~interesting to see the King and Queen's garden with those lovely clipped hedges in that lovely shade of green ! Not sure about prairie planting...saw some at Wisley recently ..

11 Oct, 2009


I think prairie planting works best in large areas with dry autumns (so everything doesn't get battered down). I'm not convinced it is the right thing for our gardens but I still wanted to see it to judge for myself

11 Oct, 2009


Great blog Andrew and wonderful pictures, i love photos 4,5 and 6 particularly but they're all good !

11 Oct, 2009



these are amazing... thanks for sharing. Wouldnt mind going back to visit holland so may well pay a visit

x x

11 Oct, 2009


Enjoyed your pics Andrew..

11 Oct, 2009


I was enjoying it till the last Pic!!!

11 Oct, 2009


Good photos and intersting to see the different gardens. Although I don't like spiders I could quite happily live with the one on the hedge

11 Oct, 2009


Thanks for sharing your trip Andrew, lovely photo`s.......

11 Oct, 2009


I've always wanted to see Piet Oudolf's garden - I have a book by him.

That canal garden is just beautiful! I agree - that's my favourite, too. :-)

12 Oct, 2009


What's the book spritz? Would you recommend it? I already have a reference book on grasses - would Piet's book just be duplication?

There are scores of gardens at Appeltern and I took loads of photos there but just published this one. There was another walled garden with lots of green leaves and just white Japanese anemones in flower - very understated but lovely too

12 Oct, 2009


It is a grasses book - 'Gardening with Grasses', Andrew. I like it, though.

I'd like a second episode, please!

12 Oct, 2009


I'll see what I can do but this week is very busy. Last of the big plants for the new garden area are being delivered later this week so I suppose you'll want another blog on that too when they're planted?

12 Oct, 2009


Lovely blog Andrew, I must get my passport renewed, Lol
I have been to Hampton Court a number of times (delivering and erecting the marquees for the flower show!) and you can definitely see the similarity.

12 Oct, 2009


That's it, holiday over - get back into that garden, Andrew! Looks as if you had a great time.

13 Oct, 2009


Love them all, especially the prairie & arts & crafts garden (definitely my thing!) But I DONT like the giant thing!!!

16 Oct, 2009


I have "Designing with Plants" by Piet Oudolf with Noel Kingsbury which details plants (not just grasses) for color & form thru seasons, with interesting discussion of movement, shape, mood, etc. He's had such a huge impact that I value the book. The trick is to have more formal elements framing the wildness, which shows to great effect in your other blog. In Chicago downtown Millennium Park the noise of the bees & crickets, etc in Oudolf's meadows drowned out the traffic noise which was nice, but the city landscape crews don't seem to know how to prune the box hedges or weed out the super spreaders to keep a nice mix of color and forms.

17 Oct, 2009


Smashing pictures Andrew,I'm a fan of Piet Oudolf's grass gardens but agree with you that they look better in adry climate. Kew's grass garden looked fantastic until the recent downpours.It now looks a bit sad.

18 Oct, 2009

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