The garden

Late summer 1995 we came to live on the Zuidhollandsedijk in Kaatsheuvel, together with our two very young boys. A pretty large piece of land surrounded the former farmhouse. First we reconstructed and extended the house and of course did some redecoration. And after that it was time to fix the garden. Little was left of the existing garden and apart from that we really wanted to change it, because it wasn’t to our taste. Only a few alders, mountain-ashes and quite a large Viburnum opulus survived.

Making a garden from scratch isn’t that easy. And because we wanted to do it all by ourselves we decided that we should divide the project “making a new garden” in parts. Designing and planning while working. And because we did it all by ourselves, in the end the garden turned out as a whole, luckily. The house is surrounded by a number of “Garden Rooms”. The walk in the garden starts in de Purple Garden, filled with lush borders with, of course purple flowers, accompanied by blue, dark pinks and burgundy. Some dark green globes of Buxus sempervirens give structure and year round interest.

Zomer 16

Next when you follow the narrow path, the white garden in front of the house comes as a surprise. Inspired by the famous White Garden in Sissinghurst we wanted to create our own. Lots of white in this part of the garden of course. The street view is blocked by a row of trailed standard apple trees. Lovely in spring with pinkish blossoms and also special in autumn when there’s apples hanging from the branches.
Moving on you arrive at the pergola, 3 meters wide and 15 meters long, covered in Wisteria, it’s a real fairy-tale in May. And the scent… well it’s just heavenly.

In summer the thick leave cover provides cool, refreshing shade for the white brimmed Hosta albomarginata.
On your right hand side lays the quiet pond garden. At first this garden room was filled with all the hot colours, like orange, yellow and red. But temperature in this very secluded garden can rise high in the summer and most plants prefer a bit cooler circumstances. So out went the hot colours, they were given a much nicer place somewhere else in the garden. Now it’s all green in there, a quiet place to sit and perhaps do some meditation.
To the left between the beech hedges the sun is shining even on a dull and grey day. This is the blue and yellow garden room. Real blue, citron and some whites provide a summer feeling all year round.

Winter 6

Let’s leave the garden rooms behind us and move on to the lawn, edged by borders in soft pink. This part of the garden used to be meadow where the young calves were kept. For years on we did nothing to this part, but mowing the grass. But with the garden rooms surrounding the house finished we also wanted to create a garden right here. Truckloads of good garden soil were needed to level the sloping meadow.

Voorjaar 7
On the west side there’s a little terrace, a nice spot for drinking our evening coffee and enjoying the last sunrays.

Most of large constructing work now finished we kept on refining the borders and of course just went on gardening. We opened up the garden once in 2000 for Groei & Bloei, a Dutch society of garden lovers. We were a bit nervous at first, of course, but it turned out to be so satisfying, meeting other garden lovers and showing them around your own very private piece of land.
Later on we felt that a greenhouse was urgently “needed” and now with part of the garden completely messed up, we took the opportunity to change the lay out of the kitchen garden. We try our best to make it look like a real potager, but after all it’s still a kitchen garden where we grow the vegetables that we use in the kitchen.
On the other side of the path that splits this part of the garden in two, lays the “Fiery Garden”. The plants that we removed from the pond garden got so much more space here. The fire is started from July onwards, but earlier in the year tulips and irises provide interest. We strongly believe that in a garden of this size there should always be something colourful and flowering to be seen.

Directly behind our garden a meadow started. We could extend the garden a little further, but should we? Of course extending the garden would bring lots of extra work, and we already had our hands full. But……..enlarging the garden would also bring lots of opportunities to finally realise those plans that where boiling in my head. In the summer of 2004 we decided to go for it and an extra 25 metres wide strip of meadow was added to the garden. In total 2000 m2 extra to cultivate. Here we made a large pond, embedded on two sides by lush borders.
And also a romantic rose garden was created in this new part of the garden, complete with a bower covered in climbing roses and clematis. On the opposite side behind the blue walls lays the green garden. Hardly any flowers here. Interest has to come from the different leaf colours and forms. A really nice place to sit in the shade of the trees. At the start of the year 2018 we decided to once more add and develope a new piece of land to our garden. In this new part of the garden we have planted some interesting trees and shrubs, underplanted with groundcovering plants and lots of grasses. It’s so much fun to start a new garden all over again.

In 2005 we opened up the garden for visitors. This was never planned, it just seems to have happened. But we really enjoy welcoming guests in our garden and chatting with them about plants and flowers. To quote the late Geoff Hamilton, famous gardener and presenter of BBC’s Gardeners World:

It all starts with hard work and sweat, great plans and aching joints, excitement and deception, success and failure, laughter and tears. Until one day you realise yourself that you’re addicted. The piece of land by your house has become part of you,

We’ve grown addicted to our garden , but we love it.

Ad en Joke Vos

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