In Spring 1997, we moved to the old peat plugs village 's Gravenmoer with its special peat channels. We came to live in a former small farm with a large piece of land (2700 m2). Although the house needed a complete renovation, we first started with the construction of the garden. The old hedge beside the house was removed and a new hornbeam hedge was planted around the house. Then began a thorough renovation of the house that has lasted seven years. Every so often we were also working on the construction of the garden. At first the garden itself was a kind of landscape garden with tall conifers of 25 years old and 20 meters high. The remaining garden consisted of grass with some fruit trees and you could see the garden as a whole. Most plants stood right next to the house. We were very fond of the house and the size of the garden where we could realize all our plans.
We never made a garden plan. We wanted to create a garden with many flowers where you can walk through and be surprised at every corner your turned around.
Our purpose was - and still is - when we see a beautiful plant (leaf or flower shape or color), to buy it and intertwin it in the garden. In this way, the farmer garden turned into a real lovers garden . Over the years more and more grass disapeared and the flower beds became bigger with a greater diversity of plants. Garden rooms were constructed. Now when you walk through the garden and the garden rooms, you will be surprised again and again and you experience a different atmosphere in the various garden rooms.
The garden is completely designed and built by ourselves. What began with the construction of an English rose garden ended with the garden pond and eventually a Victorian conservatory for wintering of plants.
The walk through the garden starts at the entrance of the classic gate on the old cobblestones along the big pots with Agapanthus. Past the house and the driveway, borders have been constructed in shades of white. The walk continues along the Mediterranean-looking terrace with olive trees. We pass the conservatory and the shaded flower beds. There is a pretty long line of sight to the end of the garden where special trees are planted. We continue our walk along the flower beds which flow from purple to pink and white, orange and yellow .
Previously the flower beds contained very old and tall conifers planted as a hedge. After a storm the ancient conifers were snapped. A new wooded bank was required to serve as a windbreak and it was decided to cut the entire conifer hedge. With advice from the Brabants Landschap (a foundation for the preservation of the landscape) we planted a wooded bank with indigenous plants and trees. This has worked well. It's a good wind protection and with the disappearance of the conifers and planting of native shrubs and bushes, the birds returned. At the end of this flower bed, you can just enjoy the splendour of the baroque rose arbour. Do I hear an orchestra playing softly ...?
The walk goes right on to the rose garden. The rose garden is planted with Ilex Cranata 'Dark Green'. It is here at sunset on the bench that one can enjoy the fragrance of the roses. The god and goddess of the hunt hold this company
When you leave the rose garden, you walk in the garden pond. This pond garden had solid green beech elements. In September the grasses get beautiful feathers and you will relax in the soft rustle of these swaying grasses.
We turn right and go through to the blue / yellow border garden. Due to illness, the old fruit trees had to disappear and were replaced by a completely new flower beds.
It was very difficult for us to create a complete new flower bed, we lacked this knowledge. Initially three pillar oaks were planted with thousands of bulbs. What a beauty. Then the search began for various plants in the colors blue and yellow, and various flowering periods. That was not an easy task but we managed to explain this so that there is always something in bloom. Meanwhile, there are scattered old fruit tree varieties planted in the garden again. After waling through the ivy lane we turn around the corner and what a surprise, there is our flaming flower beds in yellow, orange and red tones. After this explosion of color we get back to rush into the garden in shades of gray….
We are non-toxic gardening and only use organic fertilizers. The charm of the outdoors demands sometimes its toll on the plants. Rabbits grazing off the young plants in the spring and the bulbs are a real delicacy for mice.
However, we live in a unique part of the Netherlands and even Europe. Our land is unique because of the fact that when we experience heavy rainful, we often suffer from a very wet garden Water is poorly drained (peaty soil with impermeable clay below the surface) and therefore there are a lot of snails. Also we have a hedgehog family in the garden, whom we feed. The diversity in flowers is a true source of food for the bees and bumblebees
For years we have maintained the garden and it changes regularly. One thing led to another and our hobby is now quite out of hand; so that we have opened our garden for visits for several years now. This has never been our intention, but we like to get in touch with people who have similar interests. They ask for tips but we also get tips and make good use of it.
If you are interested in our garden, come along to our open garden days. Groups can visit our garden by appointment from June / September. We also receive couples to make their wedding and photo galleries.
Anne Marie and Peter van Woensel