I love walled gardens. They distinguish the cultivated from the wild. They offer mystery and provide shelter. They create micro-climates for delightful plant combinations.
Given my rabbit problem, solid walls around my garden would be most welcome!
There is a particularly special walled garden within Keukenhof in Lisse, the Netherlands. Keukenhof is the world’s largest flower garden. Given its focus on flowering bulbs, this landscape is only open from March through May. Hosting over 1 million visitors during that period, it may be the world’s busiest too.
With much to see and all of those visitors, this smaller garden within a larger landscape offers a quiet retreat. The enclosure shuts out much of the surrounding noise and the repeating antique elements are soothing.
This garden’s formality contrasts with the rest of the property’s picturesque style that was installed in the 1850’s. That is when landscape architects Jan David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher installed curved paths, a naturalistic lake, and clusters of mature trees to provide a frame for roughly 7 million tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths.
As a fan of historic gardens, I appreciated the patina of old age: weathered brick walls and paths; boxwood edged parterres filled with flowers; moss clinging to espaliered trees; vintage planters and ornament.
Keukenhof, which translates to "the kitchen garden," was originally part of a 15th century castle. Perhaps this garden is what is left of the original castle?
Unfortunately not. It is a reproduction of the 1594 garden created by Carolus Clusius at the University of Leiden. Clusius, one of the first European botanists, is credited with bringing tulip cultivation to Holland. His garden was arranged in similar quadrants. Keukenhof calls this area the “Historical Garden” as a tribute to Clusius.
It tells the story of the development of tulips over 400 years. It also can teach one how to create an “old looking” garden.
Only a few weeks left to visit this special place! More stories about Keukenhof here.