Noel Kingsbury explores how the particularities of landscape, history and culture in the Netherlands have given rise to distinctive gardens and demonstrates how a new generation of Dutch designers are reimagining outdoor space in such a revolutionary way.
The Netherlands is steeped in horticultural history and its gardens have long been a place for innovation and progressive thinking, exemplified by iconic figures such as the landscape architect Mien Ruys and naturalistic plant pioneer Piet Oudolf.
At the heart of the story is a people intimately engaged with their surroundings, as proud of the feats of engineering used to reclaim their land from the sea as they are passionate about nature and biodiversity. This creative tension is played out in their parks and gardens: a clean, pared-back aesthetic contrasts with billowing planting; water is managed and made accessible with boardwalks; and meandering paths lead to inviting outbuildings for work and relaxation.
These inspiring examples of sustainable, modern, liveable outdoor spaces will appeal to forward-looking garden makers wherever they live.