The Dutch garden is mentioned quite often, although there is no such concept in the official architectural science. The first impression of an outside observer is usually associated with his intimacy, comfort and abundance of flowers. As you know, land in the Netherlands is of great value, therefore, the property is very tiny, but not a single centimeter is wasted.
The first thing that catches your eye when you first get to Holland is unusually well-groomed, neat courtyards, moreover, not only near private houses, but also near large apartment buildings. Through the efforts of their inhabitants, any space – even a narrow strip of land between the building wall and the sidewalk – instantly turns into a garden, a front garden, a flower garden, which residents take care of scrupulously and with love. Here you will not see cigarette butts, wrappers or broken glass thrown on the grass. Weeds on lawns are just as rare. There are no fences and fences that we are used to in Holland. There are no barriers between plants and humans. But somehow it never occurs to anyone to destroy this beauty.
In cities, the courtyard in front of an apartment building is often filled with a variety of conifers and evergreen shrubs, which are decorative throughout the year. The monotony of green can be disturbed by a pair of brightly colored decorative deciduous shrubs. In the foreground are several unpretentious flowering herbaceous perennials: geranium, euphorbia, yaskolka. The harmonious combination of tiled paving, small pebbles and decorative stones creates a special mood in the garden. It is pleasant to rest under the magnificent blue wisteria after the labors of the righteous. Potted plants complete the composition.
Some owners are formal and classic. Borders from neatly trimmed sashmite, various figures or ornament made from it. The free space is filled with rubble, pebbles, sometimes colored. Such a courtyard garden does not require much attention, it does not need weeding, since weeds do not grow through stones. All care is a regular haircut.
But the idea of the real Holland is given not by Amsterdam and The Hague, but by small towns in Central Holland. It is here that the true spirit of this amazing country is especially felt. Let’s take a look at the wonderful rural gardens. Again, due to the high cost of land, the plots of rural residents are small, only a few hundred square meters, so every centimeter of land is actively used. The house is usually located closer to the entrance to the site, in front of it is a small (10-15 sq. M) parterre lawn – the pride of the owners and the subject of their tireless care. In a small “parterre” in front of the front windows of the house there is always a place for a sea of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocuses, without which Holland is simply unthinkable.
In Dutch gardens, only two or three low-growing trees are planted. Is it worth growing tall trees if they will shade the area and interfere with other plants? To “consolidate” the rural style, wooden wheelbarrows with flowers, an old cast-iron water pump, a toy mill are used as decorations.
All courtyards have an individual look, each decorating them to his liking. But although they say that two identical gardens do not exist, the general patterns can be traced quite clearly. Gardens near houses are usually not only well-tended, but also well-arranged. Traditional flower beds are rare, since they require careful, regular care, and rather high costs for their creation do not always bring the expected effect. In the design, conifers, evergreen trees and shrubs or herbaceous perennials are most often used, but there are few annuals, since they require more attention. Lush exotic plants are not popular with the Dutch.
The main emphasis is often put down – it can be, for example, a small flowering standard tree. Thanks to its shape, it will attract attention in any season. Recently, camassia, a tall bulbous plant, almost up to a meter high, has been very popular in Holland. Its blue-blue star-shaped flowers, collected in spike-shaped inflorescences, stand out in bright spots against the background of greenery. This modest and at the same time elegant plant can be found in almost every yard today..
Landings are combined with decorative paving. Platforms and paths in courtyards are covered with stone. Many residents here exhibit plants in tubs and flowerpots. In short, everything looks simple and elegant at the same time..
The sparse hedge is low, and why hide such beauty. Several fruit trees and berry bushes grow behind the house, a small neat vegetable garden is laid out in a sunny place, outbuildings are disguised with climbing plants. High-yielding crops resistant to diseases and pests have been planted. The layout is quite free, while the garden is perfectly neat and tidy, everything is “arranged” in its place. Such gardens are laid out in small Dutch villages – beautiful and at the same time quite functional.
As an illustrative example, take a look at an ordinary Dutch courtyard garden. On a small piece of land near the wall of the house, there were no more than a dozen plants. But they are selected so that the patio looks decorative throughout the season. In the foreground, as it should be, low-growing plants: Iberis and forget-me-not, a classic combination of white and blue. Lush and at the same time compact bush of milkweed from April will be decorated with delicate yellow-green umbrellas of inflorescences. The peony bush located behind them will bloom a little later. Almost together with him, flowers of a bearded iris bloom, and some time later the phlox that had grown by that time will cover the fading forget-me-not. Closer to autumn, sedum will bloom. So, thanks to a thoughtful composition and careful selection of plants, this discreet, but elegant garden will delight the eye all season.
The mild maritime climate in Holland allows using a very wide range of flora representatives in landscaping. The abundance of evergreens, especially conifers, is striking – undersized and dwarf pines, firs, various types of junipers, thuja, and yews. You can often find huge specimens of araucaria. Sometimes a strip of land is planted as densely as possible with ornamental shrubs and perennial flowers. Golden globular and weeping thuja, plum, almond, lilac, barberry, quince, variegated and green hosts, creeping saxifrage, cuffs, and, of course, bulbous, filling all the free space: tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, hazel grouses, woodlands …
No matter how good the Dutch courtyards-gardens are, there is nothing in them that our citizens could not embody in their courtyards. For this it is not at all necessary to have a huge plot. Methods for arranging Dutch gardens will be optimal just for owners of small allotments. You can create beauty next to yourself on a small piece of land. It would be the desire and support of professionals!