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Dig It! Het Loo Planting (20 Nov 2017)

Dig It! // Gardening & Green Spaces// WRS // Nov. 20, 2017

For many gardeners, the colder weather means the end of the gardening year. But that just means a bit of time indoors planning and thinking about what you might like to do next year. One of the ways to get new ideas for your garden is to visit other gardens, here in Switzerland, or further afield.

One of the most inspiring gardens I saw this year was Het Loo, in the Netherlands. It’s in the central
part of the Netherlands, in the Gelderland region, right next to the town of Appeldoorn. Cold weather means the end of the gardening year for man.

The grand palace was constructed in the 1680s for the King-Stadtholder Willam III and his wife Mary Stuart, and the reconstructed gardens, carefully pieced  back together in the 1970s, are a perfect Dutch baroque creation.

You can expect to find fountains and formal gardens, parterres and lots of really interesting planting. The Head Gardener, Willem Zielemann explained that the plants were all known in the 18 th century, and there are no plants that date any later than this. The plants are also surprisingly spaced far apart, Willem explained that they were all to valued, admired as individuals, rather than seen en masse. You will see some really interesting mixes, borage, rudbeckias, cleomes and nicotiana all featured in the summer combination.

You will also see lots of beautiful Delftware vases on the walls around the gardens, specially recreated for Het Loo, and lots of heritage geranium varieties in and around the vases, too.

The fruit and vegetable garden found on the lower level is superb. You will find oranges and other citrus varieties all in pots. These are not hardy in the Dutch winters, and are still carefully moved from their summer to winter positions, as they would have been in the 18 th century.

In the fruit garden there are also plenty of heritage varieties, grown as espaliers on the warm
brickwork walls. Pears, like “Bergamot” or the 18 th century introduction “Oranjepeer” are
particularly well represented.

See more on www.paleishetloo.nl The palace itself will be closed from 2018 until 2021, but the
gardens will be open you can plan to visit and enjoy the gardens and park as usual.

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