It’s hot. It’s summer. I’m indulging in a bit of armchair travel inside in the cool.
I am a fan of conceptual gardens. Why? They challenge our ideas of what constitutes a garden. There are trial gardens for plants, so it makes sense to me that there should also be trial design gardens. Last year, I visited two, Cornerstone in Sonoma and Les Jardins des Metis in Quebec. Both made me think about what I do as a landscape designer in new ways. These concept gardens are usually built to last for a season or two, so their creators aren’t inhibited by issues of longevity and maintenance or client demands.
A relative newcomer to the scene, the Festival Gardens at Appletern Gardens in the Netherlands is in its fourth season this year.
It’s part of a much larger 22 acre garden park that includes many different types of gardens. My favorite of the 2013 concept gardens called Balans (Balance) and was designed by Babako. It is a linear installation reminiscent of Patrick Dougherty’s stickwork.
In addition to the annual concept gardens there are 17 other types of gardens loosely organized around a theme or type of outdoor space. I’m putting it on my ever increasing list of ‘must visit’ gardens.
In interior design, this garden would be called ‘transitional’ as a mix between traditional and contemporary styles. I’m loving the single pale blue, beach glass tones in the gabions. Imagine them lit at dusk. Dreamy.
This garden appeals to the DIYer in me. I could probably put most of this together in a weekend from stuff I
hoard have in the garage, use it all summer and then switch it up the next. Why does everything need to be so permanent?
I was a little disturbed by an image of purple loostrife in full bloom in the Appletern Herb garden and I’m not sure about kidney shaped beds EVER, but I loved the trees and the color story.