Dutch Gardening - Tidy Symmetry

Nipped and Tucked

As promised, here are some pictures that I took during our trip to Holland and Northern Germany in 2009.  We were there for a wedding and to visit family in both countries. 

Rivers of hyacinth at the Keukenhof

 It was one of those trips of a lifetime.  So memorable for so many reasons, the primary one being that we got to experience it with mr. V’s father who is the only Vanderputten in his family in the States.  To see his homeland through his eyes and not just from stories and pictures was so special.  These memories I will cherish for the rest of my life. 

Aside from all that, one of the things I was most struck with during the trip, was the flora and fauna.  Even flying into The Netherlands you are greeted with blankets of color as far as the eye can see.  The tulip fields.  It was like flying into a painting.   Everything was so vibrant and verdant.  Sounds corny but I can’t emphasize enough that the pictures do not do justice to the rich colors and smells of earth and water.  The grasses were so green and the earth was so deeply brown.  It breathed.

And the gardens.  Even people living in the city centers with little more that a stoop would have some sort of plantings.  And I was struck by the tidiness of these plantings.  Very clipped and symmetrical.  Lots of topiaries.  Potted plants flanking benches or doorways.  Any container was fair game for a planting - at almost every house, apartment, farm, store etc.  Every.  Single.  One.  I saw no evidence of that neighbor.  The one who does not really care about how their exterior looks.  The containers were well maintained and the plantings at the houses with yards were very tidy.  Fastidious is a word that comes to mind.  All things were nipped and tucked just so.

My detail-lovin’ soul was in nirvana.  So many little moments to be discovered.  All of this nip and tuck perfection completely changed the way I gardened.  As soon as I got home I immediately cast aside my plastic planters and plopped everything into baskets.  I threw a bajillion tulips in the front beds.  And I clipped, clipped, clipped.  It looked so great.  For about 10 minutes.  Until I realized the daily maintenance required to get such a tidy look.  Sheesh.  It’s like waxing and botoxing everyday.  I have never been much a fan of needles or hot painful things so no go for mrs. V.

Uncle Henk's garden

the clogs outside Uncle Henk's door - they really do wear these - especially to garden

I have accepted that things will be a tad more wild at Chez V despite my best intentions.  But I do my best to capture just a hint of all that tidy perfection.

All photos by me

kisses,  mrs. V

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