I just got back from a quick trip to the Netherlands. My husband and I spent two days in Rotterdam (he was there for work) and while he was in meetings, I had the great pleasure of heading to Utrecht to spend the day with local designer Carrie Preston. We had a great time, and while my plan was to look at gardens and green spaces, I was equally amazed with the architecture of the city.
We started our day by joining up with another local designer, Marilies Jacobs, at the Oude Hortus (Botanical Gardens).
We then went to see two gardens designed by Marilies. Both gardens were shared spaces, where houses surrounded communal open space. She used hedges (beech and privet) to divide space and create privacy for each homeowner. The vertical spaces were also well used, a great approach in small spaces. Trellises carried vines up walls, and pollarded Linden trees were used as vertical yet compact screening.
After touring a few gardens, we walked around the town, and I couldn’t help snap pictures of the buildings and architectural details. I learned from Carrie that homeowners were originally taxed on the street frontage of their house. So, instead of building out, they built up. Houses are skinny, stairs are steep, ceilings soar to 15 feet and windows and doors are huge!
Our last stop was the cloistered garden at the Dom Tower (the tallest Church tower in the Netherlands). The boxwood parterre was flushing bright new growth, getting ready to be filled in with perennials as the season progresses.
Overall a beautiful day, exploring a beautiful city with two talented designers!