Last weekend we had a lovely time in the city and province of Groningen and I will surely write about some nice gardens we saw. But the highlight when it came to gardens was on our way back home. We had a stop at the Vlinderhof, near Utrecht. The closest parking to this garden is also the most fun way to approach the garden. You have to cross a creek with a small ferry, where you have to drag yourself to the other side by pulling a rope.
The Vlinderhof is in many ways a unique project, located in a outer corner of the huge Maximapark near Utrecht. The initiative came from some local inhabitants and they managed to let the garden be designed by Piet Oudolf, one of the most famous Dutch garden designers. It’s also the local people that volunteer to do the maintenance of the garden and must make it one of the most beautiful community gardens in the world.
Vlinderhof, which means Butterfly Garden in Dutch, is designed in, what is called, the New Perennial style (of Dutch Wave). Clouds of Perennials are combined with grasses and there is this almost natural play of heights, textures and colours. When we visited the weather was rather dull with even bit of rain, but even then the garden was full of vibrant color and really stunning. At the far end of the garden there is a little mount from where you have an overview of the garden from above.
Even more interesting is the website of this garden. Here the whole planting plan of the garden is shared with the public. You can zoom in on every flower bed and see which plants are planted where. No need to say this is a very helpful tool to use for your own garden and a great source of inspiration.
People might have never heard of Piet Oudolf, but you have surely heard of his work. The New York High-line park, the 9/11 remembrance garden or the Lurie garden in Chicago are all world renowned works.
If you want to learn more about this unique garden, check out the website (not everything is translated in English).