Medicinal herb garden landscaped together with Nienke, Jools, Jessie, Tom, Fien, Sander and Lex. Thanks to City Council Amsterdam West.
Long before the corona pandemic, research showed that gardening is good for body and mind. The proximity of plants reduces stress. The garden as a microcosm and metaphor for resilience, but also for society, has a long cultural tradition. Painters, writers and poets turned to the garden for insights and symbols. It is not surprising that in many different cultures and religions the garden is synonymous with harmony and protection. The effect of this 'inner garden' on the mental and physical health of the local residents is something we would like to develop further, as we are located here on the former hospital site. For more than a century, the Wilhelmina Gasthuis site has been a medical icon in Amsterdam West.
The four compartments in the corner of the garden will be filled with a mixture of different herbs and shade-loving perennials. The selection of herbs are in the spirit of the location, medicial. Due to the shaded position of the sections, species that grow naturally in the forest are particularly suitable here.
Planting and design: Veldhof planting.
Nienke Sybrandy has put a Water lily from the pont in a jar for her flower collection 'Spirits'
The secret garden
American Pokeweed that came blowing in a few years ago, is sprouting again
The beautiful oval, papery seed pods of the Saint Jude's medal contrast with the straight windows of the houses in the apartment building in the distance
Dutchman pipe blooms in the pergola. The flower is reminiscent of the antique Dutch pipe
For over 35 years I have been maintaining a courtyard garden on the WG site in Amsterdam Oud West. It started in 1985, shortly after I moved into my studio. The old laboratory on the ground floor of the former hospital seemed to me the best location for my work.
I looked out at the remains of the foundations of the demolished barracks of the former Wilhelmina Gasthuis hospital. It was bare and cluttered. The white sand blew in through the cracks and open windows. An annoying side effect that inspired me to change it. Together with my beloved I made a plan for the construction of the garden. My greatest wish was a pond with a water lily. It came first and is still there.
To be able to build the garden further, I ordered a few cubic meters of black soil and moved it from the street to the garden with a wheelbarrow. We collected plants from friends' and family's gardens and sowed grass. The garden that was created borders our studios and grew into a small paradise, a work of art that we, with neighbors, local residents and casual passers-by enjoy every day.
To this day people stop to express their admiration when I am working in the garden.