Daily Garden: Villa Augustus, Netherlands

villa augustus potager garden netherlands www.pithandvigor.com

Imagine a Water Tower turned into a hotel — I think of a ball shaped thing on legs like you see dotted across the midwest of the USA- and I scratch my head at the thought.  The Dutch however have different types of water towers.  They look like this (castles) and a few years ago, after spotting the beautiful building in an image of the town in 1930’s the creators of this amazing hotel decided to give the building new life.

No longer surrounded by water, the creation of The Hotel Augustus and it’s landscape, recreated an opportunity to  surround the premises with water and nature.  After renovation, the river Vlij now flows again, the water tower/ hotel is surrounded by gardens and the original pumping station has been converted to a restaurant and a market-café.

villa augustus potager garden netherlands www.pithandvigor.com image by http://www.matundmi.de/

Sited on the spot where the water basins for Dordrecht’s water tower were located, a formal but quirky  garden was created.
They “envisaged a garden that would do justice to all the images that the thought of a garden evokes. A garden that supplies food, a garden that is a feast for the eye and delight for the nose, a garden that reflects the changes of the seasons, a garden where sun and moon, wind and water, air and rain can be felt. A garden that makes you feel uplifted and humble at the same time. A garden that reminds you of all the promises and possibilities that lie ahead. A garden that inspires the cook and that in turn is
inspired by the kitchen – the cook and the gardener, the gardener and the cook.”

villa augustus potager garden netherlands www.pithandvigor.com image by http://www.matundmi.de/

There is an entrance garden, a vegetable garden for fresh produce, a garden full of berries, a hothouse for grapes and a greenhouse. A Giardino Segreto (Secret Garden)  in which you can disappear or even stay the night (there is a hotel room in the secret garden), a copse to roam about, an orchard with apples, pears, plums, cherries and last but not least an Italian garden.

I yearn for projects like this and take enormous inspiration from it.  From the quirky formal garden to the business model of creating a hotel and landmark that flows directly from the land and whose main feature is the landscape, I am contemplating how my own little slice of land can be put to better use.

read more about the history of this place at this fun website.

images: matundmi.de, schoolhouse garden

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

2 Comments

  1. Louise on August 24, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Interesting post Rochelle, The dutch definitely have a way of celebrating new technologies and manmade landscape features. Windmills to watertowers and imagine your whole country areas being completely managed by a series of canals for the last 150 years
    http://stadsarchief.amsterdam.nl/english/amsterdam_treasures/traffic/noordzeekanaal/index.en.html
    I also like the orderly and productive gardens, so unlike my own!