The Gardens of Appeltern

No one can deny that Holland is usually associated with tulips and flower festivals. Perhaps, this country might be recognized as the greatest gardening spot in the entire Europe, as for decades it has been running large and colorful plant fields. In very deed flower industry has invested a lot in tourism, as Holland visitors are often willing to observe vivid and miraculous tulips’ fields, to attend flower markets and, of course, regular exhibitions. One of the most fascinating is Gardens of Appeltern that has been working in Holland since 1992.

In fact, it is a small village located in the heart of the country, the population of which reaches about 800 residents. Thanks to Ben van Ooijen, a prominent Dutch landscape designer, this site has acquired global fame of spectacular garden art spot. In particular, he purchased a land lot of nearly 15 hectares in late 1980s in order to create some sort of advertisement for own landscape company. However, the designer changed the concept in a short time; Ben van Ooijen decided to establish all-year-round exhibition in Appletern. A lot of well-known Dutch landscape designers supported his idea and contributed to development of Gardens of Appeltern. Consequently, this park attracts an attention of foreigners, both landscapers and curious tourists, for about 20 years already.

It is interesting to know that Gardens of Appeltern are in completely private ownership, which underlines the significance of this site. The state does not provide any donation to the park, but it has honored its founder multiple times. It is in Ben van Ooijen ‘s plans to enlarge Gardens of Appeltern by adding approximately 7 hectares. Therefore, more land lots mean more flowers’ exhibitions. By the way, nowadays Gardens of Appeltern run 200 open-air exhibitions composed of nearly 6000 plant species. Modern view of the park fascinates with abundance of greenery mixed with bright verdant hedges, flowerbeds, and alternate small gardens.

The variety of gardens and flower lots is, probably, the best achievement of Ben van Ooijen, as no other world-known park cannot boast of such a wide choice. There tourists can see samples of conventional English, Oriental and Mediterranean gardens, patios for kids and entire families decorated with proper plants, winter gardens, gardens on house roofs, gardens set with fountains, grots, cannels and stones, etc. Generally, Gardens of Appeltern demonstrate contemporary trends in landscape design, which works for both specialists and locals engaged in gardening. Many of them can offer brilliant ideas for those ones starting own garden lot.

Ben van Ooijen has also done a lot to pull in flowers’ enthusiasts. There are many specific routes organized around the park, which provide the best views on the gardens. Besides, Appeltern is situated between Meuse and Vaal rivers that contribute to picturesque image of the park. It usually opens on March 1st and works till the last days of November. An entrance cost varies from 6 euros for children to 12 euros for adults. In contrast, tourists can also buy annual pass that costs 30 euros and enjoy beauty of the park during the year.