Art & garden

August 19, 2017

view with café

museum and café buildings with entrance to garden top middle

Gardens and art, art gardens. I’m reading a book about the wild garden of the imagination (it’s in Dutch, not easy reading in any language, author is Kris Pint).

And in the book I’m writing about alternative paths for the arts, gardens and greening projects keep cropping up. Everything for me, after an active career in the arts and graphic design, seems to lead back to the garden.

Yesterday my sister in law and I visited one of my favourite museums, Museum de Buitenplaats in Eelde. Roughly translated the name refers to ‘the outside’. The museum and gardens were designed as a whole, and when I first saw the building and gardens  about 10 years ago, I was already enchanted. Now, the formal gardens have matured, the garden artist’s vision has been realised, though as with all living things, it is still in constant development.

garden view

garden entryway

We went to see a show of the English portrait artist, Michael Reynolds. The paintings inspired me in their application of paint, and colour. Then we visited the gift shop (yummy), and afterwards, finally, the gardens. We ended with a cuppa in the café and a luscious piece of cheesecake. Nourishing on all levels. But the gardens lifted my heart most of all. The formal structure, balanced by playful details and strategically placed sculptures, gives a sense of order and peace. In August most of it is carried by form- in a symphony of greens. Flowers are present for sure, but the riot of flower beds contrasting with the high walls of green hedges is probably at its best in June and July.


glass and metal sculpturee

I think what I love most is to be amazed- either by art, or by turning a corner in a garden like this and discovering a little water feature or sculpture.  The sculpture in the middle of the pond is by Lotte Blocker, I was deeply touched by her exhibition in Zwolle several years ago. How wonderful that her work has been placed here as well. It is perfect.


pond with sculpture

Not shown is a new orchard just planted, with old apple races that used to grow here on this estate 300 years ago. The museum itself is part of a complex of beautiful buildings that are also full of art and sometimes open to the public for guided tours. Though the main museum building is ultramodern, a lot of attention is paid to the history linked with the location. It is a sense-around experience that makes me wish every museum had its own garden!


Eelde museum 017

espaliered pear trees

wisteria pods2

wisteria pods


4 Responses to “Art & garden”

  1. Oh Sarah, what a lovely place. I appreciate your sharing your experience thru these photos. They make me feel like I got to tag along.

    • so glad you got a sense of the place, Annie. I guess it is similar to what I feel when I go ‘with you’ on your travels through the states. 🙂 And isn’t it what keeping a blog is about anyway? Sharing experience so that someone else actually feels a bit what it is like to live it.

  2. “…in a symphony of greens”. What a great way to describe it!. I don’t think I knew of Michael Reynolds before.Interesting life , indeed. I like how your artistic ‘life’ does connect with gardening and nature.Seems to lift the art (maybe all art) off of the easel and transport it back to it’s original dimension. A path where maybe our creations are a tangent point on a greater circle or sphere, for that matter. Anyways, it’s helpful to see the bigger, more open view. Beautiful museum and thanks for sharing your day ! :^)

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