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Andrew van Egmond

Field Emotion | Laren

Ancient woods and open moorlands characterize the ancient landscape where this garden is located.

In the Golden Age, fortunate Amsterdammers built their estates here. Over the centuries, more and more people settled on these higher sandy soils of the Netherlands. Plots became smaller and smaller and the original landscape turned into gardens.

Although it is a very green environment to live in, the connection to the original landscape has been lost. The concept of this garden is to subtly bring back the original landscape. Typical pine and native birch trees were selected and planted in a natural composition. One large field of perennial grasses was introduced, referencing the original landscape. Long minimalist lines are positioned to frame the lush green clouds of shrubs, trees and grasses.

The original landscape is not literally copied. The intention was to capture the emotion of the original landscape, resulting in a garden that honors the larger landscape. At the same time, the garden embraces the classic architecture of the house with a contemporary garden design.

The materials chosen have a modest appearance and match the classic architecture. The type of gravel used is typical of the Netherlands and feels very natural for this environment. The granite cobblestones are significant because they are a relic from the old garden.

Refined detailing is essential to a minimalist design approach. The way the wooden deck is designed is a good example of this.

It seems to float above the walls, pavement, lawn and pool. To prevent the pool from looking strange, concrete walls were chosen in this natural setting to create an attractive green look.

The garden should be a link between the human scale of the home and the larger scale of the landscape. In this garden, this is accomplished by adding a long minimalist line at the back that frames the lush greenery and by transforming the front lawn into one large field of perennial grasses. The wild look of the grasses and multi-stemmed trees are a nice contrast to the classic house. The field of perennial grasses is a living painting that captures the elements of wind, rain, frost and sunlight. It is an ever-changing image, connecting us to the seasons and our emotions. An experience you don’t expect with this kind of architecture.

Photography: Andrew van Egmond

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