Ten-year-old terraced garden
Quality does not age, believes Jaap Sterk. The nomination of this garden he realized ten years ago at an authentic 1928 villa is proof of that. Although the garden has as many as six terraces, the atmosphere is still park-like.
Forest and lawn surrounded the 1928 villa with its distinctive bell-shaped thatched roof when Jaap Sterk moved in ten years ago. ”Many trees, some with trunks 40 to as much as 100 cm in diameter, are still there,” says Jaap Sterk. The clients, a family with then young children, wanted a garden where both parents and children could socialize with friends. For the 2800 m2 plot, Jaap Sterk drew a design with space for several terraces where you can sit or lounge. That’s quite a lot yes. Yet in the garden you don’t feel like there is a lot of paving. Instead, it has a very park-like feel to it.
The largest terraces are close to the house. Following an extension built 45 degrees onto the existing villa, Jaap Sterk created a large plaza of long concrete slabs punctuated by strips of sedum plants. In the nearly 150-square-meter square, a slightly raised “carpet” of robust, oak beams delineates an active seating area with a concrete table and benches of our own design under a shade cloth. A corner sofa combined with some low seating elements offer a more relaxed seating area.
Perpendicular to the lines of the concrete slabs, Jaap Sterk constructed a raised water element made of solid poured concrete finished with a hard stone edge. The 15 m long and 1 m wide pond draws the eye to the back of the garden and makes the garden seem longer. Halfway through the garden, Jaap Sterk made a floating lounge terrace out of oak beams. This terrace is laid out in two tiers to overcome a level difference.
Sleek and organic
Notable in Jaap Sterk’s design are the quick transitions between the sleek forms of the terraces, the water element to the flowing paths and organic plant borders. ,,I like it when the gravel of the path flows over into the planting. I deliberately do not use edging. The fact that there is sometimes gravel between the plants doesn’t bother me.”
And although the terraces are of considerable size, nowhere do the sleek shapes become dominant. ”The proportions are right,” explains Jaap Sterk. ”The size of the spaces, the extent of the planting, the width of the paths, everything is right in this garden. If you want, you can drive your car along the garden paths from front to back, yet nowhere do you have the feeling of a wide road.”
That his 10-year-old garden has been nominated for the 2017 Garden of the Year proves, according to Jaap Sterk, that quality does not age. ,,If the proportions and spaces are right, you can move forward with that. It makes this garden timeless.
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