One of the advices I got from a dear old gardener was: “look what is growing well in your neighbours garden and plant that too.” See this in a wider perspective. Not only your direct neighbour could be your source for green ideas, but there must be some community or botanical garden in your area where you can go once in a while to do some research. One of my gardens for doing that is the Costerus Tuin.
The Costerus Tuin is a historic botanic garden. Every day – from sunrise to sunset – it is possible to enjoy this oasis with many native plants, shrubs, trees and a pond, for free. The plants are not sorted by color or flowering, but to plant family.
The garden has a story to tell!
Founder Jan Costerus (1849–1938) lived in a time when nature conservation was in its infancy. As a biologist he advocated the importance of indigenous plants, and nature in the Netherlands in general. After his retirement, Jan created a garden just for that purpose. At first, visitors found this garden where weeds were cherished quite strange. But since Jan Costerus died, volunteers have always taken care for the garden and all the plants, which is already for about 80 years.
Costerus had ideas that I have too. He assumed that if people knew the plant world better, they would undoubtedly see the beauty of nature. Astonishment and admiration is a basis for education.
Once in a while, I step on my bike and pay a visit to this tranquil place. I look up the diffferent plants, to see which I might plant myself. That is easy, because there are name tags.
I show your my discoveries, with all plants and ideas that are on my wishlist, or actually in my garden now too.
Lovely! This purple Lupinus polyphyllus ‘Russell hybrids’.
Lots of poppies in this garden. They provide instant happiness.
There’s a cat in the yard!
Pink hollyhock, always a treat for the eye.
The name tags speak for themselves. You see the family name, the Latin and the Dutch name.
With yellow and orange you create an optimistic look. From top left to right below:
- Might be a gerbera (?), but I did not get the name tag welll… 2. Limnanthus douglosii (fried egg flower) 3. Echinacea paradoxa (yellow cone flower) 4. Alstroemeria aurantiaca (Inca lily)
Ceratostigma willmottianum, the absolutely stunning plumbago.
Not every plant had to add beauty with flowers. Forms and structures are eye catchers too. Look at the wonderful chestnut like leaves of the Rodgersia aesculifolia.
A large insect hotel provides a home for solo bees and wasps. There’s a cute glasshouse. In the back of the garden a romantic little pond is hidden below the trees. A magical spot.
End of season: the garden is still looking great, with the majestic forms of dipsacus and allium.
Information about the Costerus Tuin
The garden is in the Zonnelaan in Hilversum, hidden between houses, with the entrance next to the Schuttersheide apartment complex. There is an information box that contains free leaflets with a garden plan. The land is owned by the municipality of Hilversum.
Visit the website to learn more.