Once you have the chance to visit the castles in Holland, the charm of those old times leaves a unique mark on your feelings. Their story is usually mixed with good times and bad times, ages of oppression and war, that contrast drastically with the beauty displayed in the castle themselves as well as in the castle gardens.
One of these castles is the Menkemaborg castle in Uithuizen. The charm of its flower gardens is given by their original design that dates back to the 17th century. The characteristic of this particular design is the perfect symmetry of the garden, having mirror evenness of the flower patterns. One can also admire a walled garden placed in front of the pergola whose beauty is enhanced by trellised arches. The vegetable garden is not missing either, which is placed so as the plants would see the first rays of the sun. It can be found in the east side of the castle. The spices, pot herbs, and vegetables represent the specifics of this garden. There is also what is called a natural 'sundial garden'. The orchard is also worth mentioning wherein the apple trees are spread around the orchard, and the pear trees are charmingly arranged overhanging the pathway. If you are a rose lover, you'll surely want to visit it in the summer, because of its simply delightful rose tunnel in full bloom.
The final touch of the Groningen aristocracy is made complete by the moat surrounding the castle and its gardens. The moat ― a fortification usually filled with water ― is the characteristic feature of the mansions built in that historical period.
Another palace worth visiting is the Het Loo Palace located in Apeldoorn, in beautiful natural scenery represented by the serene atmosphere of the woods. In 1984, it became a museum and since depicts the lives of King William III and Queen Mary II up to the reign of Queen Wilhelmina covering three centuries of history. Some of the exhibits shown in this palace are permanent, yet there are others that are varying. However, our main interest focuses on the gardens of this palace. The Dutch Baroque architecture of Het Loo is of course kept in its gardening style as well. You'll find the symmetry of baroque so common to the leading trend setters of that era, namely Versailles (France). The mansion or as it is actually called the 'Lust-hof' meaning 'pleasure house', is not a castle per se. However, it is placed between the court and garden 'entre cour et jardin' imitating Versailles with its Parisian fine houses charm.
The 'Great Garden' is however meant to be private as it lies behind the mansion. Called the 'Versailles of Holland', this baroque garden displays in its unique fashion, parterres with fountains, artful statues, vases, basins, and cascades along beautiful pergolas. All these elements are displayed in perfect symmetry, communicating through graveled walks so that the visitor may admire the garden in its full beauty. In this place, you will encounter the same 17th century baroque garden fashion with pergolas, artful statues, and vases. This unique style in Europe is the expression of beauty as perceived in those days, and which bravely lives on even today.
Seypesteyn Castle's garden was created to fulfill the wish of Baron Van Seypesteyn who wanted to have a historical garden in a park. He's done such a great job that this garden was listed as monument by the Dutch National Trust. His park and historical garden included the elements of the 16th century iron gates; and also common for castle and aristocracy mansions, he included a maze, a canal, and an orchard. The bridges over ponds and moats, the beauty of the Japanese trees like katsua along all the other floral beds, make this neo-renaissance park charming indeed. Its construction was completed in 1927. It is officially recognized as a monument of garden history interest as well as a cultural, architectural, and a national monument.
Relive the olden days in a castle garden or treat yourself tasting a royal experience in a palace garden!