Ampie Bouw, master of the garden
In the landscape community, it is believed that an artificial mountain on a plain is not a good idea. The owner of the Ampie's Berg garden in the Netherlands, Ampie Bouw, is ready to refute this. Once he was so shocked by a trip to the Austrian Alps that he transferred part of the experience to his site in the Dutch town of Het Harde, where he erected a 15-meter mountain with an observation deck, waterfalls flowing into ponds on the plain, and an abundance of plants, many of which - rare.
The garden covers an area of 8200 sq. m. First, the owners organized reservoirs, and on the wasteland they poured a hill where they grew alpine plants. Over time, this small hill has grown a lot, and five years ago, a huge bizarre white stone from Thailand took its place on the top of the mountain, becoming a kind of culmination. Of course, this is not quite a mountain, its slopes are lined with sandstone, the same retaining walls in different parts of the garden maintain the overall harmony. The fast waters of the cascade burst out of the grotto. This makes the mountain look like an ancient man's refuge.
In 2015, the garden turned 50 years old, and it is considered the most beautiful in its province, where there are many other interesting gardens open to the public.
The basis of the garden is made up of many conifers - green and yellow conifers, clipped and growing freely. Many neatly formed weeping and umbrella-shaped forms. The arch cut from fir is magnificent. On the slopes of the mountain, the conifers resemble old curved bonsai, which brings oriental-style details to the garden.
In summer they are complemented by a huge number of container plants. They say that the best time to visit the garden is August, when numerous annuals grow. But we visited here earlier, in June.
Ampie's Berg Garden
Now the garden has about 1000 species and varieties of various plants. In winter, they are overexposed and about 20 thousand plants are grown in a heated greenhouse. Thermophilic fuchsias, pelargoniums, abutilones, lanthanas, salvias, nightshades in large containers are preserved there, petunias, balsams, begonias, pentas are cuttings, annual seedlings (nemesia, argirantemum, melampodium, tunbergia, verbena, etc.) are sown. With the onset of the warm season, they take their place on the flat part of the garden and on the mountain slopes. And this despite the fact that the owner of the garden is already 76 years old. He, along with his wife and daughter, is busy daily tending the garden. By the way, he has no special education.
Walking along the bridges among beautiful reservoirs, we watched koi carps and young sturgeon splashing in the water. But the strongest impression of the garden remains if you observe it from the observation deck, to which, like a mountain serpentine, a staircase leads. From here you can see all the geometry of the garden, all the richness of its colors. On the outskirts there is a rather modest master's house, and behind it are the very same greenhouses for container plants. Neighboring lands are well overlooked from here - very cute llamas and deer graze there, complementing the impression of the garden as an unusual, paradise landscape.
Photo: Rita Brilliantova