The Japanese Garden (De Japanse Tuin) within Clingendael Estate in Den Haag (The Hague) was created in early 20th century by then owner of the estate, Marguérite M. Baroness van Brienen (1871-1939). Fondly known as Lady Daisy, she sailed off by ship to Japan numerous times to bring home lanterns, sculptures, plants, a water cask, pavilion and little bridges to build this garden.
Its original layout, Lady Daisy’s own interpretation of a Japanese garden, with a pond, meandering brook and winding pathways, has been maintained all these years.
Clingendael Estate became the property of the city of The Hague in 1954, and has since been opened to the public. De Japanse Tuin was placed on the list of national historical monuments in 2001 because of its uniqueness and tremendous historical value.
This garden reminded me of a similar one within DR Park, but unlike the garden in Ipoh, De Japanse Tuin is only open for visitors twice a year, in spring and autumn, due to its fragility. This spring, it is open from April 27 to June 9, and will reopen to the public from October 13 to 26 during autumn.
On Saturday, June 7 from 10.30am, a Japanese Festival will be held at the Garden for the second time. The inaugural festival was held last year to commemorate the Garden’s 100th anniversary. It attracted 10,000 visitors. At the festival, take the opportunity to hear, see and taste Japan in the Netherlands. Traditional Japanese dishes will be presented alongside rhythms of the Japanese drums. Meanwhile, Japanese martial artistes will showcase their art as well.
Also within the vast Clingendael Estate is the Old Dutch Garden (Oud-Hollandsetuin) which is open throughout the year. Restored only in 2009, it was created around 1915 also by Lady Daisy. The Garden was based on the typical British ‘Dutch Garden’, consisting of a geometrical pattern of flower-filled box hedges.
During my visit to Clingendael Estate and its Japanese Garden in early June (2014), most of the flowers were no longer in bloom, unfortunately, and the gardens did not give out the spectacular colours that are shown in photos of the estate found on the internet.
Japanese Garden (De Japanse Tuin Clingendael) in The Hague
Spring: 27 April – 9 June, 2014
Autumn: 13 – 26 October, 2014
Opening hours: 10am – 4pm
For further information, visit: www.denhaag.nl/japansetuin
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