After the emense success of Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles in France, inspiration of great magnitude spread through Europe. The french formal garden became the obsession of garden designers – they coveted it’s size, fame and it’s ability to manipulate nature. So sprung a series of gardens throughout the continent that would mimic formal vocabulary. This included but was not limited to cascades, parterres, topiaries, basins, statues, fountains and vanishing points.
Which brings us to the Het Loo Garden which in dutch translates to “The Woods Palace” and is often called the “Versailles of Holland”. Designed designed by a protestant refugee, Daniel Marot, the garden had a main symmetrical vertical axis, simple parterres and closely trimmed box hedges in decorative scroll patterns, hence the name broderie parterres. But it did not dominate the landscape as the French were able to achieve in France. Construction spanned from 1684 – 1686.
William of Orange III was the original owner of the palace along with his wife, Mary II of England. Following the precedent left by Versailles, William had selected Hercules as a common thread present throughout the garden. Another important addition under William of Orange was the Organery which contained rows of beautifully planted citrus trees.
To each side of the palace are William and Mary’s private gardens, aptly named the King’s garden and the Queen’s garden. Mary’s garden has a serious collection of centuries-old citrus trees which are on display in tubs between May and October. Their fruit and their blossoms combined represent a symbol of the House of Orange.
Although the baroque garden was wiped out in the 18th century to construct the growingly popular English landscape garden, it was renovated in 20th century to revert back to it’s original design.