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date: 15 October 2019



Dutch house and garden at Houten in the province of Utrecht. In 1680 Diderick van Velthuysen (1651–1716) bought the manor of Heemstede. The house had been built in 1645 and was surrounded by a rectangular garden with a symmetrical plan traversed by paths and canals. Van Velthuysen planned his garden as a visible demonstration of his loyalty to the house of Orange Nassau, and it is among the finest examples of Dutch classicizing gardens (see Garden §VIII 4., (v)). The plan may be French-inspired (and has been attributed to Daniel Marot I), but the ‘introspection’ of the individual gardens, each with its own views and decorations, is typically Dutch. The main axis runs east–west the full length of the garden, through wooded areas, avenues and formal gardens. All the paths are narrow, to disguise the narrowness of the estate itself. Behind the house are parterres de broderie...

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