The History

The garden was established in 2001 encircling the buildings of an older farm. There has never been a true garden at the place just some rows of vegetables in the fields. Old windbreakers consisting of large, old ashes, elms, maples, whitethorns with a ground cover of goutweed, thistles and stinging-nettles formed a jungle yielding wind protection to the farmhouses. Originally the farm was established on cultivated former heath lands dating back to earlier days of intensive sand-drift. The soil we have to deal with is acid, silty sands covering hard pans of rusty sand. The old trees are able to reach a bed of silty and stony clay with their long roots. Due to the clay layer some small ponds are formed in wintertime, but they usually disappear in the spring draught.

The first year was used to create some protection against northern winds. We constructed a 80 m long pergola – covered with boards on the north side, open towards the garden – and it was designed to avoid monotony by including steps and angled windings. There was left room for a small courtyard with English roses traditionally bordered by lavender hedges in one of the windings. The posts of the pergola were covered with clematis and containers with fuchsias placed as decoration. Along the north side a double row of sitka spruces, known to be good to resist harsh winds, were planted as windbreakers. The ground level is sloping from the pergola towards the center of the garden and it was obvious to establish terrace beds fringed with stones. The local haulage contractor had to deliver numerous cartloads of boulders from a quarry and quality fertile, clay soils. A tractor equipped with a front bucket showed to be helpful in the build up of the beds to be the vegetable garden in the early years.

A rockery garden surrounded by Rhododendron beds and winding paths was carried out in the southern part. Within each bed the soil was removed at a depth of two ft. and replaced by sand mixed with spaghnum peat. Boulder blocks were arranged for decorative purpose and trees, often magnolias, were placed before the rhododendrons were planted out. A minor orchard was founded too.

In the east end a row of Thuja plicata ‘Martin’ alternating with red- or white flowering Japanese crab apples was established and with the help from mobile crane the main part of the old border trees were cut down and removed. Only single majestic trees and/or individuals with characteristic features were left as a canopy. In 2003 we purchased the remains of a close down sale from a nursery and it was easy to fill out the gaps in the eastern beds with evergreen trees or scrubs and remarkable rare deciduous species.

The central part of the garden was with a carpet of lawn grass surrounded by raised beds bordered by boulders. Some the beds thus flow like islands in a sea of grass. In 2006 a group of connected ponds was placed in the center of the lawn according to Chinese ideals. A tiny, winding stream, partly supplied with rain water from roofs of the buildings lead to a front pond with water soldiers (Stratiotes aloides). The water flows into a larger, second pond and from here into the third and lower lying sunken pond through a minor fall. A pump returns the water to the start of the stream. All of the ponds were surrounded by peat beds with deciduous azaleas.

Now the old dunghill place was next for a change. Large trees were cut and lifted out by crane, stone and concrete floors were broken and the soil was sieved. New rock borders were placed, peat and sand mixture filled in and Rhododendrons were planted out. In the center a Dove tree was planted within a ring of concrete step stones. A row of square concrete step stones with mosaic pattern in form of Chinese characters was laid out along the old cow-house. Towards the rhododendron garden a Chinese type balustrade in concrete was established and concrete flagstones with flower and dragon motifs placed. A double pergola wall with wooden boards was erected on the south side with an opening to an outer China yard. In 2010 this yard was completed with Chinese guardian lions, flagstones with mosaics, plant rings for bamboos and a brick wall with a moon gate. This moon gate has ever since been the main entrance to the garden.

In 2010-2012 we built a new fenced, vegetable garden in an area outside the former garden area and containing 6 large, raised beds framed by concrete blocks. They were filled up with utilized mushroom compost from a market-garden. The former terrace beds were altered to rhododendron and peony beds and in this way a balance of the garden around the central ponds was obtained. A former grass field was abolished and turned into an arboretum for Chinese and Asiatic trees derived from seeds collected during our travel tours or by purchasing them from collectors. A set of electric wires above the old existing sheep fence keep the roe-deer out of the arboretum. It has been a necessity to fence the single trees with a hare and wind protection too.

In 2013 an old windbreaker of small-leaved maples in the west side of the rhododendron garden was removed. By this we gained room for the Fu garden with new mosaics including the place of the Five Blessings with bat shaped motifs and a set of concrete China type furniture. This initiated a larger concrete project in order to change the garden into a form being acceptable to disabled visitors. The following years all paths have been covered with concrete in a width of 80 cm thus allowing people in wheel chairs to pass.  In the Fu garden Rhododendron seedlings originating from seeds collected in 2012 and 2013 are planted out.