Jan Woudstra guides renovation of baroque gardens
Dr Jan Woudstra, Reader in Landscape History and Theory, in the Department of Landscape, has led work to restore the baroque gardens at Het Loo Palace in the Netherlands.
The gardens, which had been restored in the late 1970s and ‘80s and gained an international reputation for conservation standards, had steadily deteriorated over thirty years. Jan’s review was designed to increase the historical accuracy of the gardens. He found a number of discrepancies between the contemporary gardens and their historical authenticity and recommended restoring the decimated box parterres and readjusting the width and height of edging.
It was not possible to take up all of Jan’s recommendations. Funding cuts to the garden meant that increasing maintenance was not an option, while the disease of box blight meant that box hedging had to be replaced with Ilex crenata ‘Dark Green’, a type of holly.
This work was part of an 18-month project, which concluded in May 2015 with the re-opening of the gardens. A celebratory symposium, in which Jan lectured, was also held.