Description and background

“The rock garden, which barely covers an area of about 200 m2, lies within reach of the visitor. Not a single building is visible from the roofed terrace and practically no sound from outside penetrates the rock garden. The pond attracts the attention with little waterfalls tumbling into it. Several steep planted terraces are supported by using granite stones (up to 3000 kg), reaching a summit of 5 meters high. Carefully placed conifers and evergreens intensify the depth of field of the garden. The different and always changing flowering groups of rock garden plants form a harmonious colour arrangement and transfer the site into a mountain scenery.

The garden is very peaceful, buzzing insects, singing or bathing birds, a jumping fish or the tumbling water are the sounds one hears. Somehow it´s very difficult to describe this garden neither words nor drawings, pictures, or film can capture the impressions this garden gives. This little paradise- as some romantic visitors call it- must be seen and experienced to understand it´s real language.

The question is how this garden adventure started. At home (1950), still enjoying the cycling and camping holiday in the Alps, came the idea to test good memories and fantasy with the reality of colour, sound and form by using plants, flowers, soil, rocks and water. Most important was to temper my fantasy. Difficult was combining the colours of the different plant-groups in the garden. The best teacher in this was going outside and see for myself in nature. My advice is to look at least twice at the most obvious things. After years of observation, trial and error I succeeded in combining the right colours. You are welcome to find out the rest of the story in the garden.

Most important is that a garden is to enjoy. I enjoy the garden everyday but I enjoy it even more when there are visitors to share this feeling with me”.

Bčr Slangen (1924-2001)

In 1974 the garden was opened to the public for the first time. Since then, the open garden has been a yearly event. Thousands of visitors and many garden-clubs from all over the world have visited the garden. Throughout the years Bčr got a lot of help from friends, people- especially youngsters- from the neighbourhood, The rock garden, but also Bčr’s astonishing wisdom, simplicity, passion and generosity made sure that many came to help and more or less grew up in the garden. At the 10th of March 2001 Bčr Slangen passed away aged 76, his live-work, the rock garden has been left to one of his young helpers who became inspired by the rock garden as a little boy and nowadays is working as a landscape architect in Rotterdam. In memory of Bčr Slangen Foundation friends of rock garden Bčr Slangen has been founded with the goal to maintain the garden for future generations and organize open garden days for the public.

I am looking forward to welcome you in the garden.

Nico Tillie

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