This small shady garden is an unexpectedly piece of nature. Here, plant species of the so-called Red List of endangered or extinct forest-species grow abundantly. Surprisingly, most of these species are simply for sale. From this natural garden the endangered plants can spread all over town. The city, with its extreme, man-made, varied circumstances of artificial rocks and endless hedgerow landscapes, offers opportunities for all kinds of rather picky plants that have become rare outside the city. By coincidence the biodiversity here is higher, as nature found a way to adapt in that very special eco-tope called city. So what if we actually start doing the best we can with nature? What if the billions of citizens who invest hundreds of hours and hundreds of euro’s every year in their gardens start to think of themselves as possible nature developers? That’s what this garden is a manifesto for.
The layout is rather simple: as a small human enclave in the abundantly wild green surroundings. The challenge in this tiny garden was how to deal with the shade. Five trees were already present, giving lots of shade while the new homeowners love the sun. By stretching the terrace to full length and moving it towards the edges of the garden you can sit in the sun all day. An outdoor oven is strategically positioned, to catch the last sun on a summer evening. In the centre of this concrete slab quadrate, there’s a lowered square of grass as a soft bed to lie in. The edge of the grass functions as a cushion, and so avoids a mess of garden chairs. A metal stairway connects to the porch. Surrounding the quadrate a gently sloping, higher border full of forest-plants (including wonderful rare evergreen ferns) continues smoothly into the totally leave-covered garden walls. Together with the existing trees they make the garden an evergreen oasis masking the surrounding buildings. Lying in the grass all you notice are leaves up in the sky, and the smell of forest.