Destination- The gardens of Thijsse hof


Photo by Peter

Thijsse Hoff is a wildlife garden in Bloemendaal within the municipality and town in Northern Holland and is one of the oldest wildlife gardens in Europe and around the world. 

This garden was designed by Leonard Springer a landscape architect, who created a natural environment & vegetation to help preserve the native wildlife in the area, Also Kees Sipkes who owned a nursery near the city of Haarlem planted native plants in the gardens.
It was given to Jac. P. Thijsse as a 60th birthday gift by his friends in 1925 who wanted to give him a garden which he truly wished for a long period of time.
Jacobus Pieter Thysse was a botanist and conservationist who founded the society of the preservation of nature monuments in the Netherlands which purchases, protects and maintains nature reserves in the country.
The Jac P. Thijsse wildlife park in Amstelveen, Northern Holland was also named after him, he also wrote several garden journals, magazines and two books.
He planned to name the gardens Frederik Van Eeden after the Dutch botanist but was changed to Thijisse Hof as he disliked his friends alternative chosen name of the garden of Eeden.

The wildlife garden consists of many types of vegetation which include:

The dune woodland- has a lovely natural habitat filled with native shrubs plants and trees such as Yew, hazel, bird cherry (prunus padus), European beech (Fagus sylvatica), but mostly consists of oak trees (quercus robur). Below the trees are many flowers which bloom at different seasons of the year such as bell bells, primrose, bird in the bush, leopards bane and wood anemone. Also the delicate snowdrops and Spring snowflake especially looks beautiful in Winter. The woodland also attracts woodland wildlife and birds.

The dune scrub- is a scrub land that is filled with woody shrubs and other types that include grasses and herbs on Calcareous soil, The garden contains shrubs such as the Spin tree, hawthorn, sea buckthorn, buckthorn and barberry.

The pond is at the centre point of the gardens which is surrounded by natural grasses, shrubs and trees such as mare’s tail and spiked water milfoil, there is also fringed water lilies growing in the pond. This area of the garden has many wildlife including birds, dragonflies and other insects. There is also a statue of Thijisse Hof Near to the pond.

The dune slack is an area for plants which grows near or on surrounding ground water, these include yellow loosestrife, meadowsweet and Southern march orchid.

The dry dune grassland has tall dry grasses and wildflowers in Spring/Summer which include salad burnet, knapweed and field scabious.

The coppice- is a woodland with trees that have been cut back to ground level.