Spaensweerd is a small castle built in 1650 on the remains of an earlier building dating back from 1326.
In 1835 the castle was renovated for the last time, in the empire style, and this is how it remains today. Here endeth the history lesson and we move on to the fun bit: the gardens!
The gardens are very romantic in style with many lovely old fashioned and fragrant roses, arbours, topiary, over 200 meters of colourful borders, long vistas, striking views of the surrounding countryside and, set like a jewel in the crown, the castle itself.
Several old and even rare trees grow in the lovely gardens, some trees were planted around 1835. The gardens are privately owned but open garden days are held every year. More information can be found on their website.
Spaensweerd is situated in the province of Gelderland, the Netherlands, not all that far away from Huis Voorstonden and Piet Oudolf's nursery and gardens.
Two years ago I visited the gardens of Spaensweerd on a beautiful, sunny summer's day. The pictures I took are not what I'd like them to be because of the too bright daylight. Anyhow, we went on our bikes (how very Dutch) from Voorstonden to Spaensweerd and the trip took us about 20 minutes. By the way, Piet Oudolf is about 1 1/2 hours' drive away by car.
They do B&B at Spaensweerd, so if you want to experience what it's like to (pretend to) be lord or lady of the manor, here's your chance. Hmmm, I'm beginning to sound like the tourist information board (VVV in Dutch).
Although Spaensweerd has large gardens, they feel very intimate and personal. I loved the old fashioned roses and their wonderful scent. We spent over 2 hours there and it was absolute bliss. The gardens are very tranquil and they clearly have been designed by people who just love to garden and are not made to impress but to be enjoyed. And that's exactly what I did, to my heart's content.
The castle hath a pleasant seat; the air/
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself/
Unto our gentle senses.
William Shakespeare, Macbeth