Design and planting
In the fifties Mien Ruys often used the diagonal line in garden designs by houses orflats with a common entrance , many of which were being built at that time in The Netherlands. The rectangular shape of the gardens offered possibilities using a diagonal line. Mien subsequently became known as ‘Diagonal Mien’.
A diagonal line in the terrace brings the grass and the plants up closer to the house. Looking out through the patio doors the view is of plants and grass and not of paving stones.
Both borders in this garden have strong, long flowering plants in bright colours. One side of the garden is fenced off with a hedge of Thuja plicata and on the other side there are the shrubs from the Ruys in’t Riet garden. At the water’s edge in front of the house the garden is partly fenced off with a palisade which continues around the corner to the boundary at the side of the house. From the house there is a view across the water to the other side of the Gardens.
The name ‘Wiekend’ has a double meaning. It is not only the weekend home of Mien Ruys but also the end of the stretch of water which in Dutch is called ‘wiek’.
In 2013 the summer cottage ‘Wiekend’ was completely renovated using a design by Henk Hamhuis and is now used as a ‘House of Knowledge’.
In the fifties, when Mien Ruys’s parental home was sold, she was living in Amsterdam. In order to have somewhere to stay in The Gardens, an old pigsty was turned into a summer cottage, designed by the architect Ben Merkelbach. During the last years of her life, Mien Ruys lived here permanently until she died in 1999. The Summer cottage garden was always Private property until this was included in the garden walk in 2006.