Mien Ruys Gardens at present

Somewhere tucked away in the country in The Netherlands lies a green monument of 6,2 acres that originated through the creativity and enthusiasm of just one woman. For 70 years the garden architect Mien Ruys used her ideas about plantation and garden architecture to create a fascinating garden. Since her death this inheritance has been managed by The Mien Ruys Gardens Foundation, a non-profit organization.

The Gardens are now a sequence of thirty gardens which have been designed and laid out according to both old and new ideas with a well balanced combination of plants. It is the experimental character of the gardens which make them so important to garden lovers and garden specialists. The Mien Ruys Gardens form a source of inspiration for those interested in gardens and garden architecture. Also an oasis of peace for anyone who just wants to enjoy a few hours of quiet….

These famous gardens, beautifully situated in Dedemsvaart (Overijssel) distinguish themselves from other public gardens in The Netherlands in several ways;

  • The three oldest gardens have been declared national monuments since October 2004. In 2014 another six gardens earned the status of national monument. The whole Garden complex forms a local council monument.
  • The Mien Ruys Gardens give a chronological overview of 20th century Garden architecture. This unique heritage has been kept in its original form and illustrates all the different periods of the work of Mien Ruys.
  • They are experimental gardens. New combinations of plants and garden materials are tried out. In this way there are often new developments to be seen in the field of garden architecture.
  • The Gardens are open to visitors who are able to gather ideas for their own gardens. Moreover the knowledge which has been obtained from design, plantation and upkeep of the gardens is made known though publications, conducted tours, lectures, courses, and ‘theme’ days. For groups special arrangements can be made to suit the group.

Although The Mien Ruys Gardens stand for experimenting and renovation, not everything has to change of course. Some of the old experimental gardens are kept in their original state with much care and attention. The very first experimental gardens where plants were tested in sun and shade remain as they were. They form the basis of a long garden history. Also several of the gardens designed just after the war remain unchanged. These are beautiful examples of garden architecture following the principles and style of ‘functionalism’. A striking example is the sunken garden with the railway sleepers. Also the Parterre Garden designed in squares with washed gravel paving stones, the Water Garden with little raised walls and the Standard Perennial borders all add their own infinite value. They are unique in Europe and for that reason from a cultural-historical point of view they are invaluable.