Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The New Prairie Garden at Axel Vervoordt's Castle, Kasteel van's-Gravenwezel Belgium

Axel and May Vervoordt's new prairie garden was based off their love of abstract expressionist paintings, and was featured in this month's Vogue, July 2015  photographed by Jean-Pierre Gabriel.  Living in California in the middle of a drought I have been craving anything green with color.   The colors in the Vervoordt's garden are windswept and lush, changing with the seasons, perfect for cuttings for the home.  The 12th century castle sits on a 62 acre park with ponds, a canal, and gardens designed by the famous Belgian designer Jacques Wirtz.   It's just beautiful.

"Since we travel so much, our favorite vacation is simply to stay at

 home.  We spend as much time in the garden as possible eating all 

meals out there, to take advantage of the changing light.   Even 

when it rains we sit in the greenhouse."

-Axel Vervoordt

Along side of the orangery heleniums, achilleas, and echinacea are just a few of over 750 species of plants that grow here.

"Traditionally a prairie would be dominated by a variety of 

grasses, May and I chose the perennial plants and flowers we love 

that look natural and wild, and classified them by color, 

fading from yellow to orange, red, purple, and blue."  

- Axel Vervoordt

Painter Piet Raemdonck's prairie garden plan in mixed-media.  This would be lovely hung on a potting room's wall.

Once the castle's stables, now used for private dinners, the canal divides the large building from an organic potager, the inspiration for May's 2012 cookbook At Home with May and Axel Vervoordt.

Remnants of the past garden, the formal clipped boxwood gives visual structure to the wild prairie plants.

The tower of Kasteel van's-Gravenwezel

"In the past, I was always frustrated with the garden 

when things were not right.  

But since we have the prairie garden, I'm much more relaxed"

"We are not trying to rule nature; 

we are letting nature be the boss."

-Axel Vervoordt

An arbor deliciously covered in wisteria and passion flowers for en plein air dining.

To see the entire article visit: www.vogue.com


  1. I love all of his work and always adore your posts!! thanks for sharing!! xo Leslie sinclair

    1. I do as well! Although this rugged yet refined garden really tugs at me. xx Rié

  2. So lush and idyllic Rie! It is very green here ( at this point because of much rain)
    The heat is taking over however! So we enjoy the green surroundings while we can!

    The Arts by Karena

    1. I am so happy to hear it's green where you are! Lovely! xx Rié

  3. Stunningly beautiful post! It's easy to see why so many painters found their inspiration from that part of Europe with gardens and castles under such an incredible sky. Thank you for sharing!

    1. It's true! The Dutch master's are really my favorite, how could they not be inspired by such a lovely garden! Thank you for stopping by. All the best, Rié

  4. Such a beautiful garden! So carefree and lush!! I hope you are enjoying your summer, Rie. Cheers, L

    1. Carefree is the prefect word for this beautiful garden! Maybe in our next home I will follow suit. xx Rié

  5. I am extremely impressed along with your writing abilities, Thanks for this great share.

    1. How kind, thank you! I hope you are enjoying your summer.


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