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2019 Massachusetts Gardening Symposium

  • 30 Patten Rd, Westford, MA 01886 (map)

For your reading pleasure as you dream "Symposium dreams," here's a bit of background on one of our exciting 2019 speakers:

Jacqueline van der Kloet's  
personal garden (4)

Since the earliest days of her career, Dutch garden designer and plant specialist Jacqueline van der Kloet has learned from experience, using her own garden to experiment. The Tea Garden ("De Theetuin" in Dutch), Jacqueline's personal display garden in Weesp, The Netherlands, showcases combinations of perennials and bulbs, framed by trees and shrubs. Her goal? To create balance, rhythm and her trademark, naturalistic "painterly effect" by carefully coordinating plants' colors, textures, habits, and bloom periods.

Recognized today as one of the premier bulb designers in the world, Jacqueline aspired as a teen to become an artist but was persuaded by family and friends to take a more practical (but still decidedly artistic) path: studying landscape design. In the early 1980s she opened her own design and landscape architecture business. And the rest is history 

In addition to dozens of noteworthy installations in Europe, Jacqueline has worked extensively in the U.S., designing gardens and/or providing plant schemes for venues such as Battery Park (New York) and The Lurie Garden in Millennium Park (Chicago), where she joined forces with renowned landscape designer and fellow Netherlander, Piet Oudolf. She also created a "Seasonal Walk" plant scheme for the New York Botanical Garden and worked with Martha Stewart to underplant Martha's linden allée using an assortment of 116,000 blue-flowering Dutch bulbs that bloom successively and multiply rapidly. 

Jacqueline has also Designer Jacqueline van der Kloet in the Colorblends show garden (4)    collaborated with U.S. wholesale flower bulb merchant Colorblends on the design and plant scheme for the Colorblends House and Spring Garden Tour in Bridgeport, CT, which is open annually to the public.

On the other side of the Atlantic, one of Jacqueline's best known installations is at storied Keukenhof gardens in Amsterdam, where she created seven "Gardens of Inspiration," a series of borders dubbed "flower ribbons," a Bridal Avenue, and a huge perennial border featuring only tulips.  

Keukenhof's Bridal Avenue 
in bloom in April (4)

Some sources credit Jacqueline with "saving the tulip" by contemporizing how it is used: not in big monochromatic blocks but rather as part of a larger composition, interplanted with perennials. She was also the first designer to use softrather than "screaming" colors in tulip displays. 

Her designs are simple and easy to execute, even for the home gardener with limited space. In a small border Jacqueline typically uses 3 varieties of bulbs; 7 in a large border. Her recommended bulb planting technique -- which she calls "sprinkling" -- involves mixing large and small varieties together in a wheel barrow and then lightly tossing handfuls of them to be planted where they fall.  

Jacqueline will be speaking at this year's Massachusetts Gardening Symposium on the subject of "Magical Mixes." She will start with a series of images detailing the experiments she has conducted in her own garden. From there she will lead us on a virtual tour of her other projects around the world. In addition to inspiration, Symposium attendees are sure to take away a wealth of practical advice! 

Later Event: November 2
Fall Chrysanthemum Show