Historic sites with a beautiful Stinzenplant vegetation occur at various locations in the Netherlands. These areas occur on very different soil types.
Stinzenplants by definition are not present als wild plants in the vicinity of the park/garden. This means that these plants do not propogate easily on the type of soil in the vicinity of these areas, otherwise they would have settled there. The fact that these plants do flourish in historical areas means that the management is adapted to the appearance of these plantson the one hand and on the other hand that the soil has been improved so that the plants can grow well here. The soil types on which these areas have been created vary from calcareous clay soil, sandy peat, to poor acid sandy soil. None of these types of soil is in itself very suitable for most Stinzenplants.
Currently there is interest again to plant new bulbs on a fairly large scale. This has also happened in the past. However, the results are at present often disappointing. At Swichum, for example, Winter Aconites were planted on a large scale a few years ago, but as far as we have understood, unfortunately with little result.
Hackfort castle and the Baak country house are both located near Vorden. The native type of soil here is fairly poor sand. End of winter and early spring the beautiful park forest around House Baak with its many old trees that are widely spaced from each other, is a fairy tale with undulating carpets of snowdrops and fields of Winter Aconites. There is also a beautiful patch with Dutch Crocus mixed with Snowdrops. It is a small miracle that this beauty is located in this place. This is only possible due to the great work and expertise of our ancestors. It now takes relatively little effort to maintain such a site. A not too intensive management adapted to the Stinzenflora is sufficient to be able to enjoy every year this beautiful Stinzenflora very early in the year.
In front of the Hackfort castle there is a lawn with a few solitary trees that are full of Dutch Crocus and a varying amount of snowdrops. It is striking that the Dutch Crocus is not only purple, but that there are also many white specimens. Just like at the Baak estate, the gras is covered in early spring with a sea of flowers, only very different in character than at Huis Baak. An impressive sight, it is only a shame that the site is only occasionally open for the public.
Along the avenues of the park forest near the castle, a lot of Stinzenbulbs have been planted in recent years to a design and under the guidance of Trudi Woerdeman. Trudi has experience at De Warande with the construction of a garden with stinzenplanten on acid sandy soil. A great deal of attention has therefore been given to the improvement of the soil. The transition from the forest where no action has been taken, to the part where intensive management and planting has occurred is clearly visible. At the untreated forest floor there are brambles and ferns, while in the managed part the newly introduced vegetation is developing.We are curious to see how this area will develop in the coming years.
Smilde has a garden with a rich Stinzenflora near a stately home that was built in the early 20th century as a mayor’s residence: Stinzentuin op ‘t Kloosterveen. The soil type here is a mixture of sand and peat. So again a completely different starting point compared to the estates in the vicinity of Vorden. There is a lot of Wild hyacint present and also a lot of Snowflakes. Both plant species flourish in the soil that has been created here. Typical for such an area is considerable variation of soil type and vegetation at a short distance from each other. This result is due to the policy that successive residents have had. Last year the house was sold and the new residents appreciate the existing Stinzenflora just like the previous residents.
Martenastate near Koarnjum is busy to transform the recently bought grove, which borders the park forest of Martenastate, into a grove with a rich biodiversity. The existing tree stock has been heavily diluted, new trees and shrubs have been planted, new paths have been laid out and Stinzenplants have also been introduced. The terrain is somewhat lower than the old park forest. The type of soil is old sea clay which received a considerable amount of pond dredging before the original grove was planted. The subsoil is decalcified and slightly acidic. The undergrowth consisted partly of a rich nettle vegetation. It is quite a challenge to turn this area into a grove of great biodiversity with a rich Stinzenflora that can easily propagate. Here too, good soil management is the basis for a successful result.
Finally, we give some attention to areas that are located just behind the dunes. In the 17th century many estates were created in these areas, as for instance Huis te Manpad (Heemstede). The soil type in this area is a calcareous sandy soil. Our ancestors have invested a lot in soil improvement at these locations.
A nice example of a rich Stinzenplants vegetation in such area is park Sorghvliet near The Hague. A forest meadow in the is covered in spring with a carpet of Wild hyacint. Sorghvliet was founded by Jacob Cats in 1643. The estate Elswout near Overveen is another example of a 17th century park created just behind the dunes with a rich vegetation of Stinzenflora.