Portrait of us in the garden in Gouda, painted by Mary Grooteman

Martin is a keen gardener. In our first house together, in Gouda, we started with bare earth and weeds. He made a design for the garden and over the next twelve years, developed it into a space that had terraces and lawn, borders, trees and shrubs. It was only small, but it gave us a lot of satisfaction.



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Now that we’re at De Witte Wand, he’s able to follow his passion on a much bigger canvas. We have 7,425 m2 or nearly two acres to deal with here. About half of that has been left as an open field, the rest of the plot around the house has been developed as gardens.


We have two ponds, one at the entrance side of the house and one at the back. These were originally developed by the previous owners. We’ve left the one at the front more or less unchanged, but have had the one at the back redeveloped into a formal pond with a terrace at the side.

The pond at the front side of the house


Martin has a fondness for Hostas, and he has over 35 different varieties in the garden.


Summer or Winter, the garden always has something to make it worthwhile…


You can find lots more photos of the garden at De Witte Wand up on Flickr here.

3 Responses to Gardens

  1. Cher says:

    OMG Geoff, You live in my dream estate. LOL I have a gay friend who is like your Martin. I wish her were straight, I’d marry him. G I have a rather large property for the city. I’m in Boston MA USA which is as citified as you can get. I have more property than anyone in the whole city, and we are behind two story hi privacy hedges. I have several veggie gardens now, and a serperate sweeet potato garden I started this spring. One sweet potato is over a dollar here and I have a houesful of birds plus a dog and Mom and I love them so I gave it a whirl and they are fantastic (beauregard). I have floral beds as well, and lots of bulbs in the spring are magnificant. It is my outdoor photo studio. I had a hole dug for a waterfall and pond but our money was stolen from a local single branch bank and now we are financially devastated with a huge hole in the property…very sad, as have gone thru 6 agencies and no one will help us. I live in a town that is riddled with corruption and the authorities will stand behind any crook who will profit them. Your gardens are gorgous, Martin is to be congratulated for his devotion and hard work. I know how difficult it is as I am chronically ill. I have nor been out there for over 3 months now due to illness and other tradgedy but I;m not a quitter and if I can get a handle on things by the spring will send some before and after maybe Martin will enjoy seeing next year. Cher.

  2. What a Beautiful Estate! I almost fainted when I saw those pictures!

  3. joe75 says:

    Lovely Gardens.
    Congratulations on you both

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