Seize this rare opportunity to explore some canal gardens. This year, at least 25 canal houses will open their private gardens to the public. The Open Garden Days event takes place every year in June.
There are hundreds of wonderful gardens hidden behind the canal houses. On an aerial photo, or Google satellite, you can see just how much green there is behind all the canal buildings. Some belong to private homes; others are part of business premises, cafés, or museums.
It feels like you've arrived in paradise in some of these oases. Secluded from the traffic and the outside world, it's the birdsong you hear here. Everything is tasteful, no money spared; the garden seats, brick and stone paths, steps and patios, are all exquisite.
So if you're a gardener, or just love sniffing around in gardens, then this event may be just your thing. Mind you, a lot of these gardens will make you green with envy!
Although these gardens are usually quite small by British & U.S. standards, the size and age of the trees and plants thriving ‘behind the scenes’ will astound you. Green and leafy, and housing enormous copper beeches, or a huge Taxodium distichum (swamp cypress), oaks, birches, landscaped lawns, patios, little wooded areas, formal water gardens, bridges, sensationally sculpted hedges – you'll encounter it all in these gardens.
The Garden Pass (passe-partout) costs € 18 (2015 price) and entitles you to entry to all of the 25+ gardens during the three days. You can buy the pass in some of the gardens and definitely at Museum van Loon. Museum van Loon is a good example of a canal-house garden, is centrally situated, and you can visit this museum or garden all year round. Museum van Loon, Keizersgracht 672
Seeing as you have your hand in the bucket so to speak, why not take a few rambles in the city centre to see what Amsterdammers do with their (mostly miniscule) pavement gardens.
The following walks will take you past some great Amsterdam street-gardens, many of which will have your eyes out on stalks.
Lots to see on this short, round-trip walk, which is stunning on a beautiful morning or evening. During the day it is lovely too but it is more noisy and busy and this spoils its surprising city centre serenity. You can start on the Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug) and then follow the Amstel in a southerly direction. After that, the walk takes you through the Frederiksplein and Falckstraat, both of which are green oases.
This walk is very short and central yet gets you away from ‘the madding crowd’. It is easy to do in the evening and because you'll encounter umpteen bridges with their lovely lights, it's great after dark too.
With street names like Roses Street (Rozenstraat), Eglantine Street (Egelantierstraat), Flower Canal (Bloemgracht), it should be no surprise that this area is blooming. The Jordaan is an area of little canals and streets, little bridges, little houses; everything here has big ‘cute’ appeal. In the morning or evening, it has a restful atmosphere, especially during the weekend.
Gorgeous green walk which you can start on the Amstel in the centre. Includes two small parks with great trees and the pavement gardens in this area are hard to beat.
These walks are very central, check out our site if you're up for a longer walk or just keen to try more.
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