Piet Oudolf & Dutch Wave Gardens 2017

Piet Oudolf & Dutch Wave Gardens

  • August 8-16, 2017
  • $4,100  20% Off Sale $3,280
  • Visit Piet Oudolf’s private garden and explore the bold designs of the influential Dutch Wave designers.
  • Book now!

Piet Oudolf & Dutch Wave Gardens 

August 8 – 16, 2017 | 20% OFF SALE $3,280 (Reserve by July 8th)

Naturalistic planting styles are being enthusiastically embraced by plant lovers and designers from around the world. At the forefront of this movement is Dutch plantsman, Piet Oudolf (pronounced Peet Ow-dolf), whose work in private and public gardens is celebrated for its artistry in emulating the freedom and romance of natural habitats. Mr. Oudolf has described his approach this way, “My biggest inspiration is nature. I do not want to copy it but to recreate the emotion.” In this spirit, our travelers can expect to be awed by the gardens we will see on this tour and captivated by the rich history that continues to shape the trend toward naturalism in gardens today.

The heritage of this popular style can be traced back directly to Germany and The Netherlands where several figures were working in the early 20th century. German plant breeder Karl Foerster and his pupil Ernst Pagels introduced a new style of gardening with huge drifts of perennials and grasses that required little maintenance. Dutch landscape architect Mien Ruys was a friend of Foerster and she did much to popularize designs using loose groupings of herbaceous perennials that looked like native plants found in natural settings. Mien’s influence was widespread. She inspired Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden in the United States, who created the New American Garden style.

In The Netherlands, another naturalistic style, that later became known as the Dutch Wave, was adopted by four designers who began collaborating in the early 1980’s. They included Rob Leopold, owner of a wildflower seed company; Ton ter Linden, painter and garden designer; Henk Gerritsen, a designer, writer and plantsman; and Piet Oudolf, the designer who continues to inspire and influence the international gardening world.


August 8, Tuesday –  Arrive in The Netherlands at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
August 9, Wednesday – Jac. P. Thijssepark, Vlinderhof, Tuin “De Villa”
August 10,  Thursday – Noël van Mierlo, Kasteel Geldrop, Van Nature
August 11,  Friday – Oudolf/Hummelo, Hortvs
August 12, Saturday – Het Loo Palace, Kröller-Müller Museum
August 13, Sunday – Cruydt Hoeck, Priona,  Mien Ruys
August 14, Monday – Lianne’s Siergrassen, Dewit Garden Tools, Jakobstuin
August 15, Tuesday –  Garten Moorriem, De Kleine Plantage, Tuin aan het Wieltje
August 16, Wednesday – Depart for home or continue travels on your own

CarexTours strives to operate according to our published itinerary. However, in the event of unforeseen circumstances beyond our control or opportunities that would enhance the itinerary, adjustments may be necessary.


Day 1, August 8, Tuesday  – ARRIVE IN THE NETHERLANDS
  • Tour participants will independently arrange travel to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and have the opportunity to get settled before the garden tour starts on Wednesday. We’ll gather in the hotel bar to get acquainted at 6:00 PM for Welcome Cocktails.
  • What’s more appropriate than starting our Dutch Wave tour in a town renowned for its use of Dutch wildflowers? Just around the corner from Schiphol Airport is the suburb of Amstelveen with plantings that have been described as “intensified nature.” We’ll visit Jac. P. Thysse Park, named for a biologist who was an ardent devotee of native plants and birds. Designed by the late Christian P. Broerse, the park is home to just about every Dutch habitat imaginable and loaded with wild and semi-wild plantings. 
  • The Vlinderhof, or Butterfly Garden, is nestled in Maxima Park in Utrecht, and the garden plan is by acclaimed designer Piet Oudolf. Residents in the area asked Oudolf to design a garden within the park, to be maintained by volunteers.  Now, over 15,000 plants are planted in this  naturalistic setting attracting not only butterflies, but also many other beneficial insects.
  • Next we visit a relatively new private garden, Tuin “de Villa”. Started in 2004, the garden is located in a polder between meadows and cornfields on land reclaimed from the sea. Here, Fried and Lily Frederix, the owners, have made themselves a contemporary garden. There will be much to enjoy in their crisp, diagonal design that will lead our eyes to the Dutch Wave garden far in the rear.  The Frederix’s have turned a pasture into a rich tapestry of texture & color.  Grasses move in the breeze and pollinators buzz around flowering shrubs and perennials. If you like to shoot videos, this is the garden for you.
  • We’ll start the day by visiting a private garden designed by Noël van Mierlo. Known for his naturalistic style, van Mierlo is a three-time winner of the National Garden of the Year Award plus the Most Sustainable Garden, Netherlands and the Most Natural Pool. Getting a chance to see a garden by such an accomplished designer is a treat we’ll long remember.
  • Next we travel to Kasteel Geldrop, a 14th century castle, to see the work of planting designer John Schoolmeesters. He came to this garden in 2005 to turn the walled fruit and vegetable garden into a contemporary naturalistic perennial and grass garden. The end result is a prime example of a post Dutch Wave garden with an emphasis on color, texture, and shape.
  • Van Nature is also a post Dutch Wave display garden and nursery started in 2013 by landscaper Frank van der Linden, nursery woman Caroline van Heeswijk, and garden designer Frank Heijligers.  Here we’ll see ornamental grasses and perennials that may be difficult to find but have been trialed in the display garden for low maintenance & good habit in all seasons. That’s a tall order but it will be fascinating to see what combinations they recommend.
Day 4, August 11, Friday – OUDOLF/HUMMELO, HORTVS
  • Piet Oudolf’s private garden at Hummelo has become a place of pilgrimage for thousands of followers from around the world. As the master designer of the New Perennials style of naturalistic planting (which, of course, started as Dutch Wave), Oudolf’s garden is a place of experimentation and testing and therefore, constant change. Enclosed by typical Dutch hedges, the interior garden explodes with familiar and new plants in an exuberant, unconventional display. Oudolf has said, “What I try to do is build an image of nature.” Here we’ll see his current image of nature and draw inspiration from Oudolf’s own innovations. This will be a garden experience we’ll never forget.
  • We’ll dip into Germany to see Hortvs, the private garden of designer and author Peter Janke, considered a rising star in the German landscape design world. The design is inspired by the work of British plantswoman, Beth Chatto, with whom Janke studied in England. We’ll see a meadow, a gravel garden, a woodland garden with simple mulched paths, and a wild, abundant herb garden. It’s geometric and organic, a beautiful mixture of classic and modern styles.
Day 5, August 12, Saturday – HET LOO, KRÖLLER-MÜLLER
  • Today we take a break from Dutch Wave gardens and visit two places that are important to Dutch culture. One is historical and the other is modern.
  • At Het Loo Palace, we’ll see an example of 17th century formal Dutch garden design, heavily influenced by the French – about as far away as one could get from Dutch Wave. The Great Garden in the back of the palace was designed by a nephew of André Le Nôtre and has a symmetrical axial layout with radiating gravel walks, parterres, statuary, and fountains. In the 18th century, the original Baroque garden was destroyed to make way for a landscape park but it was restored for the palace’s 300th anniversary in 1984. There continue to be renovations. Recently the boxwood in the parterres were pulled out due to boxwood blight and replaced with a cultivar of Ilex crenata.
  • The Kröller-Müller Museum is an art museum and sculpture garden set in a national park. We’ll spend some time here at the museum itself, seeing the second-largest collection of paintings by Vincent Van Gogh (after the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam) and works by Picasso, Gauguin, Mondrian, and Seurat among many other artists. We’ll also want to see the sculpture garden, which has an equally renowned collection of modern sculptures in a beautiful park setting. Then, if there’s time, we’ll walk along the Ecological Walking Route or perhaps take advantage of the free bikes and cycle around the 75 acre national park.
Day 6, August 13, Sunday –CRUYDT HOECK, PRIONA, MIEN RUYS
  • Today our first stop is Cruydt-Hoeck, the seed nursery started by the late Rob Leopold, a specialist in wildflower seeds and one of the founding members of the Dutch Wave movement. Leopold established the nursery in 1978 to preserve the biodiversity of wild plants, bees, butterflies, and other animals, offering seed mixtures for native wildflower plantings and flower meadows. His influence continues today. A connection with Leopold’s work can be made to the much acclaimed landscaping done with seed mixtures at the recent London Olympics site. Since Leopold’s death in 2005, the nursery continues under the leadership of Jasper Helmantel and Jojanneke Bijkerk, designers who are experts in Dutch Wave principles.
  • Next we visit Priona, the home garden of the late Henk Gerritsen, one of the founding members of the Dutch Wave. Gerritson is credited with developing the main principles of Dutch Wave design and it shows throughout the garden. Wild and cultivated plants grow next to each other. Weeds and pests are tolerated in the name of naturalism. Gerritson said his design principle is simple: “What is straight should be curved, what is curved should be straight.” We’ll discuss what that means after our visit to this garden which author Noel Kingsbury has described as “magical and entertaining … wild and zany.”
  • Our last garden of the day is the important Tuinen Mien Ruys. Here we’ll pay homage to the woman many call the “Mother of Modernism,” landscape architect Mien Ruys (1904-1999). She made these gardens over a period of 70 years and they’re a reflection of her amazing creativity. Her style is distinctly architectural but the plantings are loose and naturalistic. There are 28 gardens in all, incorporating old and new styles while using unusual materials and perennial introductions from her father’s internationally renowned nursery. Above all, Ruys was experimental. Never afraid to try new things, her garden was an inspiration to the founders of Dutch Wave as it has been to designers from all over the world.
  • The theme of today’s first garden could be summarized simply as “Plants, Plants, Plants!” Lianne’s Siergrassen is a well respected Dutch nursery that specializes in Dutch Wave ornamental grasses and perennials. Not only has the owner, Lianne Pot, indulged her passion and brought together a virtual living encyclopedia of grasses, she has also created a demonstration Prairie Style Garden arranged in curving beds with over 12,000 dynamic plants. There’s probably not one moment in the year that this garden isn’t beautiful.
  • The Dutch are known for making some of the finest garden tools in the world so we’re very fortunate that DeWit Garden Tools has invited us to visit their factory and maybe even get a chance to make our own tools. The company was started by Willem de Wit in 1898, and today, the 4th generation of the family is running the forging operation. You’ll note the old-fashioned, top-notch quality, along with innovative designs.
  • We continue our tour at Jakobstuin, a garden that falls somewhere between Oudolf’s current style and Prairie Style. The owner and designer, Jaap de Vries, calls Jakobstuin an “Ode to the Dutch Wave.” In addition to warm season grasses typical of the North American Prairie, de Vries also uses many perennial selections favored in the New Perennial movement and arranges plants in the currently popular matrix pattern. Look carefully and you’ll notice that he pays particular attention to texture, form, and light, which is probably the reason his daily photo posts on Facebook are loved by hundreds of followers.
  • Our final day starts with a drive into Germany where we’ll visit Garten Moorriem, Ute and Albrecht Ziburski’s garden begun in 2006. Starting at the 300 year old house, we’ll see skillful combinations of perennials and grasses that get wilder the farther away from the house they are.  We’ll cross a garden bridge to see the final plantings that come into their full glory in late summer against the backdrop of a wide, native meadow landscape.  This is a garden that plays with the illusion of naturalness to achieve great atmospheric effect.
  • We’ll return to The Netherlands to visit, Kwekerij De Kleine Plantage, a specialty nursery very much in the spirit of the Dutch Wave.  In its beautiful display garden, we’ll see the latest in sturdy, textural perennials and grasses planted in alcoves along a crisp, hedge-lined avenue extending from the house.  Since everything is labeled, this will be our chance to find out the names of those plants that we’ve been seeing all week but didn’t know. De Kleine Plantage will remain in our memories as a green oasis showing great love for plants and design.
  • The final garden of our tour is Tuin aan het Weeltje, a private garden designed by Piet Oudolf. Large groups of grasses are combined with delicately colored perennials.  Here will be our chance to see how Oudolf’s ideas fit into a home garden with typical Dutch landscape elements of water, reed, and ancient willow trees. Maybe we’ll pick up some tips to apply to our own gardens when we get home.
Day 9, August 16, Wednesday – DEPART or CONTINUE TRAVELS
  • Our time together will come to an end but the true garden lover always finds fresh inspiration wherever she is. Travelers can choose to return home or carry on the adventure. We’ll provide coach transfer to the airport at 8:00 AM for those with flights leaving at 11:00 AM or later. Or you can take the train or taxi from Centraal Station to the airport.


Hotel Accommodations

After a day filled with garden inspiration and botanical discoveries, we will retire to the comfort and convenience of 4 star accommodations. All hotels are thoughtfully appointed and have a first class rating. Rooms are double occupancy with the option for a single room for an additional fee.

August 8: Sheraton Amsterdam Hotel

August 9-11: Hotel Groot Warnsborn

August 12-14: Prinsenhof Groningen

August 15: Double Tree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station

Coach Travel

Daily transportation will be provided by a modern, comfortable coach operated by an experienced driver.


We’ve taken care of the details. Hotels, garden admissions, and most meals are included in the price of the tour.

Tour price:
  • $4,100 $3,280 per person, double occupancy.
  • +$1000 $800 per person, single occupancy.
Tour price includes:
  • All 4 star hotel accommodations.
  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 7 dinners.
  • Admission to all gardens.
  • Friendly and knowledgeable professional tour coordinator.
  • Design and botanical expertise of your CarexTours host.
Tour price excludes:
  • Airfare. This tour is confirmed and you may book your own flights after you have secured your reservation.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Ground transportation between hotel and airport on departure day.
  • 3 lunches, 1 dinner, drinks, and snacks.
  • Meals on arrival and departure days.
Payment schedule:
  • Payment, in full, is due when your reservation is made.



CarexTours, LLC is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the state of Maryland in the U.S. CarexTours hosts garden tours operated by Garden Tours. As the hosting organization, CarexTours  provides reservation services and has designated Garden Tours, a professional tour operator, as its designated tour operator. As the designated tour operator, Garden Tours conducts the actual tour at the garden sites. Garden Tours also acts as an agent for services connected with specific tours hosted by CarexTours such as ground transportation, lodging accommodations, and meals. Each service provider is solely responsible to the participant for providing their respective services.

By making a reservation for a tour hosted by CarexTours, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. CarexTours and Garden Tours, reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a tour hosted by CarexTours.


Published tour prices are based upon current exchange rates, tariffs and taxes. Fluctuations in these rates could result in a price adjustment without prior notice until the tour is paid in full. Once the price for the tour is paid in full, the fee will not be adjusted due to any later change in exchange rates, tariffs or taxes.

Liabilities & booking conditions:

Garden Tours is established in the Netherlands, and rights and responsibilities for all tours operated by Garden Tours will be governed by Dutch and EU laws only. CarexTours and Garden Tours will have responsibility only for the proven negligent acts and omissions of its employees or agents and suppliers, sub-contractors, servants and/or agents of the same while acting within the scope of or in the course of their employment in respect of claims arising as a result of death, bodily injury, or illness caused to the signatory to the contract and/or any other named persons on the booking form.


All participants in Garden Tours agree to comply with a non-smoking policy on all coaches and in all lodging places.


CarexTours and Garden Tours have no responsibility or liability to any person for loss of baggage, money or other property whatsoever. CarexTours and Garden Tours have no responsibility or liability for any loss or additional expenses caused by delay or interruption to travel services through weather conditions (such as rain, wind or fog), civil disturbance, riot, illegal acts of third parties, strikes, wars, floods, sickness or any circumstances amounting to Force Majeure.


In the unlikely event that you have a complaint, you must promptly inform the Garden Tours tour guide directly, so he/she can take remedial action on the spot. If the matter cannot be solved directly, any complaints must be submitted in writing to Garden Tours within 20 days after the date of your return.

Your tour canceled by us:

CarexTours and Garden Tours aim to provide your tour as booked. But if, for example, there are not enough people booked on your tour or you do not pay the balance of the tour price on time, we may cancel it. We reserve the right to cancel your tour in any circumstances, but if we cancel your tour, except where this is because you have not paid, you will receive a full refund.

Changes in itinerary details:

CarexTours and Garden Tours strive to operate according to our published itinerary. However, in the event of unforeseen circumstances beyond our control or opportunities that would enhance the itinerary, adjustments may be necessary or appropriate. CarexTours and Garden Tours reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants. CarexTours will let you know about any important changes when you make your reservation. If you have already made your reservation, CarexTours will let you know as soon as we can if there is time before your departure.

Cancellations & refunds:

If you should need to withdraw from the tour for whatever reason, you must notify CarexTours in writing. Cancellation becomes effective when written notice is received. The following cancellation charges will apply:

  • Cancel May 31, 2017 or before, the refund will be the deposit (or full payment, if that is what you paid as a deposit) less $200 administrative fee.
  • Cancel June 1, 2017 or after, there will be no refund. See “Insurance” item below.

Travel insurance is required in case you have health emergencies or other unforeseen issues arise. World Nomads is one well regarded company. It can be found at www.worldnomads.com. You might also try “Insure My Trip”, a travel insurance search site found at www.insuremytrip.com. You may identify other travel insurance providers on your own. Before departure, you will be required to provide evidence that you have obtained travel insurance.

To book this tour, contact Carolyn Mullet at camullet@gmail.com or 240 429 0889.

Your reservation will be secured after a credit card deposit/full payment is received.

Deposit amount: $1,000.
Full payment (double occupancy): $4,100.  $3,280
Single supplement: +$1000. $800

Additional information about the CarexTours costs, including details about inclusions and exclusions, can be viewed on our pricing page.