A visit to the Japanese Garden can be nicely combined with the adjacent Park Clingendael. This expansive park offers extensive opportunities for walking and picnicking. Through winding forest trails, you’ll pass rolling lawns, rustic streams and historic structures.
If you walk through the main entrance to the Japanese Garden in the spring, you will automatically pass through the Star Forest, where man-sized hedges of Rhododendrons stand. In May / June, these are full of flowers and buds in cheerful colors. The sunlight through the imposing trees casts a magical light and shadow on the flowers and paths below.
Through a white terrace staircase, designed by landscape architect Springer, you walk to an Old Dutch Garden. Features of this formal garden style include: the geometric design, low boxwood hedges with topiary, flower beds, white gravel and a sundial in the center.
In earlier times, when bulbs were a prized possession, flower beds were often planted with bulbs. Gables around the plot were necessary for the drainage of rainwater in the wet Dutch climate. The garden was very labor-intensive to maintain; today steel bands in the ground prevent the pattern of boxwood hedges from running.
In popular speech, this part of Clingendael is called the “Old Dutch Garden,” but experts say the term “Dutch Garden” (“Dutch Garden”) would be a more accurate designation. Actually, the “Dutch Garden” is a Dutchified garden art, derived from both English and French garden styles, adapted to Dutch conditions.
The remnant of the Slinger Wall near the carriage house dates from 1730 and served as a fruit wall. On the southeast side of the wall, it was possible to grow non-native fruits from warmer regions, such as grapes, plums, pears and apricots. The coves of the winding wall protected the fragile blossoms and fruits from inclement north and west winds, and the stones gradually released the sun’s heat absorbed during the day at night so that the fruit was ready for harvest before winter.
The park also has an old farm house with nice colored shutters and a thatched roof.
Recreation in Park Clingendael
A large playing field in Park Clingendael offers plenty of space for badminton, frisbee and picnics. For the elderly, there are plenty of quiet spots in the playground to read a newspaper or book in the sunshine.
A little further on, at the back of the white terraced staircase, is playground De Geest. Biggest attraction for children is the extensive climbing fort, which many children enthusiastically use.
Park Clingendael has a simple restaurant/tea shop near the Japanese Garden.
Hiking trails & bridle paths in Park Clingendael
Park Clingendael has an extensive network of hiking trails. Two walking routes are marked with posts: both the red route (2 km) and the yellow route (4 km) start 50 meters to the right after the entrance gate of the main entrance on the Wassenaarseweg. A bridle path also runs through the dune forest of Clingendael.
Opening hours Park Clingendael
Address and accessibility
Clingendael 12a, 2597 VH The Hague, tel. 070-3533000
The main entrance to Park Clingendael is on the Wassenaarseweg, a side street of the Van Alkemadelaan. You can also enter the estate on the side of the Van Alkemadelaan, the Ruychrocklaan and the Van Ouwenlaan. You can park your car around the estate. Clingendael is also easily accessible by bus. There is unguarded bicycle parking at the main entrance.
Combine your visit to Westbroekpark
Visit nearby as well:
– The Keukenhof (until mid-May)
– Bloemencorso Bollenstreek (a few days in April)
– Westbroek Park / Rosarium (at its most beautiful in July; 20,000 rose bushes)
– Westland Floating Parade (one but last week in June)
– Madurodam (view Holland in 1-2 hours)
– beach of Scheveningen (sun sets in sea)
– City of Delft (tourist center)
History of Clingendael and Japanese Garden
Figure 1: The central garden of Clingendael through the centuries.
The transformation from formal (French) garden to landscape garden is clearly visible.
Legend: 1 = U-shaped ditch, 2 = pond, 3 = coach house, 4 = Huys Clingendael, 5 = gatehouse, 6 = moats, 7 = second pond, 8 = dike terrace, 9 = bowl.
Source: Gieskes, Joost S.H. (2009), Cascade, Bulletin of Garden History, 18th volume, no. 1, p. 34.
Freule Daisy (1871-1939)
Japan was an isolated island kingdom for centuries. It was not until 1860 that Japan, a huge country, developed into a central unitary state and opened its borders. In the early 20th century, Freule Daisy (Marguerite Mary Baroness Van Brienen, 1871 – 1939) was one of the few Europeans to make one or several trips to Japan. She became so inspired by Japanese garden art that she created a Japanese garden in the Star Forest. She had the lanterns, a water barrel, statuettes, bridges and possibly the pavilion brought over from Japan for this purpose. These authentic elements can still be seen in the Japanese Garden, as well as the whimsically shaped pond, the meandering stream and the winding paths with stepping stones. The Japanese Garden is the only Japanese garden from the early 20th century in the Netherlands and therefore of great historical value.
Freule Daisy maintained many foreign contacts and regularly rented out country house Clingendael to diplomats. As a result, Clingendael gained international fame and notoriety.
This brochure has been compiled with the utmost care. Nevertheless, users of this brochure cannot derive any rights from or claim the accuracy and completeness of its contents. We also do not accept liability for any (consequential) damage that may occur as a result.
All texts and images in this brochure are copyrighted by Den Delft. This means that nothing may be reproduced or copied without written permission from Den Delft.