Bôômbos | 13 June 2018

The garden at Bôômbos was also 500m2, but very different in many respects. Bôômbos was a morning garden, while Veerdiek is an evening garden. It has to do with location, with the way the light passes across the garden. It’s a mysterious thing, really. The entrance to the garden was also very different: Veerdiek is entered on the long side, Bôômbos on the short side. It makes for a completely different experience. In one case you take in the whole of the garden at a single glance – the more so because of the high vantage point on the dike – in the other case you’re sucked inside, onto the path, to discover the garden.

Actually Bôômbos has long been the name of an area, a patch of land behind the football pitch. My mother’s great-grandmother was called Granny Bôômbos.

Her real name was Aaltje Hooze and she was married to Korstiaan Abraham Prince, my great-great-grandfather, who had a cartwright’s shop near Bôômbos. In my family, the story goes that my mother knows things “from before she was born”. For instance, Granny Bôômbos, who later in life became nearly blind, is supposed to have said to my mother: “Ah, sweetheart, let me feel your eyes.” Aaltje died in 1926, my mother was born in 1925.

Nothing is impossible.

The Bôômbos garden was offered to us in 1989 for 500 guilders by Piet Boot, the son of carpenter Boot. My grandfather (called Corre Liek) was the other carpenter in the village. My brother became the owner of the garden, but I was allowed to work in it.
This garden too we divided into four parts, but with a central grassy way. This was somewhat born out of necessity, as when we first got there we removed a lot of turf and didn’t know where to put it, so the most practical thing to do was to turn it into a path.

Bôômbos, 24 December, 1992


At the back we planted some ash trees to break the northerly winds a little. A mixed hedge all around, with a small beech arch. At the back to the right there was plenty of space for compost heaps, and to the left there was a patch of grass where we planted a walnut tree. The photo was taken on 24 December, 1992, when we still thought that lavender would want to grow there, but it turned out the garden was far too wet for that.

We soon got to know the mole cricket, a spectacular prehistoric insect that likes gnawing off young plants and piercing potatoes. We gave up growing potatoes pretty soon at Bôômbos, it was no good. Which meant there was more space for flowers. Every year I sowed cut flowers in the front part, annuals in neat little rows because it makes weeding easier.

Bôômbos, 2 October, 2011


Bôômbos could be magical. Paradise.

Bôômbos, 12 January, 2014


But keeping 1000m2 of garden while wanting to do other things too was just not viable. My brother sold the garden. The new owners have introduced a different concept.

Bôômbos, 17 April, 2017


Every once in a while I go and have a look. Searching for remnants of what was there in our time. The ash trees are still there, as is the walnut.

Forever homesick.