Double Dutch

Reading time 4 minutes

Earlier this year I was contacted by Kristel Engelen at Dutch gardening magazine ‘Tuinieren’, asking if The Frustrated Gardener would like to be featured on the publication’s ‘online harvest’ page. Flattered, I sent off an image of RHS Harlow Carr that Kristel had requested (above) with some information about myself. I promptly forgot all about it.

It was only last week when The Netherlands unexpectedly shot up my blog’s league table of views by country that I became curious, eventually realising that Kristel’s write-up must have appeared on the magazine’s website. I arrived in Broadstairs this weekend to find a copy of Tuinieren (the Dutch word for gardening) wedged unceremoniously into the letter box.

I am happy to report that Tuinieren is a lovely publication, a sleek hybrid of the English Garden and Gardens Illustrated, full of stylish imagery, pratical tips and great features. The September issue celebrates grasses, hydrangeas and colour-themed borders. It’s a publication I often pick up at the newsagent in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport for the flight home, even if I can only appreciate the fine photography. I feel very proud to be have been included and am delighted to welcome readers from The Netherlands to The Frustrated Gardener.

Tuinieren's September issue focusses on hydrangeas, known as hortensias in The Netherlands
Tuinieren’s September issue focusses on hydrangeas, known as hortensias in The Netherlands

For those of you who are not fluent in Dutch (needless to say I am one of them), Kristel’s article translates as follows:

This spectacular midsummer border was photographed by blogger Dan Cooper in the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society at Harlow Carr. We want the same look, so we asked Dan more about the planting combination.


“You can see a mix of perennials that bloom until late summer. With blue thistle (eryngium), solar herb (helenium), veronicastrum and bergamot (monarda). Because they are planted in the garden’s main border the plants are arranged in large groups and repeated on both sides”.


Dan calls himself a keen gardener, but this really is an understatement. He studied Landscape Management and has two gardens: one in London and one in Kent on the east coast of England in Broadstairs. As if he’s not busy enough, he reports frequently on his wonderful blog There is little time left for Dan to garden. Now you understand immediately where his frustration comes from!

Enjoy more Dutch gardening style at

The main borders at RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate, Yorkshire
The main borders at RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate, Yorkshire


Categories: Flowers, Musings, Perennials

Posted by The Frustrated Gardener

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8 comments On "Double Dutch"

    1. I have indeed. It was all going so well until the middle of August, but the weather has been cold and miserable since, slowing everything down. Personally, I am hoping for a balmy autumn as we have holidays coming up!

  1. Congrats, Dan! You have achieved one of the things I aspired to in the heyday of my gardening, but never achieved!
    Talking of heyday – I found myself paging through some older blog entries recently; between end-of-winter-blues and a general sense of having passed my gardening prime, it was a bittersweet thing to do.
    Oh – ‘tuinieren’ in fact means ‘gardeners’ not ‘gardening’. Afrikaans, my other mother tongue, developed from Dutch, and I read it 95% fluently, having also studied Dutch literature during my honours degree. 🙂

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