īt Zonhof

Fernand en Nicole Reniers-Mignolet
Donkeindeweg 110
3520 Zonhoven  
tel. 011 82 49 79  ( + 32 11 82 49 79 )

GPS: N 50į 58.259ī
          E 005į 20.944ī

email : zonhof@skynet.be
Website: www.zonhof.be

Open garden hours: 2015

Every Sunday in June

Hours: 10 a .m. till 06.00 p.m.  
Admittance fee Ä
3

Groups consisting of a minimum of 15 persons can make an appointment to visit the garden.

 
Route Description:
If one comes from the direction Eindhoven by means of N74
- or:(exit 29 of E314, take direction Hasselt)
Drive past Zonhoven, pay attention: never ride into the centre of Zonhoven

Beyond Zonhoven take N72  direction Beringen
After 500 m .. left (to apothecary) = keurstraat, at the end of the street left, after 400 m at the right-hand side.

Description of the garden: 


We planted many early flowering varieties near the buildings. So we can enjoy, from early spring onwards, the flowers of Hellebores, Azalea and Rhododendron, even in dismal weather. The small pond is placed in view of the sittingroom so we can follow, early on in the season, the rebirth of pondlife.
Plants, who in spring herald the joy of summer, later submerge in their surroundings. They make, with the help of hostaís and other greenery, a restful green haven along the terrace.

We tried to build in several elements of surprise. So take your time to enjoy the playful corners, magnificent views and the sound of water in the ponds. The pond, that ultimate element of beauty, radiates peacefulness and happiness.
We never made a gardenplan, over the years the garden evolved from childrenís playground to romantic haven. Every year we pinched a little from the children part. The swing is allthatís left of the erstwhile playground. Today itís used as a support for a huge table or hammock. Where we can leisurely enjoy the hot sunny dayís of summer in the shadow of the Russian vine (Polygonum aubertii). This now completely covers the former swing.
Our planting schemes grew from instinct. We like to have our own sense of proportion and colouring lead us. Thatís why we mingle small groups of plants harmoniously, so that a multitude of leaf and flowerforms constantly surprises. Contrary to modern schemes we donít like large static groups of the same plants.
By use of the various heights of the plants we here created a nonchalant playful kind of gardenroom. Without the use of clear partitions we discover again and again a different gardenroom where its own atmosphere surrounds us. De changing views creates special perspectives so the gardens seems to be much larger than (14 are) the original fourteen hundred square metres it is.
The use of climbers gives an extra dimension and enlarges the garden visually.
Nicole loves climbing roses and clematis.
In summer a sea of roses tumble from walls and arbour. Thousands of beautiful and lovely flowers release their delicious fragrance to bring an overwhelming pleasure to visitors and us alike.
Two large pergolas are the home for these roses and our collection of no less than 270 different Clematis. Our collection contains many varieties of the Clematis viticella  group as well as some collection items like C. Pitzeri, C. Fusca, C. Viorna etc. 
The oldest pergola is 18 metres long and connects the garden back to front.
 
Itís called the rose tunnel, because it creates a regular tunnel in summer when all roses are in full leaf. The other pergola is more spacious.
But both are real eyecatchers; with the profusion of flower en sweet fragrance that surrounds it.

I do the entire pruning myself. Itís a hell of a job and it takes me several weeks in spring.
But its worth all the trouble, roses and clematis flower on and on, especially because of the different flowering periods of the Clematis varieties.
I always buy my roses when in flower, fragrance and colour are too important to me to get wrong. I like to make combinations of roses and clematis and prefer the use of rambler roses in this case. They flower prolific in June and July by which time the Clematis takes over who flower, well into the autumn.

The rose arbour hides a totally different sort of garden. Its borders are planted with English Delphiniums. Here we test the different varieties that will prosper on the sandy soil and our Belgium climate. We also try to propagate these plants,
test new species and every year we have a try out of new seedlings.
Unexpected though it is, the confrontation of so many different Delphiniums makes you feel awe-struck