Tuinen Mien Ruys will reopen on Friday 1 April. From Friday 1 April visitors are welcome to gain inspiration or simply enjoy the work of the most famous Dutch landscape architect, Mien Ruys. In 1924, Mien Ruys, who grew up at her family’s plant nursery, started experimenting in her parents’ vegetable garden. She tried out ideas about design, plant combinations and the use of materials, and continued to do so all her life. A walk through Gardens Mien Ruys is a walk through a green and living history book, an overview of almost a century of garden architecture in the Netherlands. A number of gardens have municipal monument status; the oldest gardens have even acquired the status of national monument. The Gardens Mien Ruys Foundation manages this cultural heritage and stimulates new experiments with plants and materials. In the Gardens you can enjoy a drink and snack, and buy garden tools, cards and books. An extensive range of perennials is for sale in the Plantenhof. In the interior space Ruysend Riet, a small exhibition has been set up about colour in the garden.
At the same time, Louisiana van Onna (1995) will show an installation of her art project “The Butterfly Defect”. Louisiana van Onna is a photographer working in The Hague, who graduated from the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in 2019. With her photography she tries to capture the small things in nature. Climate change and biodiversity are close to her heart; as both a photographer and researcher she hopes to give viewers more appreciation for the transience of nature.
“The Gentian blue is a good example of this,” she explains: it’s is a butterfly that depends on the bluebell gentian and forest ants to survive. Only if all these factors are present in the landscape, the butterfly can live. At the moment it is only present in a few nature reserves in the Netherlands. This butterfly has become something of an icon and ambassador of biodiversity; it’s on postage stamps and streets are named after it, but Louisiana’s generation doesn’t know this butterfly at all. Where once there were so many, this species has declined by 93% in the last 30 years. A blue face familiar to us in the past is slowly disappearing from our landscape, and with it from our collective memory. Photography and film is a great way to explore this development, because it is about literally ‘recording’ its existence. This project thus becomes an attempt to bring the Gentian blue back into our collective memory and our backyard.
On several Saturdays in the spring, Louisiana hosts cyanotype workshops, an easy process with a surprisingly beautiful effect. Using a photographic exposure process, beautiful cyan-blue prints are made of flora and objects on the spot. Sign up on the website: www.tuinenmienruys.nl
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Sunday 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm