In the old village of Jelsum in the far north of the Netherlands, in de province Friesland, you find Dekema State, an estate with roots going back as far as the 14th century, making it one of the oldest estates in Friesland.
The estate’s park and gardens are praised by many a stinzenplant enthusiast for their beautiful stinzenflora, which flowers abundantly throughout the spring.
In one of the northern provinces of the Netherlands, Friesland, you find a special type of flora, called stinzenplanten. Those stinzenplanten are mainly spring plants, bulbs and tubers that were imported to the Netherlands from the 16th century onwards. You find them growing around old manor houses, which were called stinzen in Frisian, the native language of Friesland, but they can also be found in older country gardens. These plants were originally imported to impress, planted in gardens of people who could afford them and wanted to show off their wealth. The plants naturalized so well that they are nowadays thought of as natives. They are cherished plants and part of Friesland’s cultural history.
Everyone is familiar with the snowdrop, crocus and daffodil, which are the most well-known stinzenplanten, but there are many more, such as the beautiful and refined hollowroot, the graceful wild tulips, drooping star-of-bethlehem and bluebells.
The garden surrounding Dekema State is divided into two parts; the garden around the house is a formal garden with a large orchard, old garden walls with espaliered fruit trees, flower borders, an old greenhouse, and a vegetable garden. In the formal garden, you will find carpets of snowdrops in early spring, which seem to have fallen around the fruit trees, a little later in the season, the graceful wild tulips flower along the moat of the manor house and daffodils in the flower beds and in the orchard bloom.
From the formal garden, a shell path takes you to the park-like area, which has been laid out entirely in landscape style, with beautiful lanes, a lookout point from which you can look out over the Frisian landscape and an old pavilion. Walking along the lanes surrounded by stately tall trees, the estate turns into a real fairy tale in springtime with all its blossoming stinzenplanten, giving the park a different look every time and changing the fairy-like colours with the flow of spring.
The grove at the end of the park is sprinkled with the white of snowdrops in early spring, followed by yellow anemones, pink hollowroot and purple lungwort. And in early May the flowers of the wild garlic appear, which has an unmistakable onion-like scent. Large parts of the grove change into a white carpet of wild garlic flowers, a special and fairy-like sight!
You can find a series about the orchard and garden of Dekema State on the page Dekema State Orchard & Veg Gardens.