Hedge House, Wijlre
European Garden Award 2014
There is much you can say about Hedge House and Kasteel Wijlre. But it is much better to go there for a visit, to enjoy an honest welcome, to explore the genius and secret of the place and to have very private encounters with art.
The estate can be called a “piece of art with many dimensions” or “Gesamtkunstwerk”. It was created by Jo and Marlies Eyck, based on their art collection, but also important on a specific philosophy of life, linking art to the beautiful natural surroundings of the castle at Wijlre. The castle gardens have become an important exhibition space, a garden and a manor house that are in dialogue with nature. In 1999 the Hedge House was added as a very modern exhibition building of concrete and glass. As a linear exhibition space it folds out into one of the garden’s compartments, opening views into the garden and reflecting the garden on the outside.
There is English style parkland with curving walks, rare tree species and modern sculptures. On the opposite side of the castle, there are formally laid out gardens close to the Hedge House. And there is a small wood where land art by Giuseppe Penone can be discovered.
The future of the site is secured now as the Bonnefanten Hedge House Foundation was set up and is in charge for maintaining and developing this beautiful garden and excellent art collection. Follow the jury and visit the place: the recent exhibition is called “The Mystic Gardener”.