Have ved Hegnet - the Garden by the Fence
This autumn I had the joy of visiting Inger Skoudal and Jørn Møller Jensens beautiful little gem of a garden Haven ved Hegnet (the Garden by the Fence) in Silkeborg, Denmark. It is a small villa garden, only 1000 square meters in size, yet one of the most beautifully composed pieces of art I have had the joy to visit. In 2015 it was chosen to be Garden of the Year on Danish tv2 and with reason too!
Some thirty years ago this garden adventure began when Inger and Jørn began removing the lawn in favour for more elaborate planting. During the three decades since, the garden has gone through many changes until it reached the current layout and format. Much of the structure is based on evergreen elements that keep the shape and form of the garden regardless of season, and added to this there are little rooms and decorative still life collections of garden decor to add playfulness and interest.
Although the structure of the garden is evergreen, perennials and some annuals are tucked in amongst the structural plants to give seasonability and life. The colour palate is well balanced with much use of pastels and red leaved plants used in moderation. Depending on what time of year you visit, there are always new points of interest to enjoy. Each year plants are allowed to self sow and appear in unexpected places, creating interesting combinations and a slight touch of wildness in the otherwise strictly curated garden.
Jørn loves trimming the evergreens into different shapes and creating a balance between strict geometrical shapes and the free flowing abundance of plants. The greenery is also contrasted by using stone paths, gravel and differently shaped small boulders that lead walkways to areas of quiet reflection. Like in many Danish gardens the sometimes random use of decorative elements is integral to the design, and this adds a playfulness that might otherwise be missing. Although it may look whimsical, each such installation is carefully composed.
It amazed me how many different vistas and spaces have been created in such a small garden, and I must say I really appreciate the architectural scope it represents. No wonder then, that this little garden has been the source of many gardening articles as well as part of a tv program! It is open to the public from on Garden Open Days in May and August, and unsurprisingly it is one of the most popular gardens to visit.