Amsterdam Open Garden Weekend

On the third weekend of June each year circa 30 of Amsterdam’s most wealthy house owners throw open their private gardens to the public for the Open Garden Weekend.

Amsterdam Open Garden Weekend - public viewing of private gardens
Amsterdam Open Garden Weekend 2012

All the ‘open gardens’ are situated in the Canal Belt and are 16th and 17th Century canal houses or canal house museums.

Secret gardens in Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s hidden gardens

Buy your ‘ticket’ (15 euros and all proceeds go to charity) at any of the participating museums – Bijbel Museum, Van Loon House, Geelvinck Hinlopen House and Willet-Holthuysen museum. You will get a description of each garden and a map – then you can just stroll around at your leisure and visit whichever gardens you like.

Open Garden Weekend allows public viewing of Amsterdam's most beautiful gardens
Public viewing of Amsterdam’s private gardens

It is truly fascinating to get a glimpse of hidden Amsterdam and to see what lies behind the beautiful canal house facades. Planting styles vary – romantic, formal, wildly extravagant, architect designed, free thinking…it’s all here. Some gardens are resplendent with ancient plant varieties – many recognisable in the paintings of the Golden Age.

Scented, old variety roses in Amsterdam gardens
Scented Rose arbour

The roses are particularly showy this year due to the rather unusual Spring and early Summer we’ve had. Perfume fills the air and the peacefulness is surprising, behind the towering canalhouses you’re cosseted away from the buzz of the city. This is the realm of the birds, the bees and the occasional, rather lucky house owner…

Canal house gardens in Amsterdam
Hidden Gardens of Amsterdam

This is a must visit event for anyone interested in gardens – worth organising your trip around next year.

Flowers and plants are available to buy from Gerda’s Bloemen en Planten in The Nine Streets