Compact Serenity: Antwerp Pond Garden by Jacques van Leuken

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A specialist in creating landscapes that blend into their environments without fuss and with minimal disruption, Dutch landscaper Jacques van Leuken is known for ponds and water features such as this one complementing a stately home. This pond feature is part of a compact space tucked in a city neighborhood that has a “courtyard” ambience to it. But it doesn’t feel cramped because of the way, as van Leuken explains, “…the spatial effect of the large pond is used to make it look [like a] bigger garden…more dynamic.” The resulting peaceful, serene surroundings make even these Antwerp dwellers feel like they’re in the middle of the country. Indeed, this layout is so carefully planned that, as van Leuken says, “The water surface constitutes the mirror of the sky.”

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From cozy garden seating tucked beneath shade trees, you gaze out on shimmering water, complete with square concrete stepping stones, which reflects not only the sky but the walled garden spot beyond. Complementing this visual panorama are bunches of vivid pink flowering shrubs on the other “shore” of the pond, creating a peninsula effect that’s pure luxury. And there’s room to amble through this peaceful garden, too, on stone paths that wend around its perimeter, toward the privacy fence and around whimsical planted beds of chive and other herbs. Imagine coming home to this after a long day’s work, and you can see why Jacques van Leuken’s designs are so popular with homeowners who love a touch of country garden wherever they live.

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