Joke’s garden is just two miles from the coast at the far end of the Walcheren peninsula that juts out into the North Sea. One of a series of low-lying, former islands that make up the Dutch province of Zeeland, Walcheren is famously flat and the winds that rip across the peninsula would have made creating a garden impossible had Joke and Henk not prepared their garden by first planting out a series of hedges. On the northern and western boundaries of the plot practicality trumps aesthetics, with a dense privet hedge and a windbreak of Turkey oaks and poplars. Across the back garden, a hornbeam hedge is clipped to 1.2m, but every three metres, one plant has been allowed to grow up into a tall pillar. These pillars are mirrored in the pillars of yew that stand in the geometric box parterre in the garden’s northeastern corner. Buxus sempervirens is repeated throughout the garden, enclosing borders that line paths and seating areas and in numerous box balls dotted throughout the garden. These, together with evergreens such as Bergenia cordifolia, guarantee strong structure even in winter. To the front of the house, two yew hedges ensure privacy for a seating area and are the backdrop for two long, undulating borders. Using so many hedges and trees, does bring its own problems as they soak up a lot of the groundwater. To counter this Joke and Henk collect rainwater from their roof, which is then pumped throughout the garden via a soaker hose.