In order to produce a ‘heempark’ with a rich diversity of plants that offers a high degree of social experiences, human intervention is an obvious prerequisite. It is essential, however, that this intervention should not be strictly programmed and not be limited to an administrative timetable, but rather that it should be made when most appropriate to achieve the desired results. As a matter of fact there should be a subtle, almost intimate, interaction between the vegetation and its manager, in which the latter will apply his management techniques creatively, reacting to natural developments. Whenever valuable patterns or motifs appear, he will observe these carefully and, if possible, try to intensify them. A designer in the usual sense hardly feels an urge to engage himself as intensively and continuously in his design as the maintenance of a heempark requires. Very often he is too focused on the larger implications, the striking contours or his own particular, contemporary style for him to create his own impact on the timeless atmosphere of a heempark. After the construction phase, the images within a heempark actually evolve ‘from within’ rather than ‘from the outside’. Not only is this evolution much more sedate, but it often also results in a mosaic that is spatially and visually more implicitly interwoven and delicately structured. It is these internal dynamics, cohesion and variety that can offer to its visitor—whose daily life typically proceeds at a terrific pace—the natural and creative breathing space his psyche needs to keep functioning adequately on a social level. Comparatively, a heempark provides the time and space that both nature and man require to develop their talents and qualities. Especially in the more mature and richly varied heemparks, this not only creates an all-encompassing aesthetic, sensory satisfaction, but it also emanates a soothing, often downright healing, effect.

Updated: October 7, 2015 — 2:29 am