Prerequisites

The realisation of a heempark, a naturalistic garden (‘heemtuin’) or any other vegetation of wild plants requires preparatory study The first requirement is the knowledge of the plant material to be used, and the ecological conditions and environments suitable to them. In order to obtain such knowledge, one must study vegetation typology. Insight in this field can, however, only partially be gained by studying the theory of plant communities. Equally important, or more so, one needs to be thoroughly versed in ecological field-study. When developing plans for a heemtuin or heempark, one needs to start from the fact that the first stage will consist of the artificial construction of environments. This section will only deal with this subject briefly—it is described extensively in other chapters. The environments should, in principle, match the natural environments of the required vegetations or plant combinations, and thus provide a solid base for the envisaged result. During the maintenance phase, one can subsequently try to refine the vegetation by complete or partial elimination of undesirable competing plants.