As a result of the country's constant focus on international trade, its mild sea climate and the abundance of water, the Netherlands became a European centre for exotic plants and flowers. Prosperous burghers and aristocrats built splendid country estates and planted gorgeous gardens in the wealthy Netherlands, including in the Utrecht region. These show a wide range of landscape styles and are often meticulously maintained in their original state as a testimony to the variety of garden designs that have been used over the centuries.
Johan David Zocher Sr and his son Jan David Jr are very active in the Dutch gardening and landscape architecture world. They have expertly transformed dozens of formal gardens into a more landscape-like whole. This is why the garden at Soestdijk Palace was awarded national heritage status. Here, you will also find Groeneveld Castle, arguably one of Amsterdam's most exquisitely preserved country estates, with a garden designed in the English landscape style. De Paltz Estate is another beautiful rural estate that was designed by landscape architects Copijn and Springer in 1876. De Paltz is a lovely old rural estate situated among the leafy trees between Soesterberg air base and the Soestduinen nature reserve.