While this summer was miraculously pouring sunshine all over The Hague, I took this opportunity to visit a little-known but extremely beautiful garden (or what is probably better described as a very well-tended country estate) right at the edge of The Hague. Ockenburgh is a lovely place to visit during the summer, when all the flowers are blooming and the weather is sunny and perfect for biking or walking. The estate itself, owned by a poet named Jacob Westerbaen, is over 350 years old!
I took the better part of a summer day to visit the gardens, and it took me hours to explore just a quarter of it – it was much bigger than I thought at first! The entrance itself stretched for ages, with numerous little paths going off on either side. I first explored the more ‘forest’ area of the gardens, which were filled with little bridges, ponds with ducks, and greenery for miles. I have never seen such high trees either – such a contrast to the sandy landscape of Bahrain!
The other side of the gardens was definitely my favourite though. Ockenburgh is known for its wild hyacinth groves, which start blooming in April – a beautiful sign of spring. I didn’t expect as many hyanciths as I actually saw – there were literally thousands! Not just the typical deep blue colour, but also a rosy pink and sometimes white.
After being so engrossed by the flowers, I managed to get quite lost and not be able to find the villa itself – unfortunately so, as it’s said to be quite striking. Instead, I stumbled across an ant nest… not quite what I was hoping for, and which had me walking quite fast back to the entrance!
This is definitely somewhere to go if you want to explore the more remote parts of The Hague. An added bonus is that the Kijkduin beach is just 15 minutes away by walking, so that could quite easily be part two of a sunny day! I can’t wait for the weather to improve again so that I can visit this lovely paradise of flowers a second time, and hopefully see the villa (which apparently includes a fancy tearoom) next time!
Thank you for reading, and have a great week!