In the monastery garden in Dürenberg, it is only time for something to last

ah green twig, greetings. I came with the wind and the supplication of the saints. It is time for your branches to bloom, cold, cold, be yours, for the warmth of the sun has spread through you like the scent of balsam.

It is the German Benedictine abbot Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) who sings here in her mystical hymns the glorification of Mary’s impending motherhood. This genius was manifold, from theology and politics to poetry and medicine universal feminine Composer and botanist at the same time, as well as a prolific author. For all its merits, Hildegard von Bingen was rediscovered at the end of the last century and finally canonized in 2012.

While she was an outsider, she was the first to write about the female sexual experience and share her insights with her followers. Nature was not considered a biblical phenomenon, but rather an independent phenomenon. Von Bingen also published about Vereditas, the intrinsic life force that miraculously brings nature to life each spring by lengthening days and warming the sun. Its realm was both God’s creation where miracles exist and society is an organized chessboard, with ranks and positions in which the king ensures unity in his kingdom.

The court, castle and abbey areas have a uniform design since Charlemagne as mentioned in Capitulare de Felice† In it, the governor declares in Latin “We want it in a garden …” followed by a summary of the standard list in force for flowers, trees, and crops. Various herbs have been attributed a healing effect that ensures that the four moods of medieval man (choleric, phlegmatic, sanguine and melancholic) are again balanced with each other. Hildegard von Bingen has published several publications on this topic and her findings are receiving renewed interest. In Tirol, the entire Von Bingen herb garden has been reconstructed in medieval style.

In the monastery garden in Dornburg in Marsen, the Middle Ages seem far away. The last two nuns departed several years ago from the former monastery of the Canons of the Holy Sepulcher, built in 1966. Architect Jan de Jong, a student of Dom Hans van der Laan, offered a modern interpretation of the static style of the monastery in which rhythm, structure, proportions and proportions feel medieval, but it’s not. A balanced color palette enhances the sober architecture. Certainly there is no room for earthly temptations, and here the inner man comes to think and rest instead of lust.

Holland, Maarssen. May 3, 2022. Cloister Garden of Doornburgh. Photo: Dewertje Bravenbauer
Holland, Maarssen. May 3, 2022. Cloister Garden of Doornburgh. Photo: Dewertje Bravenbauer
Duertje Bravenborg

fire change composition

After the departure of the nuns, thanks to the vision and daring of Maya and Ton Major Bergmanns, this monastery in Vecht was given a new lease of life with exhibitions and an excellent restaurant (DeZusters). Garden designer Karin Blom van Assendelft created a design for an indoor garden. In this combine herbs, annuals and perennials. The square monastery forms a strict fence for the garden, which is arranged more freely.

In her design, she wanted to “let the garden take its course,” the designer told me. Karin Blom van Assendelft uses the artist’s vocabulary and describes her creations as an ever-changing composition. This laxity fits nicely with the orderly division of monastic life in which the hour is not fixed but prayers and fixed customs. Some plants self-seed, others seek an ideal spot with their roots. Here time is only as long as something lasts. The time is right.

In 1985, there were still 23,000 monasteries in the Netherlands, and this number has decreased to a few thousand. At the same time, in our tense age, interest in thought, time, silence and rest is increasing. For intangibles that cost nothing but are getting scarcer. Silence retreats lead us to the road. I am silent. In my country Noise canceling Hildegard von Bingen audio headphones.

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