Copyright De Wiersse
The property of de Wiersse has been handed down from generation to generation of the same family since 1678. The house and formal gardens are protected by inner and outer moats. Within the formal garden are a kitchen garden and a formal parterre; a charmille, herbaceous borders, sunk garden and pergola. Without, avenues and statues remain from the 18th century. Original square fishponds were landscaped into a pleasure ground long ago and in 1842 the approach avenue was replanted with groups of oak and beech trees.
The formal garden was created in its present form by Victor de Stuers and his then 17 year old daughter Alice in 1912. Alice later married an exchanged English First World War prisoner-of-war, W. E. Gatacre, who had been brought up in Ireland. His influence is seen outside the moats in the wild garden in different visual experiences, each encountered unexpectedly. Woodland vistas, formal or romantic, end in yew figures, benches, statues and gateways. Bridges cross the slow flowing river in which the trees and sky reflect. You can see how Mr Gatacre’s memories of Curraghmore clearly exerted a similar influence on de Wiersse as they did on the work of William Robinson. The Irish leader of the ‘new landscape school of gardening’ also obtained his first practical experience of garden work in that part of Ireland.
Mr Gatacre’s son and his wife have renovated and renewed artefacts and plants in sympathy with his parents’ earlier concepts but within the bounds of contemporary economic management. The result is a delightful experience in the quiet surroundings of a beautiful wooded part of the ‘Achterhoek’, the county of Zutphen which borders Westphalia.