The Wirtz Gardens
What do Raf Simons, Catherine Deneuve, Richard Rogers, François Mitterand, The Belgian Royal Family and Valentino have in common? They all have worked together with landscape architect Jaques Wirtz! This contemporary landscape architect became renowned and praised for his sculpture like treatment of hedges.
Back in the late 1940’s, Wirtz started out as a simple garden maintenance guy. Slowly and with a lot of hard he built a roster of clients. His real breakthrough came with the commission to design the garden for the Belgian pavilion at Expo ’70 in Osaka. Not only did it put Wirtz on the landscape architecture map, but it also meant a firsthand look at Japanese gardens, whose precise and picturesque compositions had a profound impact on him.
His most famous trademark are the playfully trimmed boxwood hedges. When Wirtz bought his headquarters in Schoten, a suburb of Antwerp, the grounds featered boxwood hedges which had grown untrimmed for years. Since they could no longer be pruned into a conventional, flat-sided form, Wirtz followed their strange contours, clipping them into what some have described as clouds. An iconic landscape was born!
Today Wirtz International works all over the world and is internationally praised for their both stately and slightly surreal landscaping. How much more Belgian can you get? Enjoy!