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The Boulder Garden

The largest ‘rock garden’ in the Netherlands contains several thousand ‘erratics’ – boulders brought here in the last but one Ice Age 150,000 years ago. Large and small, they were all found in Drenthe and lie here now mixed together in this unique display.

The garden contains a great variety of different types of stone, many with signs showing their names – helleflint, rapakivi, uppsala granite, gneiss etc. They sound like fantasy names but they are the official geological terms. The signs also tell you their age and where they originally came from – often in parts of Southern Finland – from where they were brought here by the ice over enormous distances.

These boulders were all collected by one man, Jannes van Echten, who spent two years travelling through Drenthe. The stones were all donated by local inhabitants so this really is a community garden created by the people of Drenthe. The stones were identified and described by Harry Huisman, an expert on erratic boulders from the Ice Ages.

Take a walk through the garden and try to imagine the unbelievable journey each stone had to make on its way to its final destination here in this special and unique garden