4.1 Tree museum, Wateringse Veld

leaves, catalogue

Nature is art, according to artist and botanist herman de vries (1931). Asked to create a work of art for the new residential district Wateringse Veld in The Hague, he decided to exhibit trees in a Tree Museum. The project consists of several hundred species of trees from all over the world spread out over the streets and squares of this new suburb. Designers and tree experts looked for a suitable soil and street profile for each species. The names of the trees are inscribed in tiles marking the beginning and end of a street. So in one street, the honey locust dominates the profile, while the Yoshino cherry does so in another. Although it is explicitly presented as an art project, the Tree Museum has ecological value as well. The neighbourhood has become an arboretum or a biodiversity depot for both indigenous and exotic trees. A comprehensive tree guide—the catalogue for the permanent collection of the museum—gives an explanation of the trees and the Wateringse Veld project.

-Wateringse Veld, De Haag (NL) 1996–2006

-herman vries