Botanische tuin Pinetum Blijdenstein
1909 / H. Copijn

Van der Lindenlaan 125

In 1909, landscape architect Hendrik Copijn (1842-1923) commissioned the banker Benjamin Willem Blijdenstein (1834-1914) to design a pinetum on his estate Vogelenzang on ’s Gravelandseweg. The Pinetum grew into one of the most complete conifer collections in the world. Since 2000, the garden has been managed by the Pinetum Bledenstein Foundation. The Pinetum, associated gardener’s house and rare thermal wall have been a municipal monument since 2008.

Estate Vogelenzang

Blijdenstein settled in 1881 on a country estate on the ‘s Gravelandseweg in Hilversum. There he had a country house designed that was named Villa Vogelenzang. The estate was also furnished with various gardens, an orangery, a coach house and a gardener’s house, designed by architect J.W. Hanrath. This house currently functions as a manager’s residence. The vegetable and fruit garden was partly surrounded in 1898 by a high masonry ‘heating wall’, so called because it was equipped with a cavity. In 1928, part of the estate was parceled out and the current Laan van Vogelenzang was created, where a few trees from the original estate still stand. The monumental villa Vogelenzang was demolished.

Pinetum Blijdenstein

The soil on the Hilversum country estate was particularly suitable for Blijdenstein’s passion: growing exotic plants, especially conifers. He had worked as a banker in London and had befriended the director of the Royal Botanic Garden Kew Gardens there. In 1909 he had the well-known garden architect Hendrik Copijn make a design for the layout of a pinetum. The garden was laid out in an English landscape style with winding paths and surprising views. Blijdenstein’s goal was to create as complete a conifer collection as possible and continued to maintain contact with Kew Gardens for this purpose.

Landscaper Copijn

Hendrik Copijn came from a family of tree nurseries that had been established in Groenekan in Utrecht since 1763. He gained great fame with the construction of the garden at Haarzuilens Castle, where he laid out – with interruptions – a landscaped park from 1894 to 1914, containing geometric and symmetrical partial gardens laid out in various styles. ‘Here he has mainly shown that he can paint with trees and shrubs, with lawn and water’, according to the Utrecht hortulanus J.K. Budde in 1922 in the magazine Eigen Haard.

Foundation Pinetum Blijdenstein

The Pinetum was donated in 1932 by the Blijdenstein family to the municipality of Amsterdam, who gave it to the Hortus Botanicus of the University of Amsterdam. As part of the Hortus Botanicus, the Pinetum played an important role in scientific research for many years. The large tropical greenhouse was installed in 1985, allowing the collection to be expanded considerably. At the end of the 1990s, the garden was transferred to the Pinetum Blijdenstein Foundation, which is now responsible for its management and operation. The visitor center with the name ‘Klein Vogelenzang’ was built in 2009.


Hendrik Copijn (1842-1923)




Van der Lindenlaan 125, Hilversum

Gemeentelijk monument