Most children want a bicycle or an iPad for their Confirmation. Not Bartel Van Riet: he dreamed of a pond. Fifteen years after his Confirmation, we decided to go him one better. We gave him an entire garden to rekindle Flanders’ appetite for gardening. Bartel – who graduated as a tree surgeon in the meantime – was the perfect figurehead to present a new kind of gardening programme. Handsome, passionately green and straight from the field. Literally.
‘Groenland’ became an institution. It wasn’t just the umpteenth gardening programme for specialists – those have been dead and buried for ages. Instead, we went for an easily digestible programme for gardening enthusiasts. The format was about enjoyment and experiencing a garden with all of the senses. If Jeroen Meus taught his people how to cook, then Bartel Van Riet taught the same hedonists to garden.
Did you miss the programme? No need to panic, you can always read the ‘Groenland’ books to help you out in the garden regardless of its size. In his inimitable style, Bartel Van Riet lets you discover the wonders of nature that are right on your doorstep. He wears his love of plants, trees and animals on his sleeve. After all, a garden is so much more than just work: it is a place to relax and enjoy, and its fruits are to be savoured. ‘Groenland’ whets your appetite to get out there, take a deep breath and do some gardening of your own.