For our family business, Van der Valk Hotel Venlo, personal motivations and a global shift towards a circular economy have prompted us to start doing business sustainably. Sustainability is also in the DNA of the family business Herman Vaessen Tuin | Boom | Groen. A partnership of many years is therefore the logical outcome.

When the new construction plans for Hotel Venlo were taking shape, we asked Herman Vaessen to think about the greenery outside and inside the hotel. Sustainability and the creation of biodiversity were the priorities here.

Herman Vaessen's designers took up this request and produced a design for a climate garden which contributes to a pleasant, healthy and sustainable environment. Current themes such as water storage, combating heat stress, biodiversity and circularity have all been incorporated into the design and implementation.

Walking through the garden, visitors experience all the positive climate and well-being aspects of greenery. Numerous innovative green solutions have been incorporated in the realisation to counter an excess or shortage of rainwater and heat stress. These solutions are reflected in sustainable, water-absorbing (semi-)paving and paths, a green roof, a wadi, native planting, etc. The natural part with richly flowering biodiverse planting shows that nature is important and that the solutions we apply in this climate garden can be applied on any scale.

We are happy to explain the themes and components used in this climate garden. Click on the themes below for full details!

green walls (outside & inside)

Green walls not only instantly give a natural look to a building or any interior space, it also brings many benefits.

Green walls outside

Some of the benefits of a green facade include:

  • Impact on temperature;
  • Retains water, economical water use and no waste;
  • Contributes to biodiversity;
  • Contributes to air purification;
  • Produces oxygen;
  • Vertical greenery saves space;
  • Longer life of façade;
  • Multifunctional use of space;
  • Sustainable living environment.

On a sun-drenched day, being near greenery makes you feel the temperature drop immediately.


Green walls indoors & interior planting

There is also a lot to be said for interior planting and green walls indoors: a green wall has an air-purifying effect but also a positive effect on employee productivity and creativity. A green space gives energy.

Green walls and interior plants can also be used as room dividers. As a result, spaces are used more efficiently and interaction is much more central.

Besides being good for the environment through, among other things, binding fine dust and releasing O2, a green wall offers an attractive appearance and a healthy indoor climate. The systems have even more advantages:

  • Flexible plant wall system for indoors and outdoors;
  • Creative freedom in design and plant choice thanks to easy exchange of plant cassettes and
  • content of plant cups;
  • Closed water system prevents legionella;
  • Easy installation and quick assembly
  • Neat, tidy, solid and clean construction;
  • Temperature and noise insulation
  • Low water consumption and low odour
  • Low maintenance and recyclable;
  • Exclusive appearance and space-saving thanks to the compact system.

The beautiful tree that acts as an eye-catcher in the central hall of Van der Valk Hotel Venlo is a fine example of ‘what greenery can do’.

Cool clinkers & sustainable paving

The climate is changing; weather events are becoming more extreme and flooding is increasing. Rain showers are less frequent but all the more intense when they do occur. So it is important to take this into account when choosing clinkers and other forms of paving.


Sustainable concrete tiles
In the garden surrounding the hotel, sustainable Old Dutch Schellevis concrete tiles, awarded with the NL Greenlabel, have been used. The tiles are manufactured using natural raw materials in an environmentally friendly production process. No harmful substances are released during production and the material is 100% recyclable.

Grass concrete tiles
For Van der Valk Hotel Venlo, grass concrete tiles were chosen at the back of the car park as a water-passing solution that buffers excess water and allows it to infiltrate into the subsoil. This prevents nuisance.

The paving used contributes to an active climate policy and offers a water-passive solution for both softening and greening. A mixture of grass seeds has been sown, creating a greener look. This results in less water nuisance on, for instance, driveways and paths. By varying the models, you can also lay the most diverse patterns: sleek, whimsical or connecting. You can also get creative with a water passing clinker.

Under and between the paving, we opted for a bedding substrate in a certain ratio of soil / granulate 20-40 mm. This keeps a capillary-working substrate that allows the grass to seek water but also allows excess water to infiltrate. The percentage of granulate is for the stability of the substrate so that traffic can still cross it.

Semi-paving of Dutch crushed stone

A creative solution to store and reuse rainwater was also applied in the basement near the offices. Water that falls on the gravel (Dutch crushed stone) infiltrates into the ground (soil) where a 10 cm gravel layer collects it. When the soil and gravel layer are saturated, the excess water flows away to the water buffer (wadi). In the gravel, ivy is planted against the wall and grasses in the gravel. This has also greened the whole area and prevented it from becoming a grey stone mass.

The biggest sustainability feat has been achieved in the gravel extraction through the realisation of river widening (water safety) and nature development associated with the extraction projects. These projects contribute to increased biodiversity, nature and landscape restoration and stimulate recreational development in Limburg. A win-win-win situation.

Natural ponds

At the front of the hotel, among the prairie plants and adjacent to the terrace, a beautiful natural-looking pond with fountain has been created. The filtration system is based on a natural system using plants with water-purifying properties. 

A helophyte filter will be used for this water feature. Such a filter uses helophytes to purify wastewater to a quality that is harmless to the environment. The purification efficiency of helophyte filters is high while energy consumption is low. A 2nd pond is also fully biologically filtered.

This keeps the water pure without application of artificial agents and is a source of biodiversity in aquatic life. Important because species and ecosystems provide oxygen production, decomposition of dead animals and plants, pollination of plants, water purification and pest control.


Biodiverse planting concepts

Climate adaptation and biodiversity loss are topical issues. By means of a carefully composed planting plan, we give substance to strengthening biodiversity.

A biodiverse garden is a garden where as many species of plants, animals, critters and organisms as possible feel at home. Biodiversity is in fact the ideal living environment. We contribute to biodiversity with the following concepts.

Prairie planting
We have chosen prairie planting, a unique planting concept that guarantees natural beauty, is colourful and low-maintenance. Prairie planting is sustainable and fits in well with the changes in our climate. This concept is very suitable for use in a climate-friendly garden, has a natural look and a positive effect on biodiversity. Also added are 7 native plant species that come from the region around Venlo.

A combination was made with clouds of Rhododendron so that the garden looks attractive and green all year round.

Multi-stemmed trees
Multi-stemmed climate trees complete the garden and contribute to biodiversity through the seeds and fruits they bear. The trees are carefully selected and each has its own contribution to climate and biodiversity. Over time, the trees will also grow into umbrellas above the terraces, preventing heat stress.

Roof trees
A number of roof trees have also been considered at the cycle shed to provide additional shade. These roof trees grow into a ‘natural sunshade’ and thus do their bit to combat heat stress.

Flower meadow
Here, a flower mixture is combined with native forest plants. A mixture with a high diversity of plants was chosen, paying close attention to the flowering times of nectar-producing flowers (carrier plants). From March to November, nectar is provided for bees, hoverflies, butterflies and other insects. These beneficial insects are part of the entire ecosystem and will in turn serve as prey for birds and bats, among others.

This climate garden has become a lovely place where you can sit on the terrace completely surrounded by greenery. Taking a stroll through the garden is also highly recommended. You make a new discovery every day, you keep looking and it never gets boring!

Facade cladding

Here you will find a wall clad with thermally treated wooden cladding, a sustainable and ecological alternative to the increasingly scarce hardwood from tropical rainforests. These strips are pressed and thermally modified at 200°C. This heat treatment without chemicals increases the stability, density and hardness of the planks.

The latest trend is thermally modified Ash wood. The environmentally friendly steaming process makes the wood very durable and the material is not called European hardwood for nothing. Suitable for both cladding and decking. The material has a beautiful flame pattern and the process turns a very unicoloured brown.

Green roof

A Sedum-herb mixture has been chosen on the green roof, this will attract an even greater variety of insects.

Green roofs have grown considerably in popularity in recent years. Logical, as the benefits of green roofs have now been proven:

  • The vegetation and vegetation-bearing layer retains rainwater and delays rainwater runoff. As a result, the sewers are not burdened with a large amount of water all at once during peak downpours.
  • Green roofs provide biodiversity and create an attractive habitat for various animals and insects.
  • Sedum roofs improve air quality by absorbing particulate matter and CO2.
  • Green roofs increase the lifespan of roofing materials.
  • Among other things, green roofs combat heat stress. Unlike concrete roofs, green roofs do not fully convert solar energy into heat energy. In addition, water vapour is produced through evaporation. This has a cooling effect on the environment. Also, ambient noise is dampened by the vegetation.
  • Working and living in a green environment has a relaxing effect on people, reducing stress and increasing tranquillity because of its natural appearance.
  • A green roof fits better into the landscape and also offers more aesthetic value.

Wadi is actually the simple abbreviation of ‘drainage by infiltration’. This is usually a lower or excavated piece of land into which the downspout is disconnected and in which rainwater can be collected. The water can quietly sink into the ground thanks to this simple technique. Besides being a suitable way to collect water, it also gives the surroundings a green look. Besides its capacity to store rainwater, a climate wadi can retain water for planting. Especially during dry periods, this saves irrigation times and provides a safe, low-maintenance and green appearance. This creates a natural biotope in which animals and plants can live and reproduce. This wadi is managed ecologically, with the green structures of native flora and fauna being central.

If there is no room for a wadi, there is still the option of installing a 5-metre-deep infiltration, which allows approximately 150 m2 of rainwater to be infiltrated (in the event of a 50-mm downpour).


De gedachte achter de kweekkas is het herstellen van de verbinding tussen mens en natuur door tuin en keuken samen te brengen. In de kweekkas zullen groenten en kruiden worden aangeplant die de koks dagvers kunnen oogsten voor toepassing in de lekkerste gerechten!

De kweekkas wordt met zorg bijgehouden door meerdere collega's. De chefs kunnen eenvoudig hun verse kruiden uit de kas halen en direct in de gerechten verwerken.


These hives house Carnica bees, a gentle bee population. In this way, Van der Valk Hotel Venlo contributes to the bee population. When laying out the garden, a bee-friendly planting plan was taken into account as much as possible so that flowers bloom all year round from which bees can get nectar and pollen.

Nice to know; the retired, former manager of Herman Vaessen is the beekeeper who harvests honey, cares for the bees to prevent diseases and thus also prevents swarming of the bees. Honey is extracted in May, June and July. During this period, a weekly ‘window’ is taken from the hives and served with the breakfast buffet for delicious, fresh organic honey! The rest of the honey is swirled and used in the restaurant's kitchen. In August, to thank the bees for their hard work, they are supplemented with sugar so they can hibernate peacefully.