Gardeners Club members visit Belgium – again

Through the Chunnel and we pick up our intrepid Guide Johan on a busy roundabout. He took us to the wonderful café Verdonck in Veurne for afternoon coffee and surprise gateaux. It was NOT on the schedule!
There were also chocolate purchases (as you might expect).

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Then a not-so-jolly visit to the trenches where Belgium held the line in WWI
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We head for Maastricht where we visited two more private gardens: a rock garden created by Ber Slangen and The Heerenhof Garden which Jo Willems & Jan van Opstal started in 1985 when they began to cultivate a meadow. We went for a boat trip on the Maas and, as Friday is market day, we had free time at the market.

You thought the Netherlands was flat – it is, so you have to build your own mountain.
Here in a suburb in NE Maastricht is the private back garden built by Ber Slangen
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The Dutch Alps

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Market around the Town Hall – Maastricht University where that treaty was signed.

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De Heerenhof (the Gentlemen's Garden)


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The two gentlemen??

Our first visit of the day is to Leuven, the Botanical Garden here is the oldest in Belgium, created by the university in 1738 for the students of medicine.
We then headed for Belgium’s National Botanical Garden in the grounds of Bouchout Castle in the village of Meise.

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Time to sit and enjoy.
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Then off to the botanic gardens at Meise with Bouchout Castle, glasshouse and orchid meadow.
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Then back to Mechelen for a quick visit to the rose garden before dinner.
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On our way home with a visit to a private garden of Chris Ghyselen at Oedelen Beernem in the village of Oostveld.
This is what it looks like in summer. Johan tries to avoid falling in the pond.
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It was a bit crowded to begin with – and we couldn't fit down some paths...
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but then it opened out...
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Finally, lunch in Bruges on the way to the Chunnel. Last chance for Belgian beer, moules and chocolate!

A big THANK YOU to the Organisers (Martyn, Jo, Alma and Roy)

See you next year???