It was a rough day. Work wasn't coming along as I'd planned and I felt anxious, stressed. The weather was lovely though and so I decided to head to Coloma rose garden in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, outside of Brussels.
Coloma Rose garden
The domain of the Coloma International Rose Garden in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw has two main attractions: a castle and the beautiful rose garden.
The Coloma Castle
The castle served as an administrative seat in the 16th century, went into private hands in the 18th century and has been owned by the Flemish Community since 1980.
The Coloma Castle was the first thing I saw when I entered the domain. It doesn't look like a 16th-century fortress anymore as its previous private owner had it rebuilt into an 18th-century castle, but it does still have a protective water belt.
Other buildings that you can see are the former carriage house (now a tavern) and a tower that now houses the rose museum. Unfortunately, the latter wasn't open when I visited.
Coloma Rose Garden
The beautiful rose garden of Coloma in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw is one of the biggest in Europe, measuring 15 ha. Each year, more than 380,000 flowers of more than 3,000 rose varieties blossom in the different parts of the garden:
- a garden with only red roses and pink roses, the colors of the city of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw
- a garden only with roses that come out of Flanders
- the “old rose garden”, which illustrates the history of the rose
- the international rose garden with rose varieties from 25 different countries
- the Japanese rose garden
- the Chinese garden
- the rambler roses
- the rose trees
Not all varieties blossom at the same time so you'll have a different experience if you visit at different moments of summer.
As I made my way through those gardens I felt my mood lighten and my spirits lifted. There were purple roses, orange roses, peach roses… All of these colors, all of these different rose types, how could they not make me feel better?
Today, the park follows the landscaping style of English gardens but it didn't always look like this. It was originally designed following the French style and looked much more symmetrical and “tidy” than it does today – although it hardly looks wild now.
To get a good overview of the park, head to the small lookout tower at the far end of it.
Rose garden Coloma
Joseph Depauwstraat 25
Tip: I found the entrance to the parking in the Colomalaan, which is located on the other side of the park than the Joseph Depauwstraat.
You can also get there by bus from Brussels-South train station with line 170, 144 and 145. These take you into the center of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw.
The garden is open all-year-long from sunrise until sunset, except on Mondays. The best time to visit is from June until September included.
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