MAY 2023

At the end of March I visited Plantentuin Meise to admire the magnolia gardens. On Instagram I had seen that these beauties were about to peak, so I hopped in the car to admire them. What I didn’t know was that Plantentuin Meise is worth a visit outside of the magnolia season too, because it also features spectactular greenhouses that can be visited all year long. If you are a plant lover you must include Plantentuin Meise on your list, it definitely is one of the most stunning botanical gardens I have ever seen (and I visited a fair amount).

Practical information

You can find Plantentuin Meise just north of Brussels, about 10 kilometers outside of the city center. A ticket costs € 12 for adults, it is slighly cheaper if you book on the website. We parked our car near the main entrance, which was free. There are some options for having a bite: the Orangerie, which is a self-service restaurant and Kawa coffee bar, which is where we had a cake and coffee. Check out the actual times of opening here. The Orangerie was not open when we visited in March. We visited on a Friday and it felt like we had the garden to ourselves. You can even find a castle on the premises and we loved the garden shop, which had amazing gifts for plant lovers.

Greenhouses & plants

You can visit the greenhouses year-round and they feature a lot of original plants, there are several sorts of greenhouses with different climates. For example you can find a tropical garden, cactus garden, water lilly pond and a cloud forest. What I particulary loved is that in some areas you are allowed to go up the stairs, to a second floor, to really immerse yourself in the plants. Sometimes botanical gardens can be a bit old-fashioned, with information that is not understandable for a casual visitor, but this was not the case at Plantentuin Meise. All the infographics were very modern, understandable and featured interesting facts. I found it very educational and kid-friendly, with lots of games for kids. In the cactus garden you could see plants that look like rocks, there were all kind of fun things to see!

Seasonal gardens

We came for the magnolias and they didn’t disappoint. You can find magnolias in several areas of the garden. I particularly loved the group of blush and white magnolias, which were so large that you could “enter” them. Hugo thought that they were a house. The magnolias were in full bloom at the end of March. I think they usually bloom in the beginning of April too. In May you can expect the rhododendrons and roses to be in bloom. The website usually gives a good indication of what there is to see.

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