Every spring, white and pink magnolias bring the first colours of the season to the Botanic Garden Meise, also known as the National Botanic Garden of Belgium. The plants in the garden grow in thematic collections, and there is a special area dedicated to a variety of magnolias. You can explore the collection on your own or you may join a 'Magnolia Walk'. A guided walk through the garden helps you avoid missing the most beautiful areas.
The best time to visit the garden depends on the weather during the winter. Usually, the season starts in late March and continues to the end of April. If the winter was cold and long, then it is better to come in April as the magnolias might start blooming later. At this time, you should also stop by the area with rhododendrons as they bloom roughly around the same time.
The National Botanic Garden has been developed around a lake and the 12th-century Castle of Bouchout. It is located in the town of Meise which is only 10 km (6.2 mi) from Brussels. The garden is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world and occupies a territory of 92 ha (227 ac).
Aside from the open-air areas, the National Botanic Garden is open all year round and includes a so-called “Plant Palace”—the largest greenhouse in Belgium that unites 13 smaller glasshouses where tropical and desert plants grow. In general, the collection consists of around 18 thousands varieties of plants. Among them are medicinal plants, wild roses, orchids, lotuses, oaks, maples, sequoias, etc.
There is a €7 fee to enter the garden.