The National Botanic Garden of Belgium is one of the world’s largest botanic gardens. The collection of plant that live in the garden give a huge contribution to the botanical and horticultural research, and also to the education and conservation activities of the splendid garden. The greenhouse with the outdoor collections include together around 25,300 accessions of living plants, comprising about 6% of all known plant species of the world. Half of them can be admired in the greenhouses, for example in the Plant Palace, while the other half, includes cultivated and indigenous plants, that grow outdoors.
The Outdoor Collections feature nearly 7,630 taxa, brought from all temperate regions of the world. A great part of these plants is designed in thematic collections and is opened to the visits of the public. Three systematic collections create the beautiful heart of these plantings, for example the Herbetum that represents the herbaceous plants displayed to the systems of Cronquist & Takhtajan, the Fruticetum represents the woody plants beautifully arranged to the system of Dahlgren and finally the Coniferetum which feature the gymnosperms perfectly arranged by genus. Almost all hardy genera are included and represented in these marvelous collections.
Another wonderful collection type is represented by the genera collections which offer an incredible overview of the representatives of species and cultivars, that can be found in the genera Quercus, Rhododendron, Hydrangea, Acer, Magnolia. Other interesting thematic collections are definitely the medicinal plants garden, the North American forest theme, the Mediterranean plants collection. Many adorable collection plants are presented in shrubberies and combined borders all over the park. Some rare, unusual and unique tree species and cultivars are arranged over the lawns and are seen as the salt and pepper in the picturesque landscape dominated by indigenous tree plantations. Some more amazing collections are sometimes open to the general public.
Remarkable plant families, included in the outdoor collections are Pinaceae, that comprise over 43% of extant species of the world, Aceraceae with 42%, Betulaceae with 39%, Hydrangeaceae with 37%, Caprifoliaceae with 33%, Ranunculaceae representing 14% and Rosaceae with 13%. Some special and notable trees are considered truly champion trees of Belgium and need special attention and great care.
Brief history of the garden
The National Botanical Garden of Belgium consists of the plant collections at Meise, located beautifully on the outskirts of Brussels, in Belgium. The garden features around 18,000 different species of plants. Initially founded in 1870 on a 17-acre territory in the very heart of Brussels, the Botanical Garden was transferred to an overwhelming estate at Meise, the Domaine de Bouchout, that happened after the middle of the 1960’s. The largest greenhouse in the world, the Palace of Plants, was founded on the 230-acre estate in the region. In the marvelous area, within the imposing glass complex that comprises 2.5 acres, are designed 13 greenhouses, dedicated to plant shows, special arranged for the public and for students view, featuring special attention for the tropical plants of commercial value, while 22 greenhouses are devoted to research collections and 20 more dedicated for service functions. This wonderful estate, which was used as a park around a castle, is tastefully landscaped. A unique herbarium, that hosts about 2,000,000 dried specimens, and a library collection comprising 150,000 volumes have been moved to a new designed building at Meise. The research program of the National Botanical Garden has based and offered care on the plants of tropical Africa and also on those of Belgium. The park, that covered a surface of about 92 acres, houses the historic Castle of Bouchout, with its square 14th century tower. The veritable castle includes an exhibition room and the conference rooms of the National Botanic Garden. The Park, comprising its own age-old trees, ponds and broad lawns, opens several interesting walks for its guests. Endless promenade walks take the tourists through extraordinary open-air collections of medicinal plants, herbaceous plants, shrubs, trees, and conifers. Another superb world is presented in the Plant Palace, representing an immense glasshouse covering 2,5 acres with more than 10,000 plant species, which is considered a perfect location to introduce its guests to unusual tropical and subtropical plants from America, Africa, Asia, New Zealand and Australia.
The gardens are an exquisite center for research on tropical and European botany, that leads in one of the largest herbarias in the world. Moreover the fabulous garden contributes towards plant conservation and protection, that supposed to protect as many plants as possible in their natural environments, keeping them in the original stage of life. This task is made in partnership with many other important national and international botanic gardens and conservation organizations, that are interested to preserve the nature and its natural beauty. This lovely garden is an excellent example of scenic world, surrounded by picturesque landscapes, that leave nice and unforgettable impressions on visitors. It is a total pleasure to get to walk through the scenic beauty of this fascinating garden. Try to escape in this fantastic ambiance and rest in tranquility and silence.
By Eugenia Cvasov
The Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens in the World .
Are you a garden enthusiast? Do you love to take care of plants, of rare species of trees and to walk through some green exclusive landscapes.? Botanical gardens are the ideal spot where to enjoy such lovely moments, admiring the spectacular beauty of the Mother Nature. We know that all of us need plants in this world. The botanical gardens are those areas where the nature is protected and well preserved, to keep its original majesty. A garden is a planned and totally controled space, often created outside, set aside for the display, cultivation, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. The botanical gardens are those enchanting places which offer a lot of useful information, about their statues, plants, flowers or trees that enchant the guests’ eyes.
The world's most beautiful gardens are veritable tourist attractions and most of them are works of art in the real sense. Fountains, statues, sculptures, rare birds, plants and flowers arranged in a spectacular way - are just some of the most representative words for these gardens. If you want to relax and to take a deep breath of fresh air, than choose to rest yourself in some remarkable and tranquil spaces, designed to appear as fantastic gardens. Every country features its own botanical gardens, which are really picturesque pearls, left to impress the tourists and to relax their mind and soul. Decorated with specific features, beautified by original and notable beauties, the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world will always be great destinations for a silent and pleasant journey. So, do not hesitate and take a look at the most beautiful botanical gardens and choose the next destination for your next holiday, and you will never be disappointed or bored there, as they will leave only nice impressions and majestic dreams.