GPS coordinates :
50.8515 , 4.3564
Partner :
This tree has been added to the WoodWideWeb atlas by


Latin name :
Fagus sylvatica
French name :
Hêtre commun
Dutch name :
English name :
European beech
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Origin / Indigenous
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Features and characters of the individual

This small 14 beech wood was noticed by the CFC House. They form a whole:

"Placed on either side of the 1830 Martyrs Monument, two groups of 14 beeches cut into cubes. Opposite the bookshop and the offices of the CFC House, under the cobblestones, is the common grave where the 467 heroes and martyrs of the fighting of the "Days of September 1830", during which Belgium's Independence was played out, are buried. It is in this "historical" humus that 14 of the 28 beech trees of the square are rooted.

The cube-shaped size, or box-shaped, of these small trees that provide parsimonious shade, makes us think, by association, of the nesting box, installed in the tree, a box in the box, a miniature dwelling... but also, like a Russian doll, of the book placed on the tables of the CFC House, a publishing house and a bookshop.

The book, an object, a place in itself. A place to withdraw, to dream, to read, but also to reflect, to cross time, to look and think, in the manner of the perched Baron, this famous character of the Italian writer Italo Calvino who decides, at twelve years old, to climb up the oak tree of the family garden to never come down from it again and who, far from living as a hermit, jumps from branch to branch and sets off to discover the world: "everything was happening as if, the more he was determined to remain hidden in his branches, the more he felt the need to create new relationships with the human race. "


"There is the gardener who, on the cobblestones of the Brussels Grand Place, installs every day of the summer, as if by miracle, a wild and abundant garden. When a woman asked him if he sold cut flowers, he replied: "I only sell living things. Kneeling at his feet, amidst the perennial sage, I said in turn: I too sell only living things. »

Muriel Claude, à la proue , CFC-Éditions, 2014.

It is the true story of a gardener and a bookshop whose paths cross on the Grand-Place in the 90s. From this encounter was born a strong complicity, a deep connivance: the love of the living and the desire to transmit it in all its forms.

Plants, their stories, their needs, their beauty... books, their strength, their magic, their necessary presence. Writing as an organic, demanding and initiatory process.

A "literary lounge" on the cobblestones, three chairs among the plants, under the canvas canopy, in the heat wave or the floods, the interlocutors follow one another, friends or clients.

And the long conversation between the gardener and the bookseller continues: why not write, tell about those years of life on the Grand-Place, tell about a passion for plants, flowers, people?

To tell the story so that one day you can leave the market and plant a garden, a real one.

The gardener writes to his grandchildren, he tells his inner life, his life as a horticulturalist and flower grower, as he likes to present himself. The bookseller reads it, advises it, guides the momentum.

The words are right, they say the life of the market, the life of the merchants. They testify, they are the witnesses.

One autumn day, they are sitting on the bags of compost that serve as cushions for the chairs in the literary salon. The conversation takes a serious and then joyful turn: the gardener announces to the bookshop his decision to stop, to leave the flower market, not to return next spring.

She then said, in a burst of laughter (because they are accomplices): "It's time to make a book ! the right time ! ».

"Le Jardinier de la Grand-Place" by Jean-Louis Van Malder will be released from the press on 20 March 2019.

This outing will be celebrated on March 20,21,22,23 on the Grand-Place, in the gardener's shop, exceptionally back on the cobblestones, for a new spring.

A conversation between the gardener and the bookstore will take place in public on Wednesday, March 27, at 6:30 p.m. at the Bibliothèque des Riches-Claires.