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Botanical Walk

Stroll through the living museum

An oasis and green sanctuary in the middle of the city We invite you to go tree by tree, discovering the richest and most densely packed collection of plants in the capital.

Intro

This walk starts at the entrance of the Botanical Garden, at Rue Royale 236. It is situated a few metres from the ‘Botanique’ metro exit and the tram stop.

Go through the front gate. Go down the slope that leads to the first terrace overlooking the gardens. Here you’ll have a unique view of the plant collections (more than 700 species), the various routes through the gardens and all the various colours. Take a moment to contemplate the subtle palette that evolves through the seasons. The composition is the work of passionate gardeners who have been ceaselessly restoring the gardens since the 90s, returning them to their dignified status.

To find out more about their heritage: FR – https://arbres-inventaire.irisnet.be/sites.php?id=88 NL – http://bomen-inventaris.irisnet.be/sites.php?id=88

>>>Transit: Behind you there is an avenue of magnolia trees which are green throughout the year. These trees welcome you and lead you to the Orangery: magnificent old greenhouses that formed one of the most prestigious buildings in Brussels in the 18th century.

Southern Magnolia, Evergreen Magnolia
Southern Magnolia, Evergreen Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora 'Galissonière')
Botanical Garden - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

To the next tree >>> Behind you there is an avenue of magnolia trees which are green throughout the year. These trees welcome you and lead you to the Orangery: magnificent old greenhouses that formed one of the most prestigious buildings in Brussels in the 18th century.

Cedar of Lebanon
Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani)
Botanical Garden - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

Go down the slope on your left. Enter the plot of trees on the left by the corner closest to you. It is composed of three square areas, each divided into four triangles. Zig-zag through them, and look at the diversity of trees here: their bark, their foliage, their colours, their textures. Amongst them there is a downy Japanese maple tree...

Smooth Japanese Maple
Smooth Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
Botanical Garden - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

>>>Transit: ... Then a white mulberry tree is waiting for you, with a very special story.

(Morus alba)
Botanical Garden - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

*>>>Transit: At the end of the plot, on your right-hand side, you’ll see an olive tree in the middle of the sand island.

Olive
Olive (Olea europea)
Botanical Garden - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

>>> Transit: Turn away from the Orangery, and the olive tree will now be on your right. Walk under the little plant archway. You’ll enter a square space with a fountain at its centre. Walk through this space. You’ll walk underneath a second little archway of greenery and then you’ll be standing in front of the ‘petite ceinture’ (small ring) road. Turn right. You’ll walk over the Boulevard Saint-Lazare.

In the past, the gardens formed a unique, large and prestigious complex. However, that didn’t stop it from being split in half during the construction of the Nord-Midi junction in 1935, and then being gradually cut into more and more to make room for traffic.

Take a look to your right, especially in autumn, and you’ll see a gleaming yellow field maple close to the gate to the upper part of the gardens.

Field maple
Field maple (Acer campestre)
Botanical Garden - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

>>>Transit: In the distance, a huge plane tree forms a forest all by itself and stands in front of the former IBM's building, built in 1978.

London plane
London plane (Platanus x hispanica)
Botanical Garden - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

>>>Transit: Then you walk above the lower part of the gardens. You see a gate, a path and a strip of lawn. Then you'll see a particularly colourful plot on autumn days.

Rowan/Mountain ash
Rowan/Mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia)
Botanical Garden - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

>>> Transit: This plot showcases two of the park’s future pillars: a Caucasian oak and a Turkish hazel tree awaiting you a little further along.

Persian oak, Caucasian oak
Persian oak, Caucasian oak (Quercus macranthera)
Botanical Garden - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

>>>Transit: Just to the left of this oak, there is a Turkish hazel tree.

Turkish hazel
Turkish hazel (Corylus colurna)
Botanical Garden - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

>>> Transit: Continue your path on the bridge. At the end, just behind a small wooden fence, there is a Chinese sequoia that is a symbolic specimen of these gardens. Its species was already around at the time of the dinosaurs. You can recognise it by its beautiful, red-brown, marked trunk.

"A collector's item"
Chinese sequoia (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)
Botanical Garden - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

>>>Transit: Head down to your left. Right next to the sculpture that is reminiscent of death (Le lierre et l’amitié), there is another non-typical oak tree.

Japanese oak
Japanese oak (Quercus acutissima)
Botanical Garden - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

>>> Transit: Head up towards the path where there is a huge plane tree acting like a roundabout. Walk towards the bottom of the gardens. You’ll cross a path running through a lawn and leading down towards the pond on the left. Keep walking straight. You will walk past a maidenhair tree (‘ginkgo biloba’). It is growing at the top of the lawn on your left.

Maidenhair tree
Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba)
Jardin Botanique - Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode

>>>Transit: Lastly, continue along the path. On your right, you’ll notice a huge tree – the tallest in the whole of the gardens. Its bark should catch your eye: it is very dark, grey and deeply cracked.

Black walnut
Black walnut (Juglans nigra)
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>>> Transit: Your walk is coming to an end: the exit of the park is at the bottom of the slope. If you would like to walk a bit more, you can do the tour of the pond. If you want to continue exploring the incredible biodiversity of these gardens, you can use the Wood Wide Web map. Have a good time exploring...

dev & design : atelier cartographique