Museum garden Gaasbeek

Museum garden Gaasbeek

The park and the Museum Garden remain open during the restoration of the castle (until July 2023).

Ornamental and functional

This is a completely newly built garden, specially designed to suit its purpose as a museum garden. The garden is situated on a historical site where gardens existed in the past. It is made up of six garden sections:

  • A terrace garden with an Italian-style orangery garden.
  • A kitchen garden, divided into four squares, with a greenhouse, cold frames and beds for flowers and herbs. In the middle is a cloister with low standard pyramid-shaped pear trees, flat-lying garlands and rose columns.
  • Berry and fig gardens, with a cross-shaped arbour with an abundance of espaliered fruit and flowers.
  • An orchard with a regional collection of half standard plum trees.
  • An orchard with full standard fruit trees, typical of Pajottenland fruit farming circa 1900, with a traditional fruit shed.
  • An orchard with low standard trees showing how cultivation practices have evolved over time from around 1950 to the present.

Espaliered fruit grows up against all the walls in a range of varieties, representing the largest collection of traditional espalier shapes. The fruit baskets are really something to behold.

In 2012, the Museum Garden was the only garden in Flanders to be awarded the EGHN, the European Garden Award.

Working miracles on a limited amount of space

The Museum Garden proves that you really don’t need a lot of space to grow your own fruit and vegetables. You can grow several fruit trees along one town wall. In the spring, their blossoms will brighten up your garden, then in summer you can enjoy the fruit. In the autumn, their leaves turn that gorgeous yellow and red colour. Even if the amount of public space is limited, you can work wonders on a small surface area.

The Museum Garden attaches great importance to the nearly forgotten art of espaliered fruit cultivation, involving varieties of apricot, nectarine, peach, plum, pear, apple, quince, sweet cherry, sour cherry and many berry varieties. Espaliered fruit farming offered a wide range of benefits at a time when labour was cheap.

  • Espalier shapes need little in the way of space, and grow a treat up against walls or as hedges.
  • They will grow in a kitchen garden without getting in the way of the vegetables.
  • They are pruned in such a way that most of the energy goes to fruiting. No excess branches, no superfluous foliage, you can even ‘save’ the trunk. The trees remain upright because they are tied to a wall or trellis.
  • Espaliered fruit ripens on ‘open’ trees, which means the fruits get more sunlight and consequently contain extra sugars and vitamins.
  • Tying against a wall gives them added protection against the cold and they can benefit from the heat stored in the wall. The fruits are larger and more appetising, quicker to ripen and more resistant to disease.
  • Creative master gardeners can make espalier shapes look beautiful by forcing stalks and branches to take on the wildest shapes and causing them to interweave. Imaginative shapes made to look like living lacework.

Own climate

The Museum Garden has a special micro climate. Temperatures are invariably a few degrees higher than the surroundings. A normal winter only sees a limited number of frost days inside the walls. But it is more important that spring temperatures in the garden are higher, and that things stay warm for longer during autumn. This micro climate comes courtesy of the high walls and hedges that protect against the chilly winds, white walls that reflect the heat of the sun, the bricks that act as heat collectors and the Pajottenland soil which contains a lot of heavy clay that stores heat.

Visit

Until the opening of the castle in July 2023, you can buy your ticket for the Museum Garden at the entrance of the garden from the supervisor. You can pay with Payconic or via Bancontact. After the opening of the castle you can buy your ticket for the Museum Garden in the new entrance pavilion on the Kasteelstraat (entrance park of Gaasbeek). You can then pay with cash, bancontact, VISA and Mastercard. You are welcome in the Museum Garden with your ticket from 10 am to 6 pm (5 pm in October). Be sure to count on an hour for your visit.

Dogs are not allowed in the Museum Garden.

Information

Opening hours

  • From 1 May to 30 September, daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • From October 1 to October 29, daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The garden is closed every Monday, except on public holidays.


Tickets

Tickets for the Museum Garden can be purchased until July 2023 from the supervisor at the entrance to the Museum Garden. You can pay with Payconic and Bancontact.

From July 2023 you can buy your ticket in the new entrance pavilion on the Kasteelstraat (entrance park of Gaasbeek). There you can pay with cash, bancontact, VISA and Mastercard.

  • Standard: € 5
  • Concessions: € 4 - students / European Youth Card under 26, 60+, disabled, visitors Botanic Garden Meise, Davidsfonds (max. 2 persons), Fedplus (max. 2 persons).
  • Free: -18, National Trust and supervisors of disabled


Guided tours

Together with the guide, discover the different parts of the Museum garden: the orchards, small fruit garden, vegetable garden, shadow garden and ornamental garden. You will learn about forgotten fruits and vegetables and learn more about the ingenious pruning and slate shapes that you can admire in the garden. Through anecdotes about the history of the region and the Flemish gardeners and fruit growers you will be taken along in a fascinating and educational story.

Guided tours are possible for groups of up to 20 people. So keep in mind that you may need to book several guides for your group. A tour for your group takes an hour and a half and costs € 60 per guide + an entrance ticket per visitor. The level of the tour is always adjusted to your group. You pay the cost of the guide together with the entrance tickets before the start of the tour. Reservation is mandatory and must be submitted 2 weeks in advance.

Fill out this form to request one or more guides. We will contact you to confirm the tour(s). After confirmation, you can pay for the guided tour(s) on the day of your visit at the entrance pavilion in Kasteelstraat and buy the necessary entrance tickets. The guide will meet you at at the entrance pavilion. Proof of payment must be presented to the guide before the tour.

  • Until the opening of the castle in July 2023:
    Please come to the entrance of the Museum Garden at least 15 minutes before the start of the guided tour. The supervisor pays for the guide and entrance tickets on the spot. Allow at least one and a half hours for the guided tour.
  • After the opening of the castle from July 2023:
    On the day of the visit, come to the entrance pavilion on Kasteelstraat to pay for the guided tour(s) at least fifteen minutes in advance and purchase the necessary entrance tickets. The guide will be waiting for the group in the entrance pavilion. The proof of payment must be shown to the guide prior to the tour. From the departure at the entrance pavilion, count at least two hours for the guided tour.

Events

May 13 to 21
The Museum Garden forms the backdrop for an art exhibition organized by Art Valley. Several dozen artists exhibit their works throughout the garden. The garden remains accessible to ordinary visitors, who can fully enjoy all that beauty.

Sunday September 10
Day of the Museum Garden! On the occasion of Open Monument Day, we will open the gates of the Museum Garden completely from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You are welcome in the garden this day for guided tours, a drink, a tasting of the fruit from the garden, a market with local producers and many other activities. This year promises a special edition, because the Museum Garden exists 25 years. Let's celebrate!

 

 

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