From April 6 to May 6, the Castle of Groot-Bijgaarden puts on a super display of Spring flowers
The first sunny and warm weekend of the year saw me heading off to Floralia 2018. This is the 15th edition of the annual flower show held in the park of the castle of Groot-Bijgaarden just outside Brussels.
It’s become quite a fixture, and an especially popular destination for Brusselaars keen to top up their vitamin D levels after the long winter.
More than one million bulbs have been planted in the grounds over the years. The result is 15 hectares of borders filled with daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and other, lesser known bulb flowers. There’s also an indoor exhibition which this year featured a huge range of plants, including roses, freesias, orchids, chrysanthemums, amaryllis and bonsai.
Floralia 2018 visiting information
- April 6 to May 6
- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day
- Adults 14 EUR, children 5 EUR
- No picnicking allowed
- Cafetaria for light refreshments
- Address: Isidoor Van Beverenstraat 5, 1702 Groot-Bijgaarden
- More info here
- Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 April: Parade of Venetian costumes.
- Saturday 21 April: Pop & Jazz performance by local music academy
- Sunday 22 and Saturday 28 April: Flag throwing display
- Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 May: The Hunting Horns
Floralia 2018 is well worth a visit. The flower displays are superb, and it’s in a lovely setting with the attractive castle and moat. There’s plenty of space for children to run around, and ramps have been provided for buggies and wheelchairs. There’s also a small children’s playground area.
The keep (donjon) is also open, and provides a great view over Brussels from the top. Access is via a narrow stone circular staircase. As there’s only one staircase, this can lead to a few hair-raising moments when you meet oncoming traffic. But nothing that can’t be solved with a few tight squeezes or a bit of reversing.
The cafetaria is well stocked with drinks and light meals. As it’s Belgium you can of course get freshly fried frietjes. A stall also sells freshly prepared alcoholic (or not) fruit smoothies. There are plenty of tables and chairs to sit and eat outside. The public toilets are clean and easily accessible.
By the entrance there is an extensive shopping area where you can buy all sorts of bulbs, potted plants, cut flowers etc. So don’t forget your paper money.
I would imagine that weekend afternoons are extremely busy, so I would recommend getting there at 10 o’clock or thereabouts.
Have fun, and let me know how you get on. If you take any pictures you are especially proud of, let me know and I’ll add them to the post.