Coloma Rose Garden BelgiumFlemish Brabant

Coloma Rose Garden, Sint-Pieters-Leeuw

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June

2018 Opening Hours: 15 May – 30 September

The Coloma Rose Garden is situated at Joseph Depauwstraat 25, 1600 Sint-Pieters-Leeuw. It’s open from 10 am to 8 pm every day from 15 May to 30 September expect Monday when it’s closed. Entrance is free.

The rose garden is close to the centre of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw and can be reached by public transport as follows:

  • From Ruisbroek railway station: From the bus stop “Ruisbroek kerk”, which is a short walk from the station, take De Lijn bus 172 which goes directly to the center of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw.
  • From Brussel-Zuid station: De Lijn buses 170, 144 and 145 go to the center of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw.
  • From Halle station: De Lijn bus 170 to Sint-Pieters-Leeuw.

When I visited, I was not disappointed. With its impressive displays of more than 3,000 varieties of roses from 26 countries, Coloma is one of the most extensive rose gardens in Europe. You can probably find every type of rose on the planet there: antique roses, the most recent hybrids, climbing roses, rambling roses and bush roses.

Set in a castle’s grounds

The rose garden is located on the grounds of Coloma Castle, the most famous building in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw. Built as a fortress in the 15th century, Coloma Castle was transformed into a country residence (known in Flemish as a lusthuis). Through the ages, the castle changed owners several times, and was eventually purchased and restored by the municipality of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw.

Park Coloma, covering an area of 15 hectares, was originally conceived and laid out in the French style, with intercrossing narrow walkways, right-angled ponds, a canal, and overall geometrical symmetry. In the 18th and 19th centuries the English garden architectural style was adopted and still remains evident today, particularly in the south-east section of the park, with its curves, meandering paths and more luscious vegetation.

The Coloma rose garden is divided into five areas. The first incorporates a traditional geometric structure, with garden pergolas and glazed or wooden verandas. I particularly liked the varieties in red and white that have been planted in designs representing the heraldry of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw.

The second garden occupies a slightly higher position and hence gives good views over Coloma as a whole. Here the emphasis is on roses cultivated by Flemish horticulturists. The third rose garden traces the evolution of the rose across the ages, from 18th century varieties to the most recently cultured varieties. The fourth area is set out in landscape style, while the fifth is devoted to 400 long-stemmed rose bushes.

Well maintained

The whole area is incredibly well maintained. I hardly saw a dead-head, and the borders are neatly manicured. And try as I might, I didn’t spot a single greenfly or aphid, while my garden rose’s blackspot and rust don’t seem to have appeared in Coloma. At the same time I didn’t see a lot of bees and butterflies either, which suggests that the rose garden is heavily sprayed in order to keep everything in tip-top condition, which is understandable considering the rarity of some of the varieties.

The rose museum

Rose Museum

I didn’t investigate it (as I wanted to make the most of the sunshine), but in the park next to the rose garden is the Museum of the Rose. Here you can find all you want to know about roses. The museum is particularly proud of its interactive digital rose encyclopaedia. There is also an excellent café on site. Entrance to the Coloma rose garden is free.

The Coloma rose garden is an excellent place to visit for an hour or two. If you’re still not convinced, here’s a short video:

 

12 replies »

  1. Hi Denzil. In 1997, I lived in Sint Pieters Leeuw for three years, two blocks from the Coloma Castle; but it was not restored at that time. I use to love walking through the area with a thick carpet of leaves at my feet, listening to the silence while also wondering who originally built Coloma Castle. I had an opportunity to visit the entire Rose Garden in October 2007 and it was lovely to see the entire area vibrant again.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Thanks for this, Denzil! Just wanted to get out of Brussels for a couple of hours today and this fit the bill perfectly. I had no idea it existed although it’s almost on my doorstep!

  3. Dear Denzil, The Coloma gardens look beautiful. When is the best time to see the roses in this Belgian garden? When is the earliest month one can expect a full show? Regards. Anthony

    • From now onwards Anthony, and right through the summer. Some are early bloomers; others later. But there will be plenty to see over the next couple of months. I hope you enjoy your trip. It’s closed on Mondays.

  4. This is such a beautiful place to wander. I love roses and they were my father’s favorite plant – he always planted roses wherever he lived and he maintained them expertly. I still have the dried rose lei he made me shortly before he died. As for that country house museum – I’ve always wanted a turret attached to my house, to go with my palomino horse. (Still a kid at heart.) Thank you for the wonderful photos of this gorgeous garden.

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