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Coloma Rose Garden, Sint-Pieters-Leeuw

Coloma Rose Garden Belgium

If you have even a passing interest in roses, then the Coloma Rose Garden is a must-visit place. 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.

The Coloma Rose Garden is located at Joseph Depauwstraat 25, 1600 Sint-Pieters-Leeuw. It’s open from 9 am to 8 pm every day throughout the summer except Mondays when it’s closed. Entrance is free.

The Coloma 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.
  • Leaving 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.

By car it’s even easier to access, via the N6 or from junction 19 of the Brussels Ring, Beersel exit. Note that the garden does not have much shade, so on a hot day go prepared with suncream and water!

coloma rose garden

When I visited, I was not disappointed. With its impressive displays of thousands of roses from all over the world, 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.

The Coloma Rose Garden to the west of Brussels, Belgium

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.

Coloma Rose Garden

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.

Coloma Rose Garden

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.

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 Rose Museum. 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 a 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 are some more photos, sent in by Jofi Yance. Thanks a lot Jofi! You can see more of his photos of Belgium and elsewhere on Instagram @jofi.jofi

Where to stay in Sint Pieters-Leeuw?

If you want a suggestion of a great place to stay in Sint Pieters-Leeuw, I have two. The delightfully named B&B O Chocolat Cho is as delightful as its name! It’s a 5-minute car drive from the Coloma Rose Museum. Even closer is The Kettle House – Manor. Both offer high-quality accommodation with friendly service.

16 thoughts on “Coloma Rose Garden, Sint-Pieters-Leeuw”

  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

    1. 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.

    1. That’s a lovely memory to have of your father Sharon. These posts are certainly building up your imaginary castle, you old romantic! Sorry, young romantic! 🙂

  5. Thanks for your comment Gilles, you make a valid point. I’ve added the info regarding car travel. Sometimes I miss out that info because I give the address and all someone with a car has to do is enter it into their GPS. Travel by public transport demands a bit more advance planning

  6. I visited the garden today (17 February, 2022) as a dry run for when roses are bloom. I noticed the large apple orchard in the grounds with tens of unusual varieties. The orchard would also be spectacular when in bloom.

    Incidentally the Meise botanical garden near Laken since two years ago has a wild roses garden but not yet fully established. Another spectacular rose garden is in Mechelen just a few kilometers from Brussels.

    1. Thanks Mansur for pointing out the orchard; well worth a visit in the spring! Thanks also for the tip about Meise, which is another beautiful place to visit indeed. I also appreciate tips and suggestions, so thanks!

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