Visiting Floralia 2018

Floralia 2018

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

Special Events

  • 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

My impressions

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.


20 thoughts on “Visiting Floralia 2018”

    1. I was happy to be able to visit it when the sun was out Jo. Looking around a flower garden in the pouring rain isn’t my idea of a fun Sunday morning – and probably not yours too.

    2. I would love to visit this garden, Denzil. It looks beautiful and I would enjoy pottering around the garden stalls too. I’ve never had an alcoholic fruit smoothie but a friend of mine often makes Bailey’s milkshakes on hot afternoons. 🙂 Is that orange flower with the yellow centre a daffodil? I’ve never seen one that colour.

      1. Regrettably I took so many photos and so quickly that I didn’t note down the names of the flowers I was shooting. We could call it Denzilius forgettemus though.

      2. Thanks for the info Denzil – when I think of Groot-Bijgaarden usually all I think of is the traffic on the ring!

        1. Yes I hear that New England is still very much in the grip of winter. Let’s hope for warmer winds soon Judy.

      3. I wonder if the gardens are still open after the end of the flower show. We won’t be in Brussels until the 9th May..😰

        1. Unfortunately not Brian. It’s a private residence and they only open it up for one month per year. Let me know where you are staying and I can point you to other gardens that are open after May 9.

      4. What a joyous extravaganza of blooming colour, a real tonic after the long winter and a tardy spring. I recently visited Kew – in the rain with a two-year old! Should’ve read this first! I love that peacock.

      5. What a fantastic garden full of colours of Spring.. Just beautiful.. Reminds me of when I was young and my grandparents went to Amsterdam to see the spring bulbs.. I remember the photos my granddad took of tulips and these reminded me of them .
        Wishing you a Happy Spring time..
        Sue 🙂

          1. Yes, it was an adventure for both of them.. They only travelled a little later in life and it was the first time any of them had flown out of the UK.. But my Granddad was a keen gardener and love his bulbs and roses.. I still have a small broach with clogs on they brought me back that I treasure, I must have been around 10 or 12.. 🙂 And its a vivid memory of seeing their photos and the canal boat they also did a trip on.

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