Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Botanical Gardens, Brussels

The Botanical Gardens, or Jardin Botanique Kruidtuin as the locals call it, is a nice respite from the concrete and glass towers that surround it in Brussels. We enjoyed a stroll through it, admiring the flora and the statues.

We entered by a small pond at the south end of the gardens. This area had the most wildlife, including people picnicking and fowls feeding.

Botanical Pond

Pond life

Further in we found some more statues that J and L were fond of. I swear they want to be statues. If only they could get more fame than my blog provides.

Madonna-like statue

Roman lady statue

Madonna with dogs and children?

Not many flowers were in bloom, perhaps we came too late or too early (though June 1 seems like a good date if you are in the northern hemisphere). A few bushes looked nice.

Purplish-pink flowers

Reddish-pink flowers

We found a small spot we thought was a maze, but turned out to be merely careful planting. That didn't stop us from playing hide and seek among the bigger bushes.

A nice design

Speaking of big bushes, some of the trees looked old and gnarly, perfect for climbing when the children are old enough. I'm sure in the garden that's not allowed. We may be back someday, though!

Old tree with some character

Older tree with even more character

Further up the hill we discovered a statue garden that included a large fountain that the kids enjoyed looking in and a small fountain that didn't even grab their interest.

L and the fountain

J and the fountain

Nymph Fountain

Plenty of other statues (52 in all) surround the botanical building, added in the 1800s by Constantin Meunier. Some were favorites for the children. One featured a tiger "hugging" a bird. At least that's what we told the children.

"Hugging" the bird

Nearby vulture waits for the aftermath of the "hug"

Children and a farmer

The glasshouse and buildings behind the statues were built in the early 1800s and was used as a reference source for botany students. Now it is home to the French Community Cultural Center, hosting plays, exhibits, and concerts.

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