Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuindagen Kasteel van Leeuwergem - Garden Days at The Castle of Leeuwergem September 17th & 18th

1Castle of Leeuwergem

As most of my readers do know, I love visiting castles and earlier I have written a few blogposts about our Belgian castles.

About two years ago I wrote a blogpost about this magnificent Belgian castle because of our visit to its annual ‘Garden Days’ exhibition.

To read click here.

This year the exhibition will take place September 17th and 18th.

Before talking about these Garden Days’, let me first tell you something more about the beautiful Castle of Leeuwergem.

The castle of Leeuwergem is a fortified castle in the territory of Elene, part of Zottegem and is one of the most interesting and authentic rococo styled castles of Belgium.

At the end of a one kilometer long lane, you discover an almost quadrangular castle, balanced in line and form, in the middle of flower beds, on an elevated piece of land surrounded by water.

47Castle lane.

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The Castle was built in 1764, on the site of an earlier castle of the first half of the 15th century, and is now become part of our Belgian cultural heritage, classified as Historical Residence in 1973.

A charming little chapel on the first floor, dedicated to the four evangelists, is still in its original condition as the day of the consecration in 1764.

Today the domain is privately owned by the Baron and Baroness Baudouin della Faille d'Huysse – Pauline de Villenfagne de Vogelsanck. After his father passed away In 1987, the Baron and his wife and their 2 children Adrien and Rose-Alie, moved in.

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Its elegance is both inside and outside given by the French Louis XV style. Rocaille decorations, shell motifs and curved lines are predominant.

16Beautiful curved frontdoor of the Castle.

Foto 007 Cast iron lantern.

39Rococo style ornaments.

12Back side of the castle.

57A glimpse inside the castle.

The castle is surrounded by a 32 hectare park traversed with ponds.

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The gardens are a combination of a classic French and a romantic English garden park.

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The entire landscaping was entrusted to Jean Baptiste Simoens of Ghent in 1761 and was completed around 1785.

Foto 026 Pond of the sphinxes.

Foto 025 Sphinxes, protectors of the castle domain.

Amid the ponds, statuary, and the bridges, which provide a pleasant walk, is situated the "green theater" ,simultaneously simple and grandiose, entirely built in hornbeam (carpinus betulus) and unique in Europe. Its construction dates back to 1764 and accommodate 800 spectators in this privileged environment, where concerts and theaters can be organized.

4Tall oak and beech trees of a hundred years old are the backdrop for a perfect sound reflection.

5Guests attending a wedding ceremony!

3 Along the pond, a statue of ‘Diane Chasseresse’ (Diana goddess of the hunt) showing us the way to the Green Theater.

The spacious conservatory is part of the ancient castle, dating from the time of Louis XV.

21The orangery (Conservatory).

During winter it was the storage place for the big pots of flowers and orange trees. The orangery was completely restored in 1992, in compliance with the 18th century style. The Baron and Baroness received the award for best restoration of historical homes.

Next to the orangery is another outbuilding, the carriage house or coach house.

41Coach house.

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The "Pumpkin" as the theme of this year’s "Garden Days".

The Baron and Baroness themselves are carrying a lot of work in and around the Castle. They try to take the costs of maintenance of the castle, the outbuildings and gardens around, as much as possible for their own account. But costs of maintenance are huge and the owners needed to find a way to generate revenues for the preservation and restoration.

The preservation of buildings and gardens requires constant maintenance and endless restoration. Therefore we need to revitalize the area to protect our heritage.’ explains Baron della Faille d’Huysse.

So, a few years ago, the couple decided to open the Castle domain and to start organizing their annual public ‘Garden Days’. They are welcoming visitors to walk around the castle’s gardens and enjoy the exhibition that counts a lot of exhibitors showing their garden related products.

Pictures of passed annual ‘Garden Days’.

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Exhibitors offering their garden related products.

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1st foto's 014Inside the orangery : one of the exhibitors selling beautiful etchings.

Do you remember, I brought home with me these 4 etchings of grape vines to hang in our orangery.

EtsenPhoto credit Fotografie Claude Smekens

Visiting the ‘Garden Days’ can be educational as well as fun : learn more about the different kind of owls !

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The theme of this year’s “Garden Days” is the ’Pumpkin’.

Visitors are able to enjoy a walk in the gorgeous vegetable garden of the Castle and to discover the most beautiful - and lots of different kinds of - pumpkins.

6One of the so many pumpkins to discover!

Congratulations to the Baroness for her fabulous vegetable garden, which she personally, and with great care, has created!

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Pumpkins everywhere!

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About a week ago, Jan and me were thrilled to be invited by the Baron and the Baroness to have a preview of the Garden Days! We spent some wonderful hours chatting with these lovely and generous people! And we visited the gardens as well as the inside of the castle.

I couldn’t withhold you from sharing some of the pictures I took that wonderful Sunday morning.

42As we arrived at the castle, the weather was gorgeous and the Baron came in from a check tour on his property.

55Jan took this picture of the Baron and Baroness and me in front of the castle.

48We started our tour along this alley.

Foto 018One of the first things Jan and me wanted to see, was the ‘Green Theater’.

The Baroness told me that the ceremony of her daughter’s wedding took place at the ‘Green Theater’!

Foto 021One of the statues we came along. The god Apollo.

18I do love the huge statues of the sphinxes!

Foto 027In my thoughts I can see the 18th century summer parties which took place here ! Don’t you?

13We continued our walk along the backside of the castle.

Foto 037The Baroness and me stopped to say hello to the lovely donkeys, the castle pets!

And we continued along the beautiful orangery…

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…to arrive at the vegetable garden of the castle.

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Fruit trees, vegetables and a lot of other plants to discover here!

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At the back of the vegetable garden is situated the pool and a remarkable poolhouse with its more or less pagoda shaped roof.

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23Romantic corner.

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The pumpkin as the central theme of this year’s Garden Days.

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24Jan and the Baron were changing thoughts about gardening!

27 Tasting figs!!

25Every single plant in the garden is named.The name is written on a slate tile. Love this!

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The greenhouse.

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32Different kind of pears growing along the castle wall.

Foto 074And not to forget the beautiful flowers.

Foto 079 At the end of our tour, the Baron and Baroness were so kind to offer us a drink.

If you are like me and you love visiting castles, you love nature, you love vegetable gardens,,you love garden exhibitions or you would love to walk in one of the most beautiful gardens of Belgium, please be sure to be a visitor of these wonderful ‘Garden Days’! You won’t regret it!

To my international readers who are visiting Belgium those days, be sure to arrange your schedule in order to visit the Garden Days at the castle of Leeuwergem.

I hope to meet you there!

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To read more about the castle , please visit the gorgeous website of The Castle of Leeuwergem.

www.leeuwergem.be

or watch the video about the Castle of Leeuwergem

by clicking on the image below :

VideoVideo about the Castle of Leeuwergem

For more information about the ‘Garden Days’ , click HERE.

If you are interested to organize your own festivity in the gardens or in one of the beautiful outbuildings of the castle, as the orangery or the coach house, please make a request HERE.

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I am sure that each of your lovely comments would be a pleasure to read for the Baron and the Baroness.

I would love to thank the Baron and the Baroness for their hospitality and for taking the time to take us around their gorgeous property!

And I do hope they will succeed in their purpose to preserve the castle for their descendants!

Signature

Images source : - website of The Castle of Leeuwergem www.leeuwergem.be

& pictures taken by me

With permission of the Baron and Baroness della Faille d’Huysse