I have been living in Leuven, Belgium, for close to 5 years now and the Botanic Garden has been one of my favorite spots along the years. Every season is different. Every month there's something new. It's a true living space. And it's a sweet quiet place to relax, making me forget that I actually live in a busy and lively Belgian city.
I’ve recently found out that the Botanic Garden from Leuven is the oldest in Belgium, dating back from 1738. It occupies approximately 2.2 hectares of land slightly on the west side of Leuven. It holds a collection of trees, bushes, plants, herbs, and a small artificial lake. Throughout the year, exhibitions are held there and some events and activities related to Botany.
In my first year in Leuven, while I was studying, I lived very close to the Botanic Garden. As that year was quite hectic, I completely missed this place in the beginning, and I think I only visited it for the first time after about half a year of living in Leuven. And it was love at first sight. I couldn’t believe it was so close to where I lived. Such a perfect, quiet place, where I could just go to and relax.
These pictures were taken in early Spring this year when all flowers were coming alive and warming everyone’s hearts. I took my recently bought Lubitel 166+ on a Saturday afternoon, so I could capture some of the colors and ambiance of the place at this time of the year. It was brimming with color although you can see that some trees in the background were still quite stripped of leaves. I also had brought my Olympus Trip 35 loaded with redscale film, which produced the warm red pictures you can also find in this article.
On a decently warm and sunny day (which is rare in Belgium :)) it’s a perfect place to bring a book (or my Kindle) and sit reading it, taking breaks between the pages to enjoy the view. Or simply just wander around for a while, breathing in the fresh air, the scent of the flowers and herbs, before getting back to my book.
With every visit to the Botanic Garden, I bring memories back of the moments spent there. One of my favorite times was when I saw snow for the first time in my life (yes, sadly, only 5 years ago) and I just rushed to the Botanic Garden after the snow stopped falling and I saw it covered in white.
Leuven is a small city, known for its famous University (K.U. Leuven) and for its mostly student population. As well as perhaps, for being somehow a small city, it’s so easy to meet friends randomly and unexpectedly when you’re doing your shopping, running around or relaxing in places like the Botanic Garden. The day I took these pictures was also marked by meeting friends unexpectedly there, resulting in a beautiful snapshot of them.
For more information about the Botanic Garden (in Dutch) and also for a source of some of the information on this article please visit this link.