The master plan of Plantentuin Meise
Respecting the past and investing in the future
Since 2014, the Botanic Garden has been managed by the Flemish government as the Meise Botanic Garden Agency. Through a new master plan, with an extensive investment package and the leverage project Meise Botanic Garden 2.0, the Botanic Garden is preparing itself for the future. The work will run over a period of more than 10 years.
In the first phase, investments were made in a new visitor infrastructure. As of July 2021, the Botanic Garden welcomes visitors via two completely renovated entrance areas; the Empress Charlotte entrance and the Meise-Village entrance. We renewed the signposting and wayfinding throughout the estate. There is a whole new range of walks, supported by handy folders with maps. In addition, visitors also have a network of numbered nodes at their disposal for orientation.
The 19th century Stately Avenue was restored and replanted with water cypresses. Many new gardens highlight our collections: the Rose Garden, the Mediaeval Garden, and the Fragrance and Colour Garden near the Empress Charlotte entrance, the formal Castle Garden at the end of the Sately Avenue, and the Culinary Garden in the walled garden of the Orangery. In 2022, we opened a new Island Garden in the castle pond.
We also care for our Heritage. The various follies in the estate, relics of the 19th century English Landscape Park, will be refreshed step by step. The Plant Palace is being completely renovated and given new information panels for our visitors. A beautiful pond and lovely borders complete the picture. In the same period, the construction of a new greenhouse complex for our plant collections was started. This Green Ark and the adjacent service building, which houses the seed bank, will be completed in 2023.
Biodiversity and sustainability are inextricably linked. Sustainability is therefore a common thread running through all investments. Each renovation uses state-of-the-art technology and pays special attention to energy efficiency and renewable materials.
In recent years, we have also invested in the collection and use of rainwater in the estate. With our rainwater storage system, we now have more than 1 million litres of rainwater at our disposal for watering our plant collections. The Botanic Garden aims to become CO₂-neutral by 2050, so heating as efficiently as possible is the aim.
In the next phase, starting in 2023, we will renovate the Boiler Room and build a new technical building. A new public restaurant with a roof terrace will be built in the Pachthof zone. It will truly be the vibrant heart of the estate. Bouchout Castle will be the place to be for all your MICE activities, be it a conference, a team-building day for the company, or a family celebration. And we won’t forget the parking, bikes included!
We hope to be finished with the last major investments before 2025: the renovation of the Herbarium building, home to our extensive library and herbarium and the place where most of our research takes place. Along with the renovation of the Orangery, they complete an impressive investment programme. As the icing on the cake, and because it will be necessary after all the works, the roads in the Botanic Garden will also be renewed.
Day after day, we continue our mission, along with all our visitors and partners!