I have to admit, I had never heard of this garden before until I saw a sponsored message popping up on my Facebook. In the message it claimed to be one of the most beautiful gardens of Wallonia and it is actually only open one weekend a year to raise money for charity. Sounded like a nice plan for the weekend, so we drove 40 km east to Wépion to have a look at it. I can already tell you it exceeded our expectations by far.
You enter this beautiful garden on foot through a beautiful lane through forest grounds. Under the trees the owner planted many Hosta, Acers, ferns and other shade loving plants. At the end of the lane you arrive at the beautiful mansion, but before that you do a tour through even more shaded plant areas, with again a nice collection of Hosta and other big leaved plants that love boggy conditions. The house itself is covered in beautiful Roses and is surrounded by the owners 300 antique water can collection.
The path brings you further down. A nice panoramic terrace gives you a beautiful view on a small lake and the forest. From here the owner photographs and observes the wildlife of this stunning domain. More downwards a cute victorian style gazebo offers you a spectacular view of the valley and the big La Meuse river flanked by rock cliffs. Black sheep behind are grazing in front of you, but thanks to the ha-ha the view is unobstructed. Here the garden opens up and between the mansion and you a vast plane of wildflower meadow brings color and bees in what used to be a sterile lawn before. The meadow is flanked by a big border where different coloured bushes and flowers that bring a joyful touch to the garden.
A long secret tunnel covered in 90 varieties of roses brings you to the vegetable garden. And what a spectacular location. The square vegetable patches are lined with box and antique glass plant covers gives the whole a very romantic and authentic feel. At the other side of the rose tunnel there is a beautiful glasshouse filled with tomatoes and other vegetables.
Don’t forget to take a side step to the more recent white garden, where white roses, Cornus kausa and silver leaved plants set the tone. And also in this part you have some benches to take a rest and let the beauty sink in.
We now climb back up towards the house for another stunning view over the garden and valley. This garden is an English landscape garden at its best. Even when it’s only once a year, it is a delight the owners want to share this peace of paradise with the public. We still had a drink and left with a satisfied feeling. So put it already in your calendar, every second weekend of June the doors for the public are open.
Info : http://www.lesousbois.be/index.php (In French only)