Daily Garden : Belgian Bed and Breakfast

“In Ghent, Belgium, the historical garden of an 18th century building under monument protection has been embellished with contemporary elements. Although the city villa “Hôtel Verhaegen” also serves as a luxury bed-and-breakfast, the garden is accessible only to the owners, who wanted to have greater privacy and be screened from the neighboring apartments. In addition, the existing, somewhat neglected “Jardin de Broderie” required subtle changes, as its stark box hedges and classical fountain lent it a severe, almost military appearance.”

The solution to the design challenge….

“Six trimmed linden trees now screen the garden from view along the wall’s length of 15 meters. Three new, organic wood sculptures stand in front of the linden hedge, in deliberate contrast to the historical garden. The abstract structures are made of chestnut wood, supported by steel pillar foundations. They were built on site. At night, yellow and red lights create a magical mood in the garden. Two climbing roses wind around each of the freestanding wood sculptures. The flowerbed at the edge of the plot was planted in such a way as to create a “wild and prairie” feeling. White iris serves to emphasize the historical fountain. The landscape architect deliberately used neither herbs nor perennials, as the garden had originally been designed as a pleasure garden.”

contemporary garden sculture in historic garden

Designed by Albèric Moreels of Belgium. Images from Private plots and Public Spots.

What do you think?  A good solution to the design brief?  I kind of think so, even though I am quite sure I wouldn’t have thought of  doing the same.

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.


  1. Jacqui on February 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I love it. The 2-D linden trees, the web-like wooden sculptures, the faux-mazes…it’s surreal, but totally balanced so as not to be unsettling. The only element that seems like it doesn’t belong are the vertical grass-like plants rimming the fountain. I would have preferred to keep the lines flowing.

  2. Sunny on February 9, 2010 at 11:14 am

    What a lovely garden, I like the shot of the lighting

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