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Partner Garden of the Year Regional Finalist

ARBORETUM KALMTHOUT

Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Heuvel 8
Antwerp
Belgium
2920 Kalmthout

13 miles north of Antwerp.

33 acres

Tel
00 32 3666 67 41

Visit website

Opening Hours

Daily (except 25 Dec & 1 Jan), 10am–5pm.

Admission

Please see website for admission prices.

RHS members

Free access (Member 1 only) - applies when open (except 10 Apr & 2 Oct plant fairs).

Facilities

  • Accessible garden
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children's activities
  • Dogs welcome
  • Free carer entry
  • Gift shop
  • Group rates
  • Parking
  • Plant sales
  • Toilets

Features

  • Arboretum
  • Autumn colour
  • Champion trees
  • Herbaceous border
  • National Plant Collections

About the garden

Owned by
Abraham Rammeloo

Designed By
Russell Page

The history of Arboretum Kalmthout goes back as far as 1856, when the Antwerp dendrologist Charles Van Geert started a proving ground in Kalmthout for his nursery in Antwerp. It remained a nursery until 1952, when the brothers Georges and Robert De Belder bought the site to create their private botanical garden.

In 1954, they received assistance of Jelena Kovačič, who soon would be marrying Robert. With great taste and expertise, the grounds were transformed into a pleasant and atmospheric arboretum. Instead of the severe formality of traditional botanic gardens with their collections laid out in straight lines, the new owners favoured a natural-looking garden with perennials, creepers, shrubs and trees. Under the inspiring leadership of the De Belders, Arboretum Kalmthout grew into one of the world’s most prestigious botanic collections and one of Europe’s most beautiful gardens. The hundreds of new plants they introduced came from friends and growers all over the world. They collected seeds in the wild and also selected a great number of new cultivars, in particular Prunus, Malus, Pieris, Hamamelis and Hydrangea.

Since the mid-1980s, when the Antwerp provincial authority bought the site, the property has been enlarged several times and many investments for improving the accessibility for public and visitors have been deployed. Due to this continuing effort it is one of the leading gardens in Belgium, with one of the most valuable collections of woody plants in Europe. Highlights are the bonsai, the plant fairs, the tomato festival and the snowdrop weekend. No matter what the season, Arboretum Kalmthout is always worth a visit. Enjoy the allure and beauty of the flowers, leaf patterns and structures, or the bark on tree trunks and branches.

Plants of special interest

  • Agapanthus
  • Asters
  • Bluebells
  • Conifers
  • Cyclamen
  • Ferns
  • Fruit blossom
  • Fuchsias
  • Hellebores
  • Hemerocallis
  • Hostas
  • Magnolias
  • Maple
  • Primulas
  • Rhododendrons/azaleas
  • Roses
  • Shade-loving plants
  • Snowdrops
  • Spring bulbs
  • Waterlilies
  • Wildflowers
  • Wisteria

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.