Leuven is an historic and pretty Flemish town, 25km east of Brussels.
The central square a favourite place for us to sip coffee or a cold beer.
But it was only this year that we made our way to its Botanic Garden/Kruidtuin (herb garden) and what a treat was in store.
The Hortus Botanicus Lovaniensis is the oldest Botanic Garden in Belgium, originally laid out by the University for the study of medicinal herbs in 1738.
Late Spring is a wonderful time to visit when the spectacular wisteria clothes the walls of the Orangery in lavender hues. The scent is pervasive, almost overwhelming.
The green stripes of the manicured lawns are edged with wisteria “trees” too, late-flowering ones so the display lasts right into June.
Although not large, the standard of maintenance is excellent and there are many smaller gardens to retreat to with really well-thought out seating areas, and I could imagine whiling away the hours with a good book or daydreaming to the sound of the dripping water from languid fountains.
The fruit garden in Spring is full of blossom and the hum of bees, who retreat to their hives in a corner of the garden.
Concern for pollinators is clear with a large Insect Hotel, and plants which promise a long season of nectar.
Meandering paths lead through scented shrubs, all well labelled, down to a pond and into an area of woodland planting.
This is a lovely Botanic garden – small, sweet and welcoming, in a very beautiful Flemish town.
And, even better, entrance is free.