Garden Writers
Amsterdam Belgium 2006
July, 2006

Saturday July 8th we boarded our coach after breakfast for our day trip to Antwerp. We started our medieval walking tour with a visit to Rockox House. Nicolaas Rockox was a great humanist, Burgomaster (Mayor) of Antwerp nine times in the first half of the 17th century, and friend and patron of Rubens. Together with his contemporaries Rubens, Plantin, Moretus, Jordaens and Snyders, Rockox was one of the key figures who helped to create the spirit of his times, at the height of the Baroque period in Antwerp. The house was restored in 1970 to its former splendour as a tribute to the Flemish region. The house was then furnished with art works and furniture which could have been found in a patrician house in the 17th century. The result is an outstanding example of a Flemish interior of the 17th century, displaying the best that Flemish artists and craftsmen of the period had to offer. There is also a charming interior garden here. We continue to the Rubenshuis gardens – Rubens took his inspiration in Italy for his garden and decorations. Not only did he decorate the area with niches, frontons, not only did he enhance the interior facades with garlands, he edified two different buildings face to face, connected by a genuine “ triumph arch”, sort of magisterial synthesis of the Flemish and Italian character of the house. The perspective on the garden and the garden pavilion completes the décor. The Rubens house is considered as one of the masterpieces of Flemish baroque, just like the admirable “Grand Place” in Brussels or the beautiful Saint-Charles Borromeus church in Antwerp. We also visited the Museum Plantin-Moretus and were all fascinated by the incredibly old and fragile botanical books and artwork…what a treat! And do not miss looking at the pictures of the first known representation of the potato – I took three pictures of the drawing…this was done in 1588!







  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row