The 25 hectare castle park was designed and built in 1873 in English landscape style. The intention of its clients, the Graven de Kerchove de Denterghem, was to use the park as a showcase for the then still very young Ghent plant cultivation. Today, the domain is still in the hands of the same family. It is maintained throughout the year in function of the internationally renowned Beervelde Garden Days that take place in mid-May and mid-October and are also very popular with young couples with wedding plans, looking for a fairytale setting.
The basic idea is to bring, in a relatively small area, all of the elements together that one would want in an ideal landscape: romantic views; gently rolling meadows; the illusion of a clearing in a forest; winding paths; erratic water features; bridges; fairy tale buildings etc.
The rule is: “Everything is manmade, but it must appear to be natural.” The original construction and the current maintenance in Beervelde correspond perfectly to this vision. In contrast to the landscape of the region, which is flat and linear, an idealised landscape can be found in the park. In the distance, without being too far away, you can see an island in the middle of a lake fed by a river that meanders its way through rolling grasslands.
The same rule " Everything is manmade, but it must appear to be natural" is also applied in the wooded area. The work that is done must remain invisible. The English use the name woodland gardening for this. Through intense, but invisible interventions for the visitor, a large variety of biotopes is maintained. Such a variety can’t be found spontaneously in nature in such a small place. The result of these efforts not only provides suitable biotopes for a great diversity of plants and animals, but also an aesthetically very pleasant walk.
Here the visitor can taste the different atmospheres that a forest has to offer and this without having to walk too far. This part of the Park is most interesting during the flowering of the stins plants (daffodils and many forest plants) in April and the azaleas in May. Most of these azaleas belong to the -historically important- group of the hard Ghent azaleas (called hardy Ghent in England, pontica hybrids in the Netherlands).
Three buildings catch the eye
The villa was built on the spot where the castle used to stand. In 1947 the castle (70 years after its construction) was demolished because it was considered as not very comfortable. On the foundations, a family house was built which may be proportional to the site, but in the meantime (60 years later) also appears to be uncomfortable.
In 1966, Roger Raveel, Elias, Lucassen and Raoul De Keyser transformed the basement hallways into a three-dimensional work of art in which reality (the visitors for example) and painting merge unnoticed. Today, one wonders whether this (now crumbling) work should be regarded as a temporary "installation" or something that needs to be restored.
The Coach house
The castle-like coach house is an attractive ensemble of buildings with Tudor style features around a charming courtyard. You can see where the horses and carriages used to be and where cows were kept. Now often the setting for beautiful parties and events.
Many visitors wonder what the function of this pavilion is. Although there are documents that prove that this construction was once used as a pool house, the building was probably only intended as an eye-catcher in the created landscape.