Hello, my name is Herman Mylemans.

I live with my wife Annie and son Peter in Bouwel, a small village in the province of Antwerp in Belgium

Bouwel is about 10 m above sea-level. The weather is very unstable. Springs are sometimes wet and sometimes dry and usually have some late frost. Winters are mostly very wet and soft. Sometimes the temperatures fall to -10°C but normally there is no snow cover. The greatest problem is the temperature fluctuations in winter because, when plants awake, they are much more sensitive to frost damage.
Consequently Bouwel it is not an ideal place for alpines, but after years of experimenting I manage to keep a lot of plants alive.

I started growing alpines in 1980. There have been a lot of changes in the garden over all these years. Now my total rock garden area is about 400 m2. The garden soil is a little acid and it contains loam. In the rock garden there are different mixtures of peat, compost, soil, river sand, leafmould, lava, tufa and dolomite. The different rocks that I experiment with are lava, tufa, calcareous rocks from the Belgian Ardennes and flagstones.
I have created different places for difficult plants, so that they can survive without any protection.

At this moment I don’t know how many plants are growing in our garden, but the number will probably be about 1700. There are not only alpines, but also shrubs, conifers, border plants, water plants and heathers. The total garden is about 1600 m2.

Over the last years, the small growing gentians have become one of my favorites. That is why I started this website with the help of my son Peter.

Now I need your help if you are a gentian lover.

Herman Mylemans