"Van Noten's house lies 30 minutes outside Antwerp... When he and Vangheluwe, who oversees production for the company, bought the place, in 1996, it was in a neglected state, with several wooden follies in near crumble and the colossal banks of wild rhododendon -- which are like land art in Belgium -- significantly blunted. Formerly the summer residence of an Antwerp family, the colonnaded stone house, now restored, sits in the middle of unbroken lawn, emphasizing its classical lines and otherworldly height. The interiors are all dark and cool and twilit, and Van Noten has brought something of his love of England to the decoration. He and Vangheluwe greet me on the front steps, where delphiniums are growing willy-nilly in the crevices.
We head into the garden, going along a woodland path until we arrive at a series of pernnial gardens hedged in by tall yews. The house is no longer in sight. In summer, Van Noten and Vangheluwe are in the garden before and after work, planting or plotting something. We go deeper, passing through a rose garden. Bees swoon above our heads in the branches of a wisteria tree. We cross a meadow, the air heavy with insect sounds and heat."