Monday, March 23, 2015

Tiny, But Packs a Punch!

The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanic gardens in the world and is located within the centre of the city which makes it very convenient to visit. And it is perhaps one of the smallest too, tiny even but it is relative to the size of the city rather than dominating it.

Tiny it may bet it certainly still packs a punch!

I'll let Wikipedia and it's own website do most of the talking when it comes to more information about it. For now let me share to you first some of the few photos we've taken outside before we give a tour of its three greenhouses on separate posts:

The entrance to the Three Climate Greenhouse
Winter still has its grip of the city and there's not much going on outside apart from the resilience of the evergreens. Phyllostachys to the left and Cortaderia to the right.
I thought it was a Schefflera at first but it was Daphniphyllum macropodum
Nice looking building but not open to the public, although parts of it can be hired for private parties. At other times I can imagine this is where most of their administration work is done.
Before we continue let's have a very quick look at their plant sales area first...

Hostas in leaf like it's late May already...
And Hydrangeas in bloom! This is Holland afterall...
Now on to other parts outside:

The Palm House, one of its three greenhouse attractions. The structure looks a lot newer than it's age of almost a hundred years old.
Winding paths with herbaceous beds in between
Carnivorous plants beds just outside the Three Climate Greenhouse. Hardy but scruffy!
Nice enough place to pause and sit. I wonder if next month the pansies will be replaced by tulips in bloom...
A small Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) still in a cage??? We can't believe this gimmick is still being done!
Perhaps an instruction is written on the tag when they bought it saying - must be placed in a cage if to be planted in a botanic garden. Ah well, a little plant drama never did harm.
We only took a few photos outside especially as it seems winter still has its grip on the place but I can imagine change is about to happen pretty rapidly in the next few days. The biggest highlights of our visit were a look a look into their three greenhouse attractions which we'll feature on upcoming posts!

Mark :-)

28 comments :

  1. Looking forward to seeing the greenhouses (from the inside)!

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    1. Hi Alan, I know you've been to Amsterdam several times before, have you ever popped round the botanic gardens whilst there? If not next time you're there it's worth checking out :)

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  2. Haha, that cage!!! I imagine it must be pretty in the spring and summer, with a lot of green. Also looking forward to seeing the greenhouses!!

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    1. Odd isn't it Lisa? It was a gimmick many years ago so I was surprised to see the doing it still when you can readily buy this conifer nowadays...

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  3. What a thing to do to a Wollemi pine. That is a very modern looking century old greenhouse. I look forward to seeing what's in it!

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    1. It looks so modern isn't it Sarah? Even more so inside as it looks pristine :)

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  4. It's funny, I always expect Amsterdam to be further on than we are, here in the uk, but it is about the same, or even a little behind sometimes.
    Those buildings look as if they contain some gems - can't wait to see them. Oh, and did you buy anything from the little nursery ?

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    1. I think they are actually a little behind Jane as you've said as it still looked very wintry even when the temps weren't actually that bad at all, going well above 10C during the day. No purchases there at all, selection wasn't brilliant.

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  5. Oh you've been traveling then :) When I see plants in cages like that I am convinced that they are either a) toxic or b) that the cage is there as a vandal proof measure until the little tree becomes sturdier. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more about your trip.

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    1. Thanks Anna! It's was an effective gimmick then but I don't think it serves any other purpose now apart from that :)

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  6. I had to Google information on Woollemi pines in cages - I can't say I've ever seen that before at a botanic garden but I had to wonder: would it prevent raccoon intrusions? Maybe I need some of those.

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    1. You won't need those cages Kris :) back then when Wollemi Pine was first planted out successful propagation they put them in cages as they were 'rare and in danger of being stolen', as well as to highlight how rare it is and endangered. Gimmick of course, you can buy the pine in the plant sales area and now there are loads available.

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  7. Interesting! I've never visited Amsterdam except through blog posts so I'm looking forward to your take on the contents of the greenhouses!

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    1. Thanks Peter and a pleasure to share :)

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  8. Release the Wollemia! Thanks for the daphnyphillum photo, I love seeing their various forms.

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    1. Best released indeed Loree, and that cage is an eyesore!

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  9. I was there in November, Boys in beautiful bright sunshine. We had such a restful couple of hours wandering around and sitting after pounding the streets of Amsterdam all morning. Missed the Wollemi though.

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    1. Great to hear that David, and fabulous city isn't it?

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  10. Winter may still have its grips on the area, but the garden still looks lovely and feels so serene.

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  11. Been there, done that- three times- its a fantastic place. The Dutch are fine growers whether its commercial stuff or plantsman/ecology related.
    The Wollemi at Kew is also in a cage. It rather detracts from its beauty. I will be blogging about this fascinating plant next month. All known specimens of it seem to be genetically identical.
    Have you ever been to Amsterdam Open Gardens? It is an absolutely fantastic three day weekend!

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    1. Have heard about their open gardens last year Roger and based from the photos of those who attended it was great! With a bit of planning perhaps we can make it to one of its future editions :)

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  12. The architecture really takes center stage in the winter. Champing at the bit to get inside those handsome buildings.

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  13. There clearly needs to be a 'Free the Pine' campaign... Like the look of that Daphniphyllum macropodum. Looking forward to the interior posts...

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  14. LOL at the caged Wollemia! I saw this at the Norfolk [Virginia, USA] Botanical Garden in 2008. I heard the plant later died, and when I give talks I tell people it died of despair:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/dctropics/2727711799
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/dctropics/2728539526

    BTW we had several specimens growing in Washington, DC for a few years but our coldest winter in 20 years, followed by another one just as cold, did them in.

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    1. Good to hear another one finding this caged Wollemi Pine 'funny'. You're probably right, it died of despair :)

      Despite it existing through two ice ages it's actually not that hardy. The harsh winter here in 2010 killed so many too.

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