De Hortus Botanicus

We have been to the Amsterdam Botanic Gardens! It was time for a change and something new. And so it was that we found ourselves in front of the Amsterdam Botanic Gardens early Sunday afternoon.

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I had done my research and we turned up in time to sit and have coffee before joining a group for a free guided tour! This was our Guide in the process of explaining to us that though the gardens had a full grown fig tree, the fruit would never ripen as they only had one fig tree and it was a girl. (Hint: you need two.)

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The gardens began life just as Amsterdam was going through or had just been through the plague, and every man and his dog came to the city in order to sell snake oil. When the authorities took it upon themselves to regulate this trade and make people pass exams, you ended up with a first approximation of a medical university!

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This plant has been in the plans of Hortus since 1880. That’s how old this plant is. My mind was a bit blown by this fact. The tree behind it has only been there since 1910.

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When the brief overview tour was completed we spent some time doing our own explorations. One of the first places we went to was a tropical green house that was full of butterflies!

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There is a huge building which has affectionately been named the “pin-cushion” owing to it’s aesthetics, which houses three different greenhouses.

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There’s some good old eucalyptus in one room, a desert room, and a rainforest room. I lost Himself in the desert room for a bit. (He has a fascination.)

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I was intrigued with the rainforest room.

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The huge leaves take me back to the tropical foliage I feel in love with on our trip to Cairns. The photos just don’t do them justice, and it’s really hard to convey the sense of scale in a photograph!

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As we were departing this neat little hot house I did come across one plant without whom I wouldn’t be such a well put together and organised person. Yes, it was a coffee plant. Too young to bear fruit, but one day, I have high hopes for that little plant!

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As we exited through the gift shop we came across the selection of plants they had for sale. What else would a botanic garden sell in their gift shop?

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It was lovely to be able to see a bee making use of the flowers before they were bought and taken off to somewhere else for other bees to enjoy.

4 thoughts on “De Hortus Botanicus

  1. Beautiful photos! I particularly like the one of the bloom in the rainforest room.

    I hadn’t known that fig trees came as boys or girls, though I knew this was true of other plants. I’m assuming they chose to have only one fig tree on purpose? Or was it an oversight?

    1. That flower was so vibrant! 😀 I loved it! 😀

      I hadn’t known that about fig trees either! I love learning new things! and the tour guide obviously loved what he did! It was wonderful to see how into it all he was! 😀

      I’m not sure why they don’t have a second one, other than, it’s actually situated on a really small space! They may not have had the room to fit a second specimen.

  2. In one of the places we lived, they lined the streets with gingko trees, but all were the same sex. They told us that this was done because gingko trees, when procreating, make a mess, and they wanted to avoid the clean up.

    1. One of the Japanese tourists said the exact same thing! You have to have only one of them (I forget which) because the other leaves a dangerous mess for walking conditions, and an awful stench too as the (fruit? nuts?) reach the ground if they are left to rot.

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