2018 has come to an end and it’s time for the overview of the botanical gardens I visited in the past 12 months. I’m really glad I had the chance to go on a few business trips which contributed to this list and made it possible to see places that I wouldn’t necessary visit this year. I’ve recently read “Glasshouse Greenhouse” - a worldwide journey through botanical spaces and a great inspiration for me, and I already added a few new places to my bucket list.
Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum, Berlin, Germany
One of the disadvantages of travelling in early Spring is the fact that the days are still short. While visiting Berlin at the beginning of March, me and my SO had a decent list of places to see and ended reaching the botanical garden after 5 pm. After wandering around a frozen pond and alleys with outdoor plants that were just beginning to wake up from their winter sleep, we went to the 6,000 m² glasshouse complex. House after house, we kept on exploring the collections of plants and only realised how much time has passed when the sun set, leaving us with the indoor artificial lights in yellow hues. When we finally went outside it was too dark to appreciate the rest of the garden so we called it a day and promised ourselves to come back again.
Kew Gardens, London, England
Spending two weeks on a business trip in London was a great chance to explore the city, less on weekdays, more on the weekends. Of course I had to visit the botanical garden; ladies and gentlemen - Kew Gardens, the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world. I spent 6 hours there (including lunch break at the Orangery) and still didn’t manage to see everything because of maintenance/restoration, e.g. The Hive and Temperate House. Despite late March couldn’t show all of the beauty of the garden, it was still quite green. Magnificent greenhouses, Treetop walkway, The Arboretum, Pagoda, Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, Kew Palace, there is so much to see that I’m daydreaming of visiting it again while writing this.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Cambridge, England
In April I visited the charming Cambridge and its botanical garden. It holds a plant collection of over 8000 plant species. Quiet and not too crowded even on the weekends, this is a perfect place to take a long walk in nature and get lost in your thoughts. The glasshouses are extensive with about 3000 species and yet they have this cozy atmosphere. The garden features many other interesting places like Systematic Beds, Scented Garden, Old Pinetum and many more which I’m sure are even prettier in summer.
Barbican Conservatory, London, England
I love brutalist architecture and kept returning to Barbican Centre every time I was in London. You can imagine my joy when I found out there is a conservatory in it. Since it is open on selected Sundays and Bank Holidays I only managed to visit it in May, during my last trip to London. It houses more than 2000 species of plants and trees, surrounded by concrete. The retrofuturism of brutalist architecture surrounded by nature makes it feel like a parallel universe. A magical, green oasis where you can also have afternoon tea.