Friday, February 27, 2009

Hortus Botanicus

I've felt the need to re-visit our travels last year once again. This time it's the Botanical Gardens in Amsterdam ' Hortus Botanicus ' thought to be one of the oldest botanic gardens in the world.
The gardens originated when the Amsterdam city council founded a medicinal herb garden to provide plants to treat ' the plague ' in 1638. The herb garden is still there separated into sections by a semicircle of hedge bordered beds.

This is one of the most unusual and beautiful butterflies we saw in the 'Vlinderkas' ( Butterfly House ). Notice how its wings are transparent! There are some other climate controlled greenhouses. One contained a Mexican cacti garden and another had three climates under the one roof. We even spotted some Australian plants - an odd sight for us on the other side of the world! The Palm House was somewhat unsuccessful ( the plants were struggling ). Again, quite laughable when we see so many of these growing well at home.

My husband is a much better photographer than myself and took these wonderful shots. The insects were of more interest to him than the plants. We had actually been trying to find the zoo when we stumbled across these gardens.

A bumble bee gathers nectar from a foxglove. These seem gigantic compared to Australian bees. One of my favourite things about travelling is seeing unusual plants without knowing what they're called or anything about them so I can appreciate them on a purely visual level. I again enlisted my husband's photographic skills to capture these plants.

Please feel free to identify any of these for me - I'd be very interested. I got the information for this post from a brochure we received on arrival to the gardens. Also have a look at their website.


  1. Claire, what wonderful pictures! You have a great photographer there with you! Thanks for mentioning a purely visual level. Maybe I should stop wondering what plant is that and just enjoy it! Thanks!!!

  2. Hi Claire, I love the Chocolate Echeveria, I'll have to look around for that! I think that the first 2 are pitcher plants, the 3rd is a Gloriosa Lily, and then a Calliandra, but I don't know what the last one is?
    Good luck with getting the School job...