Yesterday afternoon Marion and I have been to the Hortus Botanicus in the city of Amsterdam.
It is for me the second time I have been there. I have been there about two years ago (while I was still renting a room in Amsterdam) during the winter. For Marion also has been there before, but for her it was much longer ago. She was still a girl and was still living with her parents.
The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is one of the oldest in the world. It was founded in 1638 as a Hortus Medicus to learn doctors and pharmacists in use of herbs as medicines. And although the Hortus Botanicus is only 1.2 hectare big, there are 4000 species of plants from all parts of the world.
There are all kind of plants to see like medical herbs, carnivorous plants, ‘cycadeeën’ [Dutch: palmvarens], trees and more. The oldest plant in the Hortus is the 300 year ‘Encephalartos altensteinii’ [Dutch: Oostkaapse Broodboom] that was bought from King Willem II in 1850.
On the picture above the ‘Encephalartos altensteinii’ [Dutch: Oostkaapse Broodboom] can been seen. But this is not the 300 year old one, but the 200 year old female counterpart.
There are a number of greenhouses to create the best biotope for the different kind of plants. But because of the warm mirco-climate of the innerpart of Amsterdam many of subtropical plants can grow outside.
The weather was nice yesterday, so it was a pleasure to walk through the garden. Although some of the greenhouses where very warm and caused at first a problem for my camera (condensation on the glass of the lens, but after letting the camera adjust to the temperature and humidity that was solved.
Marion was right when she said that it was very peaceful there, even when it was rather busy. Just like me, she enjoyed walking relaxed through the gardens of the Hortus. The many colors and scents made it really enjoyable. She made me even a nice compliment by telling that, even with my new camera, that I was not only focused on making pictures and that I was very aware that she was there as well.
On the picture below the ‘Strelizia reginea Aiton’ [Dutch: Paradijsvogelbloem], which might be the most famous flower from South Africa.
Of course we sat down at the “Oranjerie”, the restaurant of the Hortus, to drink and to eat something. The menu they have there is rather limited, but what is on it is very good. All they serve is based on biological products. Marion did go for a salad and I sandwich with prawn-croquette. It tasted very well and the ice-tea was refreshing. One thing I really liked was the sign telling that use to make calls with a cellphone was not allowed. As people may know, I love my iPhone, but people must learn that it very easy to switch it off and that it is not bad to be for an half hour not reachable.
The building of the “Oranjerie” is impressive, large and lots of space. It was built in 1875.
I didn’t get the name of the plant in the picture below, but I loved how the butterfly was sitting on the flower. And yes, the butterfly was indeed upside down.
It was a well spend day that we both enjoyed a lot. Maybe it is an idea to visit it in the autumn again and see what all have changed. Below some more of the pictures I made yesterday.
Below the ‘Wisteria sinensis (Simns) Sweet’ [Dutch: Blauwe Regen] that grows all to the top of one of the buildings and gives quite a sight with all its blue flowers. It was planted in 1915 and is still very healthy:
I couldn’t find the name of the flower below (it was in one of the green houses), but I liked the bright color and I was amazed by its weird shape:
A view in one of the greenhouses at the Hortus:
Another plant I don’t have the name of, but I do remember that these grow on the branches of other plants and trees:
This blooming cactus is the ‘Mammillaria spinosissima Lem.’, which finds its origin in Mexico:
As soon I have time I process all the good pictures I made yester and I will place them on my photo-site and on my Flickr-site as well.
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