de Hortus

We spent the afternoon at the de Hortus Botanical Gardens.

We’re staying in a different part of Amsterdam than we have in the past. Outside of our bedroom window there’s a canal. There are canals everywhere, but at least it’s not a blank wall.

It’s a clear beautiful day with temperatures in the mid 60’s. We will walk to the gardens , nominally a 15 minute walk, rather than take the tram. There’s so many little things you miss when take a tram or bus, though by the afternoon, my feet may have a different feeling about that choice.

Only a couple of blocks away are some schools of the University of Amsterdam (business, law, etc). Though it’s Saturday, the number of bicycles outside tells us there are a lot of students here today, somewhere.

Several more blocks away we come to the entrance to de Hortus Botanical Gardens. Originally established as a medicinal herb garden it was founded in 1638. At that time, herbs were the basis of many medicines and the city of Amsterdam had just experienced a plague epidemic.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Holland was a global trading powerhouse and its Dutch East India Company ships brought exotic plants and species from around the world to the Hortus.

The entrance gate, built 1715.

The oldest plant in the Hortus is the Eastern Cape giant cycad, at over 300 years of age. It remains in the Glassroom year round.

Hortus is a green oasis in this busy city, with just under 3 acres in area, bordered on one side by a canal (gracht). Though small in area compared to Kew Royal Botanical Gardens (Kew, UK), Hortus is a year round botanical gardens which, with the Palmhouse and several other structures, including a butterfly house, represent seven different climates.

Below, canal view. To the right, the Palmhouse.

It’s time for tulips!

Butterflies fly freely through the (humid) glass house

And other exotic species, origin unknown.😉

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