Botanical gardens in the Netherlands
With summertime (hopefully) almost here in the Netherlands, what better time than now to visit one of the many botanical gardens that the country has to offer?
7 Dutch botanical gardens
In the Netherlands, 27 botanical gardens are members of the Dutch Association of Botanical Gardens. Let’s take a look at a few of these gardens!
1. Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
Amsterdam has a few botanical gardens, but we’ll just mention two of them. You can find the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam at Plantage Middenlaan 2A. The garden is abounding with treasures, such as the Snippendaal garden, where you can find several species of plants from the 17th-century collection - in those days, medicinal herbs were of great importance, as they were used as a basis for medicines.
Other treasures include the Wollemi pine, a species vulnerable to extinction, and of which only a small number exist today; carnivorous plants in the butterfly greenhouse and a canopy walk in the Three Climate Greenhouse, which takes you from the subtropics to the tropics.
The Hortus Botanicus is full of gorgeous plants and collections to explore. And the wonder doesn’t end there; they also regularly have exhibitions.
2. Botanische tuin Zuidas
Another one of the Botanical gardens in Amsterdam is the Botanische tuin Zuidas, which you can find at the Van der Boechorststraat 8, just behind the VU hospital. This garden may be small, but it has a rich plant collection of over 6.000 species and is free to visit!
In the garden, you will come across a greenhouse complex with varying climates, greenhouses for seedlings and a cactus and succulent greenhouse, which houses the largest collection of these plants in the Netherlands. Some of the plants are more than 100 years old - now that’s an achievement!
The garden areas vary in collection. Explore the Chinese miniature landscape garden, a Bonsai display or the large-scale collection of Australian shrubs and trees. The garden is also special as plants that are seized at Schiphol Airport are brought there to be taken care of. These plants are endangered species and may not be transported to other botanical gardens in the Netherlands.
3. Botanical Garden TU Delft
The Botanical Garden is the largest single green area adjoining the city of Delft and was established almost 100 years ago. Upon entering, you will find yourself in the Tree Garden, where there is also a barefoot path if you feel like freeing yourself from your shoes.
In the Tree Garden, there is also a rock garden, aviary and a children’s playhouse. Further into the garden, you will reach the Middle Garden, a space surrounded by high gables. Here, volunteers grow edible crops, lost vegetable species and flowers that bees love.
In the centre of the garden, you’ll find greenhouses filled with tropical and subtropical plants. You will also come across the Technical Plants section and a Tree Pavilion with a visitor’s platform at four metres above the ground.
4. Pinetum Blijdestein Hilversum
This botanical garden tucked away in the suburbs of Hilversum can be found at Van der Lindenlaan 125, and is specialised in Gymnosperm plants, such as conifers, pines, junipers and yews, but also has a collection of ferns, rhododendrons, cycads and ephedras.
The Pinetum is home to almost 400 of the 1.000 species of Gymnosperm worldwide and 14 of the 26 endangered species. The garden is part of the Dutch National Plant Collection and one of the most important collections of conifers in the world!
5. Hortus botanicus Leiden
The Hortus botanicus Leiden is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands, and can be found at Rapenburg 73. Permission to create the botanical garden was granted to Leiden University in 1590. Carolus Clusius, the prefect of the garden, came to Leiden in 1593 and set up an extensive collection of plants, even introducing the Netherlands to the tulip we all know and love.
The Hortus botanicus is home to more than 10.000 species of plants from all over the world. Some particular treasures you can find there are the Victoria Amazonica, a giant water lily with the largest water lily flower in the world - its leaves are so big that they could hold a small child! - the jade vine, whose azure-coloured flowers are hard to miss, and the Titan arum, nicknamed the corpse flower due to its smell when in bloom.
Photo: Wim Sonius
6. Trompenburg Tuinen en Arboretum Rotterdam
In Rotterdam, you can find more than one botanical garden, but let’s take a look at Trompenburg Tuinen en Arboretum, which is located at Honingerdijk 86. The garden was created in 1850 in the style of an English landscape with plenty of water elements, winding paths and different types of trees.
Trompenburg Tuinen en Arboretum is known for its collection of trees, perennials, bulbs and tubers. Its collection of oaks, beeches, holly and plantain lilies is part of the Dutch National Plant Collection, and you'll also be able to find around 700 different types of rhododendron, cactuses and other succulents in this garden.
7. Utrecht Botanic Gardens
The botanical garden in Utrecht is located in the heart of the Utrecht Science Park at Budapestlaan 17 and covers an area of nine hectares. At Utrecht Botanic Gardens, you will find six areas with distinct characteristics, namely the Rock Garden, Evolution Garden, Discovery Garden, Tropical Greenhouses, Birders Den and Bee Hotel.
The Rock Garden is one of Europe’s largest rock gardens and here you will be able to see primroses and a mountain brook and waterfall. You will also come across southern marsh orchids, sundews and cotton grass at the Atlantic Bog. In the other garden areas, you can see magnolia and water lilies along with dozens of other types of flowers.
Visit the greenhouse to see tropical plants and also edibles, such as mango, banana, papaya, cacao and vanilla. You can also admire the collection of succulents and tropical climbers, as well as “Cape plants” and several species of passiflora.
Other botanical gardens in the Netherlands
There are of course plenty of other botanical gardens in the Netherlands that you can visit - we’ve only mentioned seven of the 27 which are members of the Dutch Association of Botanical Gardens. For more information about the 120 other botanical gardens you can visit in the Netherlands, please visit the Dutch Association of Botanical Garden’s website.