One of the best things of living close to the historical center of Leiden is that I can visit the Botanical Garden whenever I feel like it. I just hop on my bicycle and fifteen minutes later I’m in a green oasis surrounded by nothing but lush green plants, fragrant herbs, and gorgeous blooming flowers. You might remember my post ‘Autumn Bounty’ where I shared photos of the Botanical Garden during fall. The Leiden Botanical Garden or ‘Hortus Botanicus‘ was founded in 1590, making it is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands and one of the oldest in the world. There are more than ten thousand botanical species and dozens of bird species growing and living in the Hortus including a monumental Orangery from 1744 and extensive tropical greenhouses, many old trees, a beautiful Fern Garden, Rosarium, Japanese Garden, Herb Garden, Nut Field and System Garden. For the star gazers there is a stars and planets observatory.
This year there is a special Fern exhibition. There are over 250 ferns in the tropical glass houses and in the fern garden. When wandering through the garden you’ll see ferns in all shades: from yellow, to green, purple and orange. The Botanical Garden is specialized in ferns from Southeast Asia which leafs can grow up to five meters.
I always love the succulents and cacti part. The colours of the succulents are so vibrant, it’s beautiful.
At the end of summer you see its tail-end and the first signs of autumn. It’s a perfect day trip, especially on days like today when the sun is shining. I like to sit in the grass or on a bench and just take in nature’s beauty. It’s a small haven in my own city! What is your city escape?