Prague Botanical Garden

Prague Botanical Garden
Prague Botanical Garden

Video: Prague Botanical Garden

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Video: Visit Prague Botanical Garden, Supreme Prague 2023, February
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Chapel of St. Clara and vineyard
Chapel of St. Clara and vineyard

Chapel of St. Clara and vineyard

There is not only one botanical garden in Prague. The Botanical Garden of Charles University is one of the oldest European university gardens. It was founded already in 1752 by the professor of medicine and botany at the Prague University Scotti di Compostella.

But we will talk about the youngest of them. It is located in a rather fashionable district of Prague among embassies and expensive villas and is located in the Trojska Hollow on an area of ​​70 hectares on a rugged terrain with a large difference in elevation. Getting there is fairly easy by public transport. And if not everyone can answer about the botanical garden, then everyone will answer how to get to the nearby zoo.

The first thing you see, following the sign to the garden entrance, is the vineyard on the slope. The rows seem to encircle the slope of the mountain, which is crowned by the chapel of St. Clare. The collection of varieties is the richest. But this is not just a collection of varieties, but also a small wine production with barrels, a cellar and other attributes necessary for full-fledged winemaking. Accordingly, the assortment is varied, products can be tried in a restaurant and even bought. It's not cheap though.

The garden is a scientific institution and therefore is divided into parts: an exposition, scientific units with greenhouses, a park and a modern greenhouse.

As for the greenhouse, it bears the sonorous name of Fata Morgana (Mirage). Its construction was completed in the summer of 2003 and opened on June 12, 2004. The Fata Morgana tropical greenhouse is located outside of the botanical garden's exhibition area on a sunny southern slope. This is a modern building originally inscribed into the rocky relief, in its plan it resembles the letter S 130 m long.The internal space of the greenhouse is divided into three independent parts (each of which has its own temperature and humidity), where visitors get acquainted with the flora of the tropical and, in part, subtropical climatic zones.

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Aloe marlotii
Aloe marlotii

Aloe marlotii

Aloe (Aloe swinnertonii)
Aloe (Aloe swinnertonii)

Aloe (Aloe swinnertonii)

In the greenhouse, plants are arranged according to their origin. At the entrance, he meets the pachypodium like a sentry. The richest collection of plants in the Cape region (South Africa) is not only known and unknown to us aloe species, but also many rarities from this botanical paradise. I was amazed that the curator of each collection can, at the expense of the garden, travel to the homeland of his plants once every two years to purchase seeds in order to replenish the collection. I think that not many of our botanical gardens can boast of this.

Scenic paths, bridges, waterfalls turn a walk through the greenhouse into a hike through the jungle, only very comfortable. Blooming orchids, lush ferns - in general, everything that attracts us to botanical gardens.

Large-leaved podocarp (Podocarpus macrophyllus)
Large-leaved podocarp (Podocarpus macrophyllus)

Large-leaved podocarp (Podocarpus macrophyllus) Usually in a greenhouse or nearby some thematic exhibition is held. I got to the collection of gymnosperms. Several species of podocarps were represented, including the large-leaved podocarp growing in southern Japan and China near temples and in parks. Next to each plant, one could read about the history and characteristics of the species. True, all the information was only in Czech, but for those who do not know English well, this is even better.

Unlike most visitors, I managed to get into the holy of holies of any botanical garden - greenhouses, where the main collections are actually collected, where botanical rarities are multiplied and studied. I was simply mesmerized by the collection of pelargoniums. This “fragrant collection”, arranged in rows decorously, smelled of all possible aromas - from mint to rose. Actually, this is precisely what these plants are famous for, from which they obtain valuable essential oil.

It was very funny to see pieces of bark fixed on a mesh wall with a variety of orchids on them and slender rows of small aloe - with spots, thorns, stripes.

Collection of orchids
Collection of orchids

Collection of orchids

The bonsai are on the next rack. Very picturesque, seemingly quite old age, in excellent condition.

The open exhibition is a collection of representatives of various floristic regions of the world. At the center located luxury lawn annuals and exposure area of almost 400 m 2… Despite the middle of October, they looked rather colorful and joyful. The plants were grouped according to the range of yellow, blue and white parts of the flower garden. Moreover, this multi-colored carpet consists of a very large number of species and varieties, all in a relatively small area. There would be students on an excursion! Some other design will be invented next year. And so every year. The open exposition occupies the top of the mountain, which makes it possible to envisage slopes of various expositions for different representatives of the world flora and to provide the necessary microclimate for especially heat-loving ones. For example, there are a lot of Mediterranean species, there is even an overgrown Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) and even with cones. Lavenders and common thyme winter well.

Summer carpet
Summer carpet

Summer carpet

Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums

Liquidambar (Liquidambar styraciflua) from the Witch hazel family native to Guatemala, Mexico and the South of the United States is a source of aromatic resin that is used in perfumery and has an antiseptic effect.

From the platform near the chapel of St. Clara, a fabulous view of Prague and the palace located at the foot of the slope with a small regular park opens up.

A very special corner is the Japanese garden. This part is fenced off from the rest of the expositions. As befits a Japanese garden: Japanese maples, streams, lanterns in secluded corners, winding paths and picturesquely located stones. Japanese maples do not hibernate near Moscow, so I enthusiastically examined the numerous varieties and forms not in the picture. In autumn, they looked especially advantageous due to the luxurious color and shape of the leaves: red, yellow, green, maroon, strongly or moderately dissected. Of course, a Japanese garden cannot do without bonsai. In different corners they were picturesquely placed on decorative stands. Usually this exhibition lasts during the summer, and for the winter the plants move to greenhouses. And, naturally, chrysanthemums are a hit in the fall. Their lush bloom revived the ceremonial pensiveness of a classic Japanese garden.

Japanese garden
Japanese garden

Japanese garden

Callicarpa japonica
Callicarpa japonica

Callicarpa japonica

Japanese callicarps (Callicarpa japonica) with their fruits - beads of all kinds of shades - look very unusual. The mild European winter provides incomparably more opportunities for gardeners than our harsh latitudes, and most of what we have seen, unfortunately, is not acceptable for us.

Magnificent, in my opinion, is the exhibition of conifers for landscape art. Numerous decorative forms of several pine species are represented (Pinus mugo, Pinus nigra, Pinus monphylla, Pinus densiflora, Pinus coreana and others), pseudo-slugs, junipers.

The well-groomed territory is admirable - perfect mowed lawns, timely sanitary and shaping pruning of tree and shrub species, numerous and successive exhibitions. And at the same time, the number of gardeners for such an area is very small, and the salaries are not the highest.

So this is a great walk not only for plant lovers and advanced botanists.

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