hortus botanicus

19.04.09

And I kept saying botus hortanicus =D

As the name implies, it’s a botanical garden right in the heart of Leiden. It’s so huge (well for a city as small as Leiden it’s huge), and you can actually see some of its part from the other side of a canal. I once even thought that one part is a graveyard, since they have this labels which looked like tombstones if you see them from a few meters away.

But anyway, it was a beautiful day and it was Ebru’s birthday too, so after a few coffee and tea at bagels and beans (I was extremely late btw, since I had to send some photos to my office), we went straightly to Botus Hortanicus (alright, it’s Hortus Botanicus, but I dunno why I kept saying the other way around).

We were all free of charge by the way, as Leiden University students actually have free access to most museums here (yippee!!)

The souvenir shop was quite interesting, but expensive. So that could be skipped.

The first part of the garden (we were following the footsteps at the garden) were a small greenhouse, which I reckoned as somekind of a patio to a small garden of tulips and all other spring flowers. There were also some 1.5-meter-tall holey stones which Petya called them the miniature of Easter Island statues (and it happened to be that that day was Easter in Bulgaria).

Then we entered the first part of the greenhouse and there I was.. I was.. HOME.

Not only by the humidity of the greenhouse (which made the others uncomfortable while I was excitingly drowned in my nostalgic sentimental mood), but also by the tropical plants in the greenhouse. Oh I felt like I was in an Indonesian rainforest! =D

There were palm trees, banana trees (which I found out that it was really rare for Europeans to see banana trees), a HUUGGGEE anthurium (not really much like my “Gege” or the anthurium I had at home, it actually had little thorns on its trunk – the latin name for the plant was actually Anthurium hookeri), aglaonema, “kuping gajah” (which actually is a part of the anthurium genus – hey I’ve just known that! – the latin name is Anthurium crystallinum), and all sorts of houseplants you can easily find in Indonesia 🙂

Then moved on to the second part of the greenhouse.. not much of interesting plant.. just Amorphohallus titanum or “bunga bangkai” which happened to be not so similar to the one I saw in Bogor.. was it because this plant had become a tree?

But anyway, I found a plant that somehow is a part of oxalidaceae – my name! It wasn’t the common Oxalis acetosella or tuberosa, but still it was cool to see my name on the pot of a plant :p

Oh, I’ve just searched on the internet about the plant, and it turned out to be.. a starfruit a.k.a. belimbing! Hahahaha.. I didn’t know that starfruit is still in the family of Oxalidaceae.

Back to the garden, there was this big nepenthes-like plants hanging from the roof the greenhouse. And suddenly I felt like I was in some sort of science fiction horror movie in which the main actors were chased by an ever-growing plant and have flowers that can actually eat humans. Oh I must have been daydreaming too much these last couple of days.

To the next part of the greenhouse.. and again, I felt like home. No, not home in the term of a country, but home as in my backyard or balcony. I saw loads of unblossomed orchid plants, which leaves are big and fat like the one my dad hang on the duku tree. There were also various sporous plants including maidenhair ferns or “suplir” and other ferns.

After that, we went upstairs, to the upper part of the greenhouse, and oh.. I was in tropical heaven :p

OK so I might be going a bit too hyperbolic this time, but it was somehow true.

Pink adenium flowers were blossoming, and also pink bougenville flowers.

Honestly, if I got really homesick, I could just go here. Or to Volkenkunde Museum to listen to gecko sounds, ha-ha.

After taking enough photos (and I had enough nostalgic moments he-he), we went out of the greenhouse to the outdoor part of the garden. The place was amazing. Big trees (oh I really should come to this place again on winter, to take lots of leafless trees pix), flowers were blossoming, green grass, oh this place gave such a different perspective of Leiden!

Unfortunately, all of us had the same problem: Our cameras were running out of battery. So after a few minutes we got so frustrated for wanting to take photos but were not possible since our cameras were dead.

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