Botanical Garden Leiden opens new Mediterranean garden

The oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands, Hortus Botanicus Leiden has opened their new climate resistant, sustainable and water-efficient, Mediterranean garden.

Cistus or rock rose in the Mediterranean garden at the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden, The Netherlands
credit: Hortus Botanicus Leiden

Located in the picturesque Leiden, the Hortus Botanicus has announced the completion of their new Mediterranean garden. The new garden features a range of fig, olive and cypress trees, along with region typical plants such as lavender and rosemary. Interestingly, the garden also includes an extensive botanical collection of sun roses (Cistus and related genera such as Helianthemum and Halimium), that occur naturally in the wild.

According to Hortus, their goal for the garden is for it to thrive without needing to be watered, and to show that it can cope with the new warmer climate conditions experienced in the Netherlands, such as the long dry summers and wet winters. Paul Kessler, Prefect at the Hortus Botanicus, said : “We want to introduce visitors to a sustainable, climate-resistant garden, in order to inspire them to also choose water-saving planting.”

Head of horticulture, Rogier van Vugt said: “Once sun roses are settled in your garden, you never have to water them again. New flowers appear every day, full of new pollen and new nectar. A true Walhalla for bees and other insects.”

The new Mediterranean garden is located next to the Old Observatory, directly south-facing, and is accessible via the a new path that runs under the Hortus Observatory Bridge.