Hortis Amsterdam is a botanical haven in the centre of an extremely diverse and bustling city. And I’ve never seen such a wide range of plant habitats in such a small space either, 4,000 plants apparently. It was all rather gezellig (Dutch for ‘cosy’). The onsite cafe is also rather gezellig, and I sit here now writing this short blog about my trip! 

The Hortus garden is the oldest in the world, yet it still feels fresh and new. The garden made me want to experiment too, especially when I spotted the planted up bed of carnivorous plants outdoors! Venus Fly Traps, Pitcher Plants and more were quite happy in a wooden framed bed and looked otherworldly!

I was also intrigued by the use of Euonymus for low hedging, which makes a disease-free and just-as-shiny alternative to box!

I did chuckle to myself when I saw their Wollemi Pine, which was caged in and signposted as endangered. The team obviously don’t realise that these plants sell by the bucketload on shopping TV in the UK!

A few other top spots were fancy purple-podded Decaisnea, a handsome Christmas tree-like Camellia and some marvellous Mistletoe emerging from the base of a gnarled old tree. And, not to mention the towering Ginkgo, which was spaffing it’s leaves onto the Euonymus hedge below!


Decaisnea fargesii


The Christmas Tree Camellia


Low-flying Mistletoe


Ginkgo on Euonymus


It made me feel warm inside seeing some elderly lecturers guiding some schoolchildren around the garden too! The kids seemed really engaged with the plants, from what I can tell with my pigeon Dutch skills at least!

I’d like to come back to Hortus Amsterdam in the summer too! The autumn garden is, of course, of great interest, but I imagine summer would be 100% more spectacular! I really recommend a visit; it is accessible by bus, tram or intrepid foot…

Check the garden out now. Click here.

  • Not sure I will be making a trip to Amsterdam any time soon but nice to see inside this garden. There are certainly a few unusual (to me) plants.

    November 8, 2015

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