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There are countless reasons to fall in love with Warsaw

Parks & Gardens

Botanic Gardens:

The Warsaw University Botanic Garden (Ogród Botaniczny Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego)

Located in: Śródmieście, Aleje Ujazdowskie 4
This is one of oldest botanical gardens in Poland – it's estimated to be about 200 years old. This is a wonderful place that offers a substitute for the wilds of 'real' nature, right in the bustling centre of the city: it has the perfect location, in the same neighbourhood as the absolutely lovely Łazienki Park.
The garden's founders were Michał Szubert and Jakub F. Hoffman; they launched it in 1818. Within the first six years of its opening, over 10,000 different plants were detailed and listed within its grounds. Unfortunately, the rapid and impressive progress of the botanical gardens was completely halted due to the November Uprising, and the gardens were forced to close, as in 1834 the Tsar decreed that the University of Warsaw – and all its branches and subsidiary projects – be shut down. The garden did not re-open until 1916, and once again, it did so under the authority of the University, and the direction of Professor Zygmunt Wóycicki. Sadly, the garden suffered extensive damage during World War II: its greenhouses were completely destroyed and its orangery and outbuildings were levelled, though many of the trees and plants continued to grow wild.
It was not until 1987 that the government ordered the botanical gardens to be returned to their pre-war state of beauty and stature, and that the gardens be a real centre of the study, research and preservation of Polish wildlife, plants, shrubs and horticulture. Within a short time of this decree, the botanical gardens undertook specialised research and very succesfully fulfilled their role as an 'experimental, scientific studio' of botany and dendrology. It's interesting to note that some of the trees standing today were planted by hand, by the garden's founder, Michał Szubert, such as the massive and very unusual beech trees from China. The beech tree has, in fact, become the symbol of the botanical gardens.
The garden may be viewed and toured from the spring to fall, and numerous thematic exhibitions are organized in the gardens, as well. The annual Rose Festival takes place in July, and there are many open-air performances and concerts, perfect for families with small children. There are also competitions and events introducing new types of flowers, especially breeds of roses. An interesting and historic detail is the small temple which has been built to commemorate the May 3rd Constitution of 1792.

The PAN Botanical Garden in Powsin (Ogród Botaniczny PAN w Powsinie)

Located at ulica Prawdziwka 2 in Powsin (on the southern border of Warsaw, in the direction of Konstancin)
With an area of about 40 hectares, the botanical garden came into existence in 1974, thanks to the initiative of the PAN President, the instigator of this small 'revolt' in horticulture was Professor Szczepan Pieniążek. Since 1990, it has been open to the public for tours and viewing.
The gardens are extremely well-organized, and are divided into numerous categories: the arboretum (a collection of trees and shrubs), collections of Polish flora, and decorative plants, both utilitarian and exotic. The trees in the arboretum consist mainly of coniferous shrubs, plants, magnolias and roses, and a large population of trees native to the Tatras region; in total, there are about 3,000 types of plants in this area. Of course, the collection of Polish flora is presented in its natural environment, in the soil of its native land. The gardens allow visitors to admire plants that are quite 'common', but which they may not get the opportunity to see in their natural, far-flung habitats.
The decorative, or ornamental, plants are divided into three groups: perennials, bulbs with irises, and roses. The biggest is of the three is the collection of perennial ornamentals daylilies and plantain lilies. Another collection is made up of trees, shrubs and plants with edible fruits and vegetables (called the pomological collection). It includes plants intended for cultivation (apples, pears, peaches and plums). The most valuable part of this collection are the almost 500 apple trees, which were cultivated on the territory of Poland from the 17th century until 1930. In terms of the collection of vegetables, the focus is on those cultivated on Polish soil. This collection also aims to educate people about the little-known topic of medicinal plants, which people can take advantage of in the form of homeopathy and aromatheraphy. The last category is comprised of tropical and sub-tropical, more exotic plants, such as the lemon plant called 'Buddha's Hand', whose fruit resembles an open palm with fingers.
The botanical garden is accessible to visitors all year round, and take a leading role in the promotion of culture by organizing exhibitions of paintings, photos and sketches. In its natural, green amphitheater scented by lime trees, it hosts its annual 'Floral Music – Music in the Flowers' Festival. There is also a place set aside for open-air concerts and performances, and horticultural fairs and events.

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