Botanic garden

The Garden

The Botanical Garden in Liberec is the oldest in the Czech Republic and is now over 120 years old. Its long history gives a sound base for reliability and quality. But mere conservation of the heritage left by previous generations of gardeners in the form of plant collections and traditions is not enough. A botanical garden which wishes to be a prestigious institution, must be prominent in the scientific world while simultaneously inspiring ideas in the form and style of the art of gardening. Its vitality must be evident through professional international contacts, scientific studies, student research fellowships, publications, participation in nature conservation projects and also through the quality of personal development of its own staff. The Botanical Garden in Liberec cares for the richest collections of exotic plants in the Czech Republic. There are around 50 thousand of visitors per annum.


The complex of greenhouses was designed by Ing. arch. Pavel Vaněček and resembles a crystal druse. Ten exhibition pavilions of varying size provide an exhibition area of approximately 3500 square metres. Fourteen different botanical themes are presented in these pavilions. Here, the ‘pure’ science, combined with a romantic approach, produce a blend of ideas. (The creators of the exhibition are: architecture Miloslav Studnička, PhD. and the gardener Zdeněk Eichler.) The Botanical garden has a further nine greenhouses, each with its own microclimate, providing an additional area of 1400 square metres. These greenhouses for special collections are not accessible to visitors. Changes are part of the cyclical nature of life, and the Botanical Garden, being an organic institution, albeit contrived by man, also undergoes changes. The greenhouses at the Botanical Garden in Liberec had to be completely demolished in 1995-2000 because the structure was corroded and the heating system totally unreliable. This demolition and the simultaneous building of the new greenhouses proceeded, with thousands of plants having to be moved. Within these greenhouses, scenarios have been created to illustrate the natural environment of different important plant species. The greenhouses also provide a microcosm of tropical and subtropical environments.

The greenhouses. The greenhouses. A scenery within the pavilion G. A scenery within the pavilion G.


Every botanist working in the field knows that in a natural plant community one can overlook several things. Similarly in the greenhouse pavilions a more detailed viewing is expected than in comparison with a normal exhibit of ornamental plants which only focuses on the aesthetic impression. The deviation from the traditional to the more natural exhibit requires more effort both from the creators of the exhibition and from the visitor. As a result, the Botanical Garden has become a place, where an ecological study can be made and where information concerning the real plant life can be passed on to the public. Throughout the garden explanatory texts can be found. This information system is actually an unfolding textbook. Out in the garden acoustic information is also available.

The climate of Liberec is submontane and humid so the exhibits in the open garden must be appropriate. An extensive alpine garden with mountain flora dominates this part of the display. The beginning of June is the main flowering time of Liberec’s collection of rhododendrons. This collection includes both new and old varieties, miniatures and also species and varieties of deciduous rhododendrons, the azaleas. The rhododendron flowers are followed, at the end of June, by the clematis collection coming into flower. The most visited parts of the garden belong to the department of wetlands flora. At the entrance to the garden is a park-like area which provides space for a collection of shrubs, the so called Fruticetum. Here, at the end of June cultivated varieties of roses which are grown in a formal rosarium come into flower. This part of the garden also holds a collection of wild roses from various parts of the world and a collection of so called park roses.

An outdoor exhibition, the indigenous flora An outdoor exhibition, the indigenous flora Azaleas Azaleas An April morning. An April morning.


Science - articles 


© J. M. POST