The National Botanical Garden of Latvia is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and offers visitors a special exhibition, Hortus Botanicus Universitatis Latviensis – 90 telling about the history of the garden starting from 1922. The exhibition is open since May 18, 2012.
The University of Latvia (UL) Botanical Garden, founded in 1922, is the oldest botanical garden in Latvia. The anniversary exhibition reveals the story of the garden, its daily routine and its achievements over time. The first plants were planted in the Dreilinmuiza land granted to the garden. Professors Nikolajs Malta and Pauls Galenieks together with the UL students introduced a systematised collection of plants that was available for the general public a year after the garden’s foundation. As the collection expanded, in 1926 the UL Botanical Garden acquired a 10 times bigger territory – the former Volfsmits manor in Zasulauks. There they built a greenhouse for the tropical and subtropical plants as well as expanded the open-air collections integrated in the former manor park. The garden was open for visitors as well as accommodated educational functions for the UL students of natural sciences. The garden also provided grounds for active scientific research, such as studying moss, flowering plants, fossil flora, heredity, systematisation, etc. In the Soviet times, the garden’s scope of expertise widened – all the USSR botanical gardens had to introduce new decoratively significant or useful species; the garden also had to explore possibilities of growing various wild plants or species that were foreign to Latvia. Therefore, various collections were introduced in the Botanical Garden: apricot, peach, dahlia, perennial plants, rhododendron and others. In the last years, the garden has turned to the local flora and, consequently, has created its Marsh Plant Exhibition as well as the Lichen and Moss Trail.
Hortus Botanicus Universitatis Latviensis – 90 will be open for visitors in May and June.
The UL Botanical garden is located in Riga, Pardaugava, Kandavas Street 2. From May till September it will be open for visitors from 9:00 to 19:00.
Translated by students of the professional study programme Translator of the University of Latvia.