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A visit to the Botanical Gardens in Vacratot, Hungary


As we are officially on holiday we decided that today we would walk round tha Botanical Gardens which are very close to our home.

Here is an extract from theit gude book whicg explains the ethos of these gardens.

at botanical garden in Vácrátót

The richest botanic garden of Hungary, having more than 12 000 species in it and presenting them in the frame of a beautiful landscape garden, was founded in the first half of the last century, in the style of the English gardens of Georgian age. In 1870 the garden came into the possession of Count Sándor Vigyázó, devotee of science, who, together with Vilmos Jámbor, famous landscape gardener of his age, have it transformed into a rich botanic garden. In the early years of this century the garden was famous for the richness of its tree-species, rock-gardens, greenhouses. The Vigyázó family passed his estate to the Academy of Sciences, but the botanic garden in Vácrátót got, after many mishaps, into the administration of the Museum of Natural Sciences only in the May of 1946, and laying the foundations of the botanic garden was started in 1950. In 1952, when the Hungarian Academy of Sciences took possession of the estate and in this place the Research Institute for Botany was established the garden began to develop rapidly. The war damages having been reconstructed and the ruins and bush cleared away, the garden was started to be restored to its original beauty according to the original plans but with a lot more species. In 1961 it opened its doors to the public and since then has been an organic part of the Research Institute for Botany, a live laboratory, experimental area of the researches. The climate and soil conditions of the botanic garden are rather adverse. The annual precipitation is somewhat more than 500 mm, characteristic to the dry areas of the Great Hungarian Plains, with rather extreme climate, caracterized by long summer-droughts, and the maximum temperature approaches 40 °C in extreme cases, while the winter minimum can drop even to -30 °C . There is a scattered snow cover, early and late frosts and, in the low-lying areas of the garden, fogs are frequent. The soil of the garden is calcareous windblown sand, bound sand and clay. The natural vegetation in the closer environs of the botanic garden reflects well these extreme conditions, as on the natural sandy lands at the end of the garden leather grasses are fluttering in the wind and the near-by hills are covered with oakwood of dry loess-land. A fresh dash of colour is represented only by the narrow strips of riverside forests along the streams and by the bogs to be still found here and there the remains of which can be observed also along the garden lake and stream in the huge specimens of the Hungarian ash (Fraxinus angustifolia .ssp. pannonica) and the robur (Quercus robur). The tree-vegetation of the garden also provides a home for a rich animal world, 53 bird species nest in this area. The extreme factors preclude growing several plants well-known from botanic gardens of more favourable climate (e.g. Rhododendrons, Azaleas), and the plant growth of the garden can be maintained only by regular careful watering. At the same time the visitor can see almost a thousand characteristic species of the Hungarian flora here, not to mention the interesting plants of the Russian steppes, Central-Asian mountains or those of the Rocky Mountains in America, and the trees and shrubs from the Far East"

Here are some of the pics I took. First we arrive at the gate.

This is the Hungarian symbol and name plate of the gardens

Then we went in the visitors centre which explains about conservation, ecology, climate change etc. Theres lots for the kids in here. This collage in the shape of a leaf was striking.

Outside the centre we were greetes by a pretty flower bed.

Then we started to explore. We thought Autumn was already here. The Horse chestnut trees are so burnt by the sun that their leaves are coming down.

Further along the path we founda colourful flower display, some in pots and all named. This is a beautiful Vibernum hybrid.

This Osteospermun fascinated me.

Nearby some lovely roses were overwhelming us with perfume

Here are some of the flowers along the path

Next we came to one of the lakes. there is a very interesting tree there called a taxodium distichum.

It has the most amazing roots that stick up out of the ground.

There are many woodland walks with five lakes, streams and bridges.

This is one of the lakea also showing the many types of trees.

There are also many plant collections arranged in famillies such as this one of giant grasses.

And this lovely tall blue flower.

On opur way out we passed this colourful circular bed with big Cannas in the middle.

Finally it was time to leave and go home for lunch. There were more roses to sniff as we said goodbye or “Viszontlatasra”.

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Chrispook, I found this very interesting, and beautiful photos.

It's great that this super garden has been restored and survives so well despite war damage in the past, and the unusual and difficult climate.

Thanks for posting this fascinating blog.

19 Aug, 2008


Read it all and enjoyed your pictures. Really lovely

19 Aug, 2008


Hi Chrispook,
Thank you for taking us on a tour of your lovely Botanic gardens. The photos are beautiful and it's wonderful to see blue skies and sunshine! Please send some to Bristol- rain and high winds yet again here today!
You obviously had a lovely day, and its so nice to see gardens and public spaces from other countries.
All best wishes, and thanks again.

19 Aug, 2008


Beautiful photos, Chris.What an interesting place, even if some of the 'blurb' was lost in translation! I wonder why they didn't get an English speaker to proof-read the text?

19 Aug, 2008


Very nice, thanks for posting, it's always interesting to see gardens in other areas.

20 Aug, 2008


I loved your tour, Chris, lovely pics (yes, I noted the blue sky, too, Grenville). That Taxodium tree looks really interesting. (You mean you only stayed for the morning? )Thank you very much for sharing this!

20 Aug, 2008


We only stayed for the morning for two reasons David, firstly it was too hot to walk around for longer and would be worse in the afternoon, secondly it is only 5 minutes drive from home so it's easy to go when the fancy takes us. The entrance fee is relatively cheap at about £1.15 each.
Glad you all liked it.

20 Aug, 2008


i enjoyed reading that Chris and the photos are beautiful. thank you .

20 Aug, 2008


Thank you Chris, enjoyed your blog and the photo's are lovely. So good to see blue sky too. What reasonable entrance fees too, so different from here!

20 Aug, 2008


Very interesting Chris. I enjoyed reading this and seeing the photos. It's amazing how these plants can survive such extremes of temperature.

21 Aug, 2008


It's great that you have this place on your doorstep, Chris. Thank You for the explanation - we forget that some people do get great summer weather!

23 Aug, 2008

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