On our last day in Helsinki, Carl and I decided to take a tour to the Helsinki University Botanical Garden, or Kaisanieme Botanic Garden, located very close to the city center. The outdoor gardens, about 4 hectares in size, were all covered in snow, but the greenhouses were open to the public all year round. For 9 euros each, we enjoyed seeing different plant species, ranging from those that thrive in deserts, those in humid rainforests, and those from tropical wetlands.
The university botanical garden has two locations, actually – the other one being at Kumpula Campus, which was a tad bit farther away. We didn’t want to miss our flight back to Oslo in the afternoon, so Kaisanieme it was! The Helsinki central station is approx. 600 meters away, so it’s within walking distance. For information on how to get to the garden via public transportation, click here.
There’s a small cafe by the cash deck where visitors can buy refreshments, books and souvenirs, a cloak stand and a few lockers. It is probably more convenient to have food with you, although picnics are only feasible in summer. Also, be mindful not to loiter and break the plants. Some plants are poisonous, while others can cause allergy. 😛
The glasshouses are divided into 10 sections, and serve as home to about 1300 plant species. Cool, eh? We started at the Palm House, which contains tropical economic palm species. Then, we headed towards the Rainforest Room, with plants from Africa, and the African Violet Room, with plants that are normally found by an African mountain stream.
Afterwards, we saw a great deal of plants from African and American savannas at the Savanna Room, and plants from the Dry Forest Room that do not demand too much water/rainfall. At the Desert Room are plants from tropical and subtropical deserts and semideserts, yes, our beloved cacti family!
Connected to the Desert Room by a short hallway is the South African Room, which contains plants from the Cape Floral Kingdom, southern Africa and Australia. Then, there’s the Island Room with tropical and subtropical island plants, and the Waterlily Room. The waterlily room was nice when we visited, but I expected more. I didn’t even see the giant water lily that can hold a baby! Anyway, the last room is the Mediterranean Room, with plants from the Middle East and subtropical Asia.
What a truly amazing plant world! And before we completely got used to the warmth inside the greenhouses, we left the botanical garden and went back out in the cold, cold city, with memories and beautiful pictures with us. For more information about the University of Helsinki Botanical Garden, click here.
More about the Finnish capital city in the next entry. Cheers! 😉 #spreadlove