The Haren (NL) botanical gardens have been permanently under threat of disappearance since the 1990’s. Towering maintenance costs, and insufficient, or finite financial support by local governments, and the University (the original owner) have left their mark on the Hortus, despite some good initiatives (e.g. the lovely Chinese garden). Initiatives to revive the botanical gardens as a business haven’t yielded the flow of permanent income to secure the cost of, for example, heating the tropical greenhouse or keep a well-trained professional staff. The gardens sail through these tough times like a naval vessel that only barely survived a thrashing by enemy canons, sails hanging down, holes in the bough, a decimated crew. Decimated, but not beaten, because the volunteers manage to keep the botanical gardens open, and in a very presentable condition for a substantial part of the year. Therefore it certainly merits a visit, even more than one, because for us one afternoon wasn’t sufficient to see all. Let me share some photos made on a very grey Pentecost afternoon.
This morning I needed a kitchen thingie and looked for it in the cellar when something colorful caught my eye. A bunch of colored bottles that for some reason ended up in the basement were hit by the sunlight that entered through a small window on standing height. Time to do a bit of pre-spring cleaning, and capture some colored sunlight in the process. The stripes, caused by the Venetian blinds, created a nice pattern in the reflection, and the refraction areas. The somewhat hesitant morning sunlight was just enough to make it look nice and bright.
These are two out of twenty archaeological objects that will be part of an interactive presentation in the Liemers Museum, Zevenaar (NL). It was a nice experience to be able to have a closer look at these objects, and feel the craftsmanship that created them a few thousand years ago. As a paleographer, and codicologist by training, I am used to handling old, venerable and precious objects, like medieval manuscripts. But these unpretentious objects rushed me still further back in the mist of time, or ‘La Nuit des Temps’. I regret the many times that I carelessly passed display cases with archaeological objects in museums in favor of more spectacular, and resplendent material. But I feel that I have made my amends, now that I have spend a good day making pictures of this small collection.