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.
See also this related blog: http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/botanical-garden-birds-and-plants/