Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Giardino dei Semplici

Five Euros a piece got us entrance and an audio guide for the Giardino dei Semplici (italian) this sunny winter morning. (The entrance door on this day on Via Micheli, 3 was closed, but the sign said to ring the buzzer. When we did, the door opened and we got into a small lobby where we bought our ticket.) We spent about 2 hours poking around. You can enter the warm greenhouse and the cold greenhouses as well. As typical of winter many items were inside.

Here is a plan of the garden. The garden was established in 1545 and is maintained by the University of Florence. This is the third oldest botanical garden in Europe. The other two are also in Italy. Amazing. Using the link above to the plan of the garden you can look at some pretty old trees including:

Quercus Suber, cork oak, but his one has never been harvested so it has gotten quite big. Planted in 1805. It has a great crown.
Taxus Baccata, yew tree. Planted in 1720 and still going strong!
* Zelkova crenato a species of Zelkova. Planted in 1820. Unfortunately it had a disease (“graffiosa”?) and they had to trim the crown.
Taxodium mucronatum, a cypress native to Mexico. Planted in 1884.

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