Botanical gardens: interesting for wildlife-friendly gardeners?

Botanische tuinen van Birmingham | Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Foto: Birmingham Botanical Gardens volières

Botanical gardens have a scientific character. You may be wondering whether they are relevant to wildlife-friendly gardeners. We think they are.

Strictly speaking, botanical gardens are about scientific plant collections. In The Netherlands, they call themselves ‘green museums’ with ‘green and growing collections’ (Dutch source: NVBT ).


Plants in scientific gardens are often provided with Latin name signs. Common names can lead to confusion. For example, because names differ in seperate regions. The Latin name tells us exactly which plant we’re talking about. This is very useful for scientific researchers!

Mankind dominates

What can botanical gardens mean to wildlife-friendly gardeners? After all, we work with natural processes. And these gardens sometimes look more like a plant lab or a very formal garden. A place where human impact dominates and where you fancy yourself walking in other parts of the world.

Botanical gardens: important

In terms of their design and their choice of plants, scientific gardens usually don’t inspire me as a gardener. But in addition to their academic importance they play other significant roles in society.

I refer to education, publicity, advocacy and teaching. And last but not least to their role in the preservation of species: botanical gardens carefully attend to the world’s green treasures and biodiversity. All in all, these are sufficient reasons for us at Discutafel to pay attention to botanical gardens.

Botanic audio

I visited Birmingham Botanical Gardens in 2018 and Glasgow Botanic Gardens in 2019. At some time, we’ll publish these Discucoverages in Discutafel podcast.
Our Dutch podcast about the food garden at Trompenburg Tuinen & Arboretum is already online.
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam publishes a Dutch podcast called Podplanten.

In The Netherlands and elsewhere in the world

Go and find out which botanical gardens are in your neighbourhood. Whenever you’re in The Netherlands, explore one of the gardens here. Visit the Dutch Association of Botanical Gardens website and their overview of associated gardens.
Discovering a sustainability topic in a botanical garden? Share your experiences with us via e-mail or Twitter. Perhaps we’ll use your information in one of our podcasts!

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Post Author: Ivonne Smit