I have always been mildly interested in biology: I liked animals but didn’t bother to learn their names or behaviour; I had an advanced biology course in high school but never studied the subjects extensively; I always enjoyed being in nature and outdoors, but never observed the biodiversity around or the impact we have as humans on nature.
Only recently I am beginning to be more impressed by all the organisms around us and passionate about our local flora and fauna. This is somewhat caused by my work, but primarily due to photography. I am learning the names of the birds I capture in the frame, Mädchen Klitzeklein tells me which plants I am seeing and the names of trees and flowers, I am more informed about the changes of our planet and the associated changes in biodiversity.
What also complements this increasing interest are the botanical gardens we have in our home town: There are three different ones! An old botanical garden in the city centre, an experimental botanical garden in the North, and the adjacent arboretum. All of them are marvelous in their own way. The old botanical garden has narrow, interwoven paths and leans against the historic defense wall of the city centre. I had the pleasure to work in the only building that is located within the garden for a year. I added an old smartphone photo of the raccoons that lived below the roof – at the displeasure of the facility management. The experimental botanical garden is in the North and has a lot more space. There are several greenhouses, a little lake, and a larger area for alpine plants. The arboretum is the largest one of the three and is located higher on a hill with a view above the city and towards the West. The photos of my latest blog post about primroses were also created there.
On my trips to the botanical gardens I rarely read all of the plenty information given. And on our recent hikes I have captured many pictures of insects; however, I have still absolutely no clue about the names, species, or general taxonomy of insects. Thus, I have a mission for my next trip: Inform myself about one combination of plant species and insect that I took a photo of – a blog post about them will follow.
In the mean time, I have compiled a short list for you of botanical gardens around the world: For example, check out the glass domes of the Eden Project, the beautiful Longwood Gardens in Philadelphia, or the Singapore Botanic Gardens. As it seems, the Oman is also building the largest botanical garden at the moment, but there is little information and no pictures yet.