Episode 289 – Glass Houses

Today we took the S1 to the Lichterfelde neighbourhood in Berlin’s borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf to walk around the 43 hectare (106 acre) Berlin Botanic Garden, constructed between 1897 and 1910 under the guidance of architect Adolf Engler.

We were attracted by the fact it advertised 22,000 different plant species and 6000 square metres of “glass houses”, which seemed like a place with lots of opportunities for Ted to take amazing flower and insect pictures.

What we didn’t realize were three major things: (1) the Berlin Botanical Garden is more than 50% arboretum, (2) the growing season here, despite the fact Berlin is at a considerably higher latitude than “home” in Ontario, is earlier – meaning that roses, for instance, have already finished blooming, and (3) 99% of the tropical plants in the greenhouses would also not be in bloom.

It’s easy to see from the map that trees and grass predominate.

That said, we had a lovely walk, Ted still managed to get some pretty great insect shots, and I was completely wowed by the architecture of the greenhouses, which are of the same vintage as the spectacular ones in Kew Gardens in London and Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.

Schematic from the Garden’s website showing the 17 exhibition greenhouses.
We toured A through O. There are other greenhouses in the gardens accessible only to staff, where new plants are propagated.

From the natural gardens outdoors, here are Ted’s favourite insect pics:

Plus two of my favourites:

From inside the tropical greenhouses, where the high humidity and constant 30°C temperature mimic rain forest conditions, Ted searched for vibrant colour among all the green:

Definitely NOT a hothouse flower… but I found a tropical plant that matched my dress!

Here are some of our favourite cacti:

And yet, my personal “wow” was still the structure of the glass houses themselves.

Inside greenhouse A. We were able to climb stairs almost into the canopy to get a birds-eye view.

3 comments

  1. My fav??? The peacock butterfly…. Interesting Google search too! You might even find them again when you visit Britain.

    Honestly, I would be taken in by the gorgeous glass buildings too! Looks like a fun day.

    Liked by 1 person

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