Saturday, August 22, 2015

ZURICH SUCCULENT PLANT COLLECTION, SUKKULENTEN-SAMMLUNG.

Our first morning in Zurich found us asking directions, of the hotel concierge, to the Zurich Botanical Garden. He had no idea, professing that no one staying at the hotel had ever requested to go there. Maybe instead we would like to visit the Sukkulenten-Sammlung where they had a very nice succulent display. My interest peaked. A succulent garden? right up my alley! Either the 161 or 165 bus would take us to the garden, which was only a few stops away.


We alighted the bus and walked towards Lake Zurich. I wonder if the garden benefits from being close to the lake in winter? With Swiss winters they are sure to have their collection mostly indoors.


There is no entry fee into the garden and we began our tour by walking around the outside rock gardens. I believe they are new this year because I picked up their spring magazine and saw photographs of the team planting the garden. Of course it was all in Swiss-German although it was not hard to translate the words 'frostharten sukkulenten im Nordamerika-Bereich'


I saw plenty of familiar lace cactus, prickly-pear and agaves.


Then we moved into the greenhouse foyer with rest rooms, lockers, chairs to linger over their literature and a coffee machine. There are six different greenhouses, three on each side of the foyer. On the left are the collections of plants from South America, North America and the Giant Plants and on the right Africa, Madagascar and the Epiphyte room. The greenhouses and coldframes house more than 6,500 species from 80 plant families. But the gardens are not just about display, they are dedicated to research, education and leisure.
Let's me take you on a tour through the greenhouses.


This otherworldly display was my favorite.








We then went outside to see the cold frames which house those plants which need higher light levels and fresh air but protection from rain. Among these are the globose cactus and ice plants. The tops are raised during summer, with shade cloth on the hottest days and closed in winter.



These displays remind me a little of East Austin Succulent greenhouses.




And if you want to start your own collection you can purchase the plants and soil. Wish I could have!


I can well believe the garden's claim to be the world's most important and unique succulent plant center.  This living museum certainly impressed me. And it is free and open to the public.

7 comments:

  1. It's an impressive display and in pristine condition. However, I'm still scratching my head over the hotel concierge's inability to locate the local botanic garden for you.

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    1. I am not surprised as most of the guests were either middle eastern or business men. Still we shoed him on the ma where it was and were able to work out which tram to get. Therein lies another story.

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  2. Ha! I'd suspect some sort of a kickback setup but the gardens are free you say, so that can't be it. Laziness? New on the job? That is a head scratcher all right. However, what a lovely discovery instead. I was nearly surprised to read you didn't buy a plant and manage somehow to bring it home. It wouldn't be the trickiest thing you've gotten through customs... : )

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    1. No, not at all. He was very good at everything else even had the tram passes for us. I suspect that more people might go to the Succulent garden because of its educational link.

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  3. Wonderful, and free really is the best part. Everyone can come in and be inspired.

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    1. Interesting you should say that because I saw someone on Trip Advisor thought it was a waste of time and boring. Each to his own.

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