The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Botanic Gardens in Prussia

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376. In Prussia there are several botanic gardens; but the principal are those of Berlin, Konigsberg, and Aix la Chapelle. The botanic garden of Berlin is justly considered the first in Germany. It contains a plant of the fan palm Cham�'rops humilis, supposed to be 171 years of age, which is eighteen feet high, and has ripened fruit from which plants have been raised. Its height is remarkable, as, in its native situations in Spain and Portugal, it forms a bush seldom higher than two feet. The most interesting circumstance con-nected with this palm, however, is, that it was the subject of the experiment cited by Linn�us as a proof of the sexual system of botany. In the account given of the experiment, this palm is said to be the Ph�'nix dactylifera; but this mistake was corrected by Peter Collinson, who travelled in Germany during the seven years' war; and, when he was in Berlin, saw the palm, wrote the true name on a slip of paper, and stuck it on the tree. (Gard. Mag. vol. ii. p. 446.) A plan of this garden (fig. 119.) was furnished us in 1832, by the director, M. Otto, and the following are details:� a, Entrance and fore court. b, Lodgings for workmen and various offices. c, Hothouse No. 1, for small and young plants. d, Hothouse No. 2, for monocotyledonous plants. e, Hothouse No. 3. for ferns and palms. f, Hothouse Nos. 4 and 5, in two divisions. g, Hothouse Nos. 6 and 7, in two divisions, together with the two greenhouses, 4 and 5, for Cape and New Holland plants. h. Hothouse No. 8, for large palms. i, Hothouse No. 9, for large specimens of tropical plants, to-gether with the two greenhouses Nos. (6 and 7, for orangery plants. k, Hothouse No. 10, for large specimens of Pandanus, Dra-c�na Draco, Musa, &c. l, Greenhouse No. 1, for Cape, New Holland, and Mexican plants. m. Greenhouses Nos. 2 and 3, for heaths and succulent plants, n, Conservatory No. 8, for large specimens of New Holland and other plants. o, Dung-bods for raising seeds. p, Structure with props for twining plants. q, Compost ground. r r, Place for under-shrubs, hardy perennials, and biennials, s, Place for annuals. t. Place for water and bog plants. u, Place for setting out the greenhouse plants, &c, during summer. v, Road from Berlin to Potsdam.