On Saturday 23 April 2022, the Hortus botanicus Leiden will start the new programming around science festival European City of Science; in short Leiden2022. Leiden is the first European city to organise a 365-day science festival packed with knowledge, art and skill, intended for everyone with a curious mind. The Hortus, the city's only botanical garden and one of the few places where education and research into plants is facilitated, naturally also plays a role in this. Under the title 'Plants in focus', we offer in-depth activities for people of all ages.
23 April: Science Day
Each day of the year has a different theme. On 23 April the theme is 'Earth' and the Hortus is the partner of the day. We are organising a science festival with possible corona restrictions in mind. Romke van de Kaa, author of the book 'The Underworld of the Garden', and Vincent Merckx of Naturalis Biodiversity Centre will kick off the event. In the garden, booths are set up where visitors can taste, listen and try things out; there is a scavenger hunt and pop-up scientists give ten-minute lectures at various places in the garden.
Plants in focus: the programme
Science Day on 23 April is also the official kick-off of our annual theme 'Plants in focus'. The year theme consists of:
- New maps: The Hortus launches several new walking maps, maps with thematic information. Choose your subject, for example Crown Jewels of Spring, Carnivorous Plants, Plants in the World's Religions or the Children's Map, and walk around at your own pace. Enjoy it on the spot and read more at home, or look up more information directly in the garden: do what suits you and your company.
- Wardian cages: Until mid-October 2022, Thomas Swinkels' work of art 'Wardian Cage' will be on display in the garden. It is inspired by the Wardian cage, a kind of portable greenhouse that made it possible to transport living plants over great distances. Very special: of the fifteen original Wardian boxes that still exist worldwide, the Hortus has two. For children, the researchers of the future, a special treasure hunt has been set out along eleven Ward cases, filled with experiments and assignments. Suitable for family groups, schools and after-school care groups.
- Monthly themes: Together with students from Leiden University, the Hortus looked at the role plants play in science. Eleven topics emerged: light, history, sustainability, ethics, biomimicry, psyche, urban climate, medicine, food security, networks and the importance of botanical gardens. Via the button below you can read more about these topics. During the science year the pages will be further expanded with photos, information, interviews and videos.
From February 2022 onwards, the Hortus will emphasise these topics in its programming and activities every month, where possible. So in 2022 it is not about an exhibition, but about accents in the programming. Moreover, from 23 April, you will regularly find new applicable 'fun facts' in the garden: short, curious facts that lead you to more information via a QR code.
- Science projects: The Hortus is an important place for scientific research. In 2022, the pavement plant project will continue, we are involved in the Tulip Mania project and all kinds of research is taking place - into plant families, bee diseases and more.
- Botanical photography: from 23 April to 9 October 2022, photographs by biologist, photographer and botanical illustrator Wim de Winter can be seen in the garden. The photos are part of the publication 'Nova Flora Neerlandica', for which De Winter developed a special technique to photograph indigenous plants, such as ferns, in such a way that they resemble botanical watercolours.
- Wednesday evenings: Besides the regular Hortus programming and the Science Day on 23 April, the Wednesday evenings in June, July and August are the times when extra attention is paid to science. Besides enjoying and relaxing, learning by doing is the main focus.