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During the winter months, the Hortus botanicus Leiden organises three cosy and educational Winter Afternoons. A visit to the Hortus becomes even more rewarding: the garden stays open an hour longer, there are market stalls, physics experiments, winter delicacies and more. On 12 December 2021, there is even more to experience than usual.

New: Tulip Mania
As part of the Year of Science, the Hortus is joining forces with DNA researcher Leonie Kaptein for a special citizen science study. With the project Tulip Mania, Leonie and partner Leiden Centre for Applied Bioscience (LCAB) (Hogeschool Leiden) want to find out more about DNA in garden and potting soil. For this, the Hortus sells a special organic bulb mix with the bright red Tulipa 'Masterpeace'. Buyers have the chance to win a scientific analysis of their garden or potting soil. The lucky winners will be determined in a special way: one of the tulips in the bag has a different colour.

The experiment also takes place in the Hortus. In the garden there are ten tubs with soil from Leiden, in which the red tulips were already planted on 24 November. This Sunday the deviant tulips will also be planted, so that in the spring participants can see what the deviant tulip should look like. During this special planting moment, people from Leiden who have done something for the project will act as planters, including well-known face Carla Teune. This festive planting moment will take place on 12 December at 14.00 hours, behind the Winter Garden. There will also be an information stand about the project and the bags of tulips will be for sale. More about the project on

New: Sidewalk plant bagels
Leiden bagel shop BetterBagels, in cooperation with master student Robbert Folmer, has come up with the recipe for a delicious bagel of pavement plants - the baker calls it weed bagel, because the birdwort, plantain and chicory that go into the bagels do not come from the pavement.

New: cuttings table
On the Cycas terrace you’ll find the cuttings table of Hortus employee and plant expert Nuala. She gives tips on cutting and caring for houseplants. If you have a plant at home that could do without a few cuttings, you may take them and donate them. Please note: this is not an exchange afternoon, just an information table with an 'assylum for cuttings'. The donated cuttings go to beginning plant enthusiasts.

Classics: Books, art, pavement plants, research
A number of popular participants of previous winter afternoons are back again today: Miguel and his father with a stall full of great nature books, the Hortus beekeepers with honey products, the pavement plant consultant and his helpers, house artists Florence and Nienke with their drawings and the popular button machine. Finally, the Rino students will take a small step forward to the scientific year 2022 with their spectacular experiments and excellent explanations. In the Orangery, warming mulled wine is available to warm up between the activities.

The Winter Afternoons in the Hortus are organised in such a way that visitors can safely enjoy themselves. Almost all stalls and tables are in the fresh air. This has the disadvantage that the Hortus may have to cancel the event in bad weather, so keep an eye on the website or social media pages.

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