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A Visit to the Botanical Garden in Reykjavík

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A Visit to the Botanical Garden in Reykjavík

The Botanical Garden in Laugardalur in Reykjavík is a popular outdoor recreational area among the capital’s residents. There are many walking paths in the garden leading past blossoming flowers and trees, and an idyllic pond which is home to ducks and geese.

Narration by Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir, video by Páll Kjartansson and Jörundur Jörundsson. [email protected]

Click here to download the video.

The Reykjavík Botanical Garden was founded on August 18, 1961 on the 175th anniversary of the City of Reykjavík but the idea was first mentioned as early as 1905, as stated on the garden’s website.

However, the idea wasn’t executed until decades later, when the city was presented with a collection of 175 Icelandic plant species for preservation.

When the Botanical Garden was founded it was only 700 square meters in size but has since gradually been enlarged. It now spans an area of 2.5 hectares and contains around 5,000 plant species, variations and breeds.

One of the garden’s main purposes is education. Every year students from the city’s kindergartens and elementary schools visit the garden as part of their school program and in the summer the public is invited to come and learn more about the garden. Guided tours are offered for native and foreign groups of tourists.

In the summer, the coffee house Café Flóra is operated inside the Botanical Garden’s gazebo. The café is popular for its friendly environment and fresh menu.

Dishes are served with vegetables and garnishes from the garden’s flora. Salads and herbs are cultivated specifically for Café Flóra. The vegetable beds are located right outside the kitchen.

The Botanical Garden is open from 10 am to 10 pm in the summer, as of May 1. The program began officially during the Children’s Culture Festival April 19-23 and many more events are organized for the summer.

At 11 am on June 13, the Day of Wild Flowers, curator Hjörtur Thorbjörnsson will guide people around the Laugarnestangi district in Reykjavík and educate visitors about the vegetation and plant life in the area.

On June 20, the summer solstice, Monika Abendroth and Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson, will perform in concert at Café Flóra to celebrate the longest day of the year. The concert begins at 11 pm (call +354 866-3516 for tickets).

Furthermore, on the Icelandic Museums’ Day on July 11, horticulturalist Ingunn Óskarsdóttir will present the garden’s collection of special buttercups to visitors to the Botanical Garden at 1 pm.

Welcome to the Botanical Garden.

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