The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, dating to 1638. It originated as a source of medicinal herbs, populated over the centuries by rare plants brought home from Indonesia and other islands by the East India Company.
This facility also played a crucial role in the spread of coffee around the world, being the first place in Europe where coffee plants were grown before being propagated to the South and Central America.
The gardens consist of both indoor and outdoor areas including a Three Climate Glasshouse with separate areas to simulate the climates in different parts of the world. The tropical section was stiflingly hot and humid but also lush and beautiful.
In the outdoor area there were some enormous rhubarb plants. Josie posed next to them to provide some scale.
The temperate outdoor areas of the gardens were also very pleasant.
A separate glasshouse was devoted to butterflies. Butterflies of many colours seemed to coexist without resorting to violence.
Just outside the Hortus Botanicus we found a family of very impressive herons posing on the banks of a canal.