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Wrocław Botanical garden

I’m way behind with the posting ‘schedule’ this year, so the chronology on this thing is all kinds of crooked.

But this one is recent-you have been blessed!

Last-last weekend we headed on our AG Bock work retreat. Usually, the retreats take place in Germany, not because this is a rule, but because- for reasons that I just cannot understand- many of our group does not like to leave the safety of our Vaterland.*

Last year, we travelled nearly 8 hours, and still managed to stay inside Germany. Which is nearly a physical impossibility, given that this country is tiny, and that the direction we were heading was north from Berlin.

*some of them have kids, and don’t want to go too far- this I get. Otherwise… why??

Anyway, ranting aside, this time we were able, through the grace of Phillip (who suggested the concept), Szymmy (who did a lot of the organising), and the ‘pro-Poland’ voting coalition, to go to Poland.

And not just Poland, but Wroclaw, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities (I think they even won some kind of vote?).

Lab retreats are technically work events (on a weekend), so we tend to spend a large proportion of the time away locked inside a seminar room.

But sometimes they also let us out for a stroll.

This time, our stroll involved being let loose – a bunch of 40 or so plant scientists – on the Wroclaw Botanical Garden.

We immediately set about examining, poking, and photographing all of the plants.

And, for some of us at least, trying to work out which of them would look particularly nice in our living room:(Above: a rather beautiful pothos-like plant with golden leaves, and below, a mutant Monstera)

… or our bathroom:     Ferns are pretty high up there amongst my favourites, but I must admit that I struggle to keep them alive. I suspect this is a humidity problem: I keep them in the bathroom but in summer it is too fresh (the window is always open), and in winter it is too warm (the heating is always on).

Still- I guess that’s what botanical gardens are for- to look at the things that you can’t have.      

The Botanical garden is quite small, but reasonably sized for both the location and the price. Plus, the do manage to have some diversity, at least enough to occupy the eyes and camera lens for an hour or so.

Apart from the gardens at large, there are also specialty greenhouses, featuring water plants, air plants and the like, ferns, and all kinds of cacti and succulents.

Probably the most bizzare of all (to me at least), is a greenhouse holding only various types of ivy.

Not the most glamourous of species, but given that the garden is attached to the University I can only assume that it holds some sort of research purpose. (?)

Let’s head back to our slightly-more-intersting and much-spikier friends, shall we?


At one point we grew weary:

(sorry Enrique, you are the poster boy for napping)

… and decided to leave the garden in search of vodka and pickles.

More on that next time!

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