Today we decided to visit the Botanical Garden of the TU Delft. It is a public-oriented garden, as well as, a research garden and was created in 1917. Together with the university gardens of Leiden and Utrecht, the Delft Garden participates in the scientific botanical network of the Netherlands.
It has a very different feel than the Dublin Botanic Gardens which the kids and I loved to visit when we lived in Ireland.
After a brief stop in the gifts shop (which is also the exit), we were given a brochure with a map, then we were free to explore the gardens and the greenhouses at our leisure.
I particularly was fond of the cacti and the subtropical plants.
With COVID they implemented a one-way system in many areas but as it was a Friday afternoon and very quiet it was easy to follow. You can wander around looking at the various plants & trees – nearly all were marked.
If you were not sure of a plant, Funs has PlantSnap, a plant identification app on his phone which attempts to identify it. Essentially you can take a photo of the plant and instantly it comes back with what it suggests the plant is. Keep in mind it is not always accurate, as in this case. We are trying to identify these purple flowers – it keeps saying a type of lily. If you know, please share!
There is one particular section which I assume was dedicated to kids (currently closed with COVID restrictions) it is the Blotenvoetenpad – aka Barefoot path”, where kids are encouraged to take their shoes off and feel the different surfaces.
This website lists 24 of them in Netherlands and Belgium. It says on a barefoot path you walk a short walking route, a trail, over different types of surfaces: from soft grass and fine sand to shells, gravel and large boulders, from wood chips to wood stumps and thick branches. For children, the paths with the mud puddles are great fun, and the other adventurous elements such as the rope ladder, balance beam, dangling box and lookout tower. There are also barefoot paths that are mainly intended for a beneficial relaxation walk with natural foot massage. Other paths want to convey a message to the public. For example, the Hof van Twello https://www.hofvantwello.nl/ has turned it into an experience route, full of historical and culinary information. Many barefoot trails are free, sometimes you pay an entrance fee. An ideal activity for the summer, now that it is nice and warm. Do not forget to bring your children. Lots of fun! Humm, personally think I’d hate it as I have sensitive feet and would dislike stepping on the various textures, but I’d be open to try it once with the kids!
EVENTS & WORKSHOPS
Listed online on their agenda of events are painting workshops, plant exchanges and guided tours for adults. Then there are events for the kids (check out their site for prices and details).
Saturday, September 12th – Expedition Corona. Especially for kids from 5 – 12. At the entrance, each child receives instructions and then goes on expedition throughout the garden. It is a fun day with lots of activities around health for humans. Due to the corona measures there are two time slots and full = full.
For children up to 12 years old who can read and write, they have fun free ‘speurtochten’. They have to search the garden for letters to make up a plant or nature related word. They get to know a bit more about nature and receive a small appropriate gift when the solution is found. There is a new ‘speurtocht’ every quarter. For smaller children who cannot yet read and write, they can do a special ‘speurtocht’ and search the garden for certain objects, animals and persons.
In October our garden becomes a haunted Halloween venue. On Friday October 23rd kids from 5 – 12 years old can come and visit the spooky greenhouses, roast marshmallows and make some typical Halloween decorations. Dressing up is not a must, but much more fun.
The last Sunday in October is Science Day in their garden and Science Centre Delft (which is next door). Fun games and activities for kids and families, like examining water samples, seeing how glass is made and what plants look like from the inside. Kids can also discover crawly insects, unravel plant DNA and do the fruit quiz and maybe even see robots in the ponds.
On Saturday 19 December 2020 families with kids can do fun things in a decorated Christmas garden during the Kerstival. As you walk along the Christmas trees you can guess and sing Christmas songs. And once you are inside, you can make nice Christmas decorations and cards. Let’s hope the garden is covered with snow that day!
Adults are €4 and kids are €2. Museumkaart holders are FREE. You can also become a “Friends of the Botanic Gardens”, and receive an annual pass for the garden for a minimum of €12 which allows entry yourself plus one guest and a few other perks. You can buy the card in the gift shop (which is manned by volunteers).
Botanic Garden, Delft University of Technology
2628 BM Delft Netherlands
If you plan on visiting the TU Delft Botanic Gardens, check out my blog post Afternoon in Delft for ideas of what to do in the lovely city of Delft including a trip to the Royal Delft Experience.
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