Monday, February 16, 2015

Hortus Botanicus Leiden

Sometimes it seems that wishes are granted, and fairy tales seem to come true. This is how I could best describe what I have experienced.

The oldest botanical garden of the Netherlands is located in Leiden (Hortus botanicus Leiden) and is celebrating it's founding 425 years ago (you are reading it correctly!). -check out their site here- My attention was drawn to their notification that one of their trees had to be cut down. As you all know botanical gardens always have unique specimens of all kinds of trees and plants.

I was in a courages mood and contacted them. I complemented them on their beautiful achievement (425 years and still standing strong) and also found some extra courage to ask them what they where going to do with the branches of this special tree. I send them pictures of my handmade crochet hooks, hawthorn needles and knitting needles. I ended my mail with the note I would love to make new items from those branches.

Against all expectations they wrote back that they loved my work and told me they where going to participate in a textile craft festival. They continued that my work would be an amazing asset to the selected artists invited to exhibit and sell items in their gardens during these textile art days in may.

They mentioned there was wood left from the tree they had cut down and invited me to come and pick out what I would need to make new work from their special tree. I was blown away, this was a dream come true! We agreed on a date I would visit. I wrote back that I wished to come a bit earlier to be able to walk through their amazing gardens and ancient glass houses. They told me they where closed for the public at the moment I would visit them, and noted that they would gladly let me wander around on my own during my visit.....

The day came, and there I was.. feeling like Alice in wonderland walking in awe through these amazing gardens and glass houses filled with the most unique and beautiful plants and trees in.

After spending an hour of wandering, indulging my senses and photographing I decided it was time to start collecting the wood I would need for my project. They also recently had to trim down another unique tree so there was lot's of choice.

At the end of the day I was invited in to have a cup of tea in the library (filled with plant oriented books and archives).


I left with two bags filled with the most beautiful wood and my heart filled with the most beautiful memories of what I had experienced that day.  I can't wait to go back with bags filled with all sorts of beautiful textile oriented items to sell in may! 


Unknown said...

Wow! Wow! and wow! I love this garden: I am a Friend of the Hortus and have a year-round entrance card on which I can take one person extra with me. So, if you want to stop by some time...
Interesting boxes, by the way ;)

Wieteke said...

Hey Caro, Amazing! It is such a magical place! I can understand that you have a hortus year-round entrance card, it really is amazing! Let's go together in the future and talk while walking :-)...and those boxes, you would have loved to have peek inside, no doubt ;-)

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Amazing scenes an photos!