Probably everyone had once sensed the quiet and joy that flowers give Man.
A stroll in a blooming garden rouses hopes, gives rise to dreams and cleanses
the soul. Indeed, Jacques de Lille worded this beautifully in his
famous poem “Gardens”:
will share with you both joys and sorrows, Will help the
artist find the proper colors, Will quell the
grief of one befallen to gloom or love, Will offer the
poet the right words, flight and inspiration, The sage will
find rest in its shadow, The happy will
recollect days of rapture and love, And the unhappy
sob out his sufferings
and exposition plots of the Laboratory for Introduction and Selection of
Flowers and Decorative Plants are located in the central part of the Botanical
Garden-Institute and are most frequently visited from early spring to late
fall, when you can always find blooming plants there.
April, blooming crocuses appear on the southern hill over thawed patches,
followed by flourishing small-bulbous plants: the Scilla and the “mouse
hyacinth”. And even though they are not too striking, the very fact alone
that they are harbingers of spring, warmth and sunshine fills your heart
with joy and hope.
the hill delights us with its carpet of multicolor awl-shaped phlox and
numerous low iris varieties.
of tulips greets the visitor with motley of colors. Here you can admire
white, yellow, dark-red, orange and violet flowers from eleven different
classes, ranging from early simple to fimbriate and parrot-like. Fimbriate
tulips are particularly interesting; varieties of this class, e.g. “Blue
Heaven”, are distinguished by presence of a fringe along petal edges. It
may be needle-shaped, crystalline, ciliate and/or serrated. Sometimes these
tulips are called “orchid”. Unlike the common varieties, fimbriate tulips
almost invariably have tough, thickened petals, which are not afraid of
rain, wind and bright sunshine.
morning hours, visitors are attracted by the pleasant light smell of graceful
narcissuses, snow white and golden, with split crowns and small flowers,
all subtly poetic.
iris hybrid varieties, more commonly known as bearded iris for the presence
of a band of dense hairs, the so-called “tuft” on the central vein of the
perianth external lobes (var. «Margarita»,
Lilt», «Christmas Time» , etc.).
The ancient Greek
word iris denotes rainbow, and you realize this when you see huge flowers
with all sorts of colors and hear the poetic sound of tint groups: plicate,
of botanists in selecting new varieties are indeed magnificent: they obtained
varieties with fringed, corrugated petals with horned outgrowths on tuft
ends, with secondary autumnal blooming. Plant-breeders have failed to obtain
purely red iris alone, for which the top iris award, the Dikes gold medal,
has been promised.
succeed irises. The luxurious clusters of peonies with smart leaves and
bright magnificent flowers—white, rosy, red, dark-cherry and almost black—look
very impressive. A total of 4.5 thousand varieties have been registered
worldwide, most of them conventionally subdivided into three groups: Chinese,
medicinal and hybrid.
peony, mostly growing in the wild in Primorye, is the ancestor of Chinese
varieties. This group is most numerous in our collection.
peonies were obtained through selection of the most promising forms of
medicinal peonies; in our collection this group is represented by single
specimens because they are not sufficiently winter-hardy in local conditions.
rapidly replenishing group, interspecific hybrids, includes forms obtained
in interspecific cross-pollination.
the past fifty years, highly complex cross-pollination yielded a new group
of preferentially American selection, namely hybrid peonies, e.g. var.
Daybreak»), obtained in cross pollination wild species with varieties
of above-listed groups. They are favorably distinguished by earlier blossoming
and by scarlet, coral, orange, lavender, and dark red petal color, totally
unusual for the peony. In our collection, varieties from this group
amount to over ten percent.
call Hemerocallis the plant of “intellectual idlers”. Indeed, among other
similarly ornamental plants, one can hardly find one equally undemanding
to growth conditions.
are often called one-day flowers , because they
bloom just one day; yet, the raceme structure is such that the flowers
open one after the other, so that the flowers’ short life remains inconspicuous.
hybrids, as many as sixteen hues have been described. The flowers of some
varieties twinkle in the sun and incidentally distinguish “diamond dust”
(silvery color) and “gold dust”. Regrettably, this property is not reflected
the presence of varieties with early, medium and late blossoming times,
in favorable years you can admire blossoming Hemerocallis until September.
the peak of summer, is distinguished by abundance of blossoming plants—delphiniums,
lupines, the original garden montbrecia and the peacock tigridia; most
of the flowers are efflorescent annuals, such as the Portulaca, Aescholtsia,
beautiful lilies also start blooming in July. Over half of all lilies have
a fine pleasant aroma. Single lily flowers or those gathered in racemes
astonish people with both richness of color and subtle forms reminiscent
of now a high goblet, then a
bell, wide cup, or turban.
in the Garden collection are lily species, including those of Far Eastern
flora, various hybrid lily varieties, and promising Botanical Garden seedlings.
is based on Asian hybrid varieties originating from East Asian species.
Asian hybrids are the hardiest and most frost-resistant, with high multiplication
factor and resistant to sicknesses and pests.
are highly impressed by the large snow-white flowers of the royal lily,
more similar to exotic trumpets.
to bloom is one of the most magnificent lilies, the fine lily, whose crystalline
crimson-sprayed turban-like flowers spread the fascinating smell of vanilla.
In July, Japanese irises (including Japanese iris
variety selected at “Primorye” Botanical Garden, Japanese iris var.
“Prairie Fantasy”, etc., delight
the eye with their luxuriant flower color, ranging from white, purple and
rosy to crimson and violet, and by elegance of form. Their very fine moire
pattern of stripes or strokes imparts many varieties a special charm. In
Japan, the native country of Japanese irises, they lovingly call them “hana-shobu”
and organize “hanami” festivals when these lovely flowers blossom.
Botanical Garden-Institute boasts a unique collection of Japanese
irises, including varieties of Japanese and American selection, and those
selected by Russian breeders as well.
yet another Garden corner attracts general attention with its unusual racemes-panicles,
ranging in color from white and rosy to red and violet. These are Astilbe
(var. “Glut”, “Catlea”, etc.), ranging from small pompon-size to luxuriously
large decorative varieties. Their racemes are so buoyant and full of air
as to remind you of multicolored haze. Astilbes love humid habitats; for
that reason Primorye’s monsoon climate is most favorable for this little
known, but nonetheless still attractive culture.
Dahlias are normally regarded
as the autumn flowers of our childhood. Many people will recall their childhood
when on September 1st they first became first-graders of their primary
school with a bouquet of luxurious dahlias or elegant astras in their hands.
There is vogue
for flowers, too, and one time dahlias were in favor with flower-lovers.
But recently, the interest for dahlias has significantly grown.
of flowers at the Botanical Garden-Institute, F.E. Branch, Russian Academy
of Sciences, boasts over 100 varieties from eight decorative dahlia groups,
e.g. Indira Ghandi, Triomphe de Paris, Severin Triumph, etc., ranging from
little pompon flowers to luxurious, huge decorative ones. Again, the flower
shape varies greatly, indeed!
are highly diverse in form, the petals occasionally clustered like honeycombs,
at times reminiscent of the lotus, and sometimes with either even- or cut
In fall, dahlias
serve as a thermometer, as it were; once the temperature drops below zero
Celsius, the above ground portion instantly dies to indicate that the time
to dig out the root crop had come.
when nature has apparently nothing more to offer, rosy and white vernal
flowers appear. These are Colchums. There is something fascinatingly sad
in them, and they look incredibly beautiful, like phantoms. Indeed, their
very name reflects their uniqueness, everything in them being poorly timed,
the leaves appearing
in early summer, and
the flowers in fall.
usually dawns with blooming of chrysanthemums. Children of fall, chrysanthemums,
look essentially dispassionate, like all things do in autumn. And yet,
nature has not hurt their feelings. Their petals are so gentle, now looking
downwards, now skywards. The white makes them look solemn, the rosy pensively
smiling, and the yellow sunnily joyful. Indeed, every individual flower
is a novel expression, a new intonation.
Garden boasts a very rich collection of small-flower chrysanthemums,
including also varieties and promising seedlings selected by our researchers,
e.g. the varicolored “Sorceress”, “Typhoon”, etc., more adapted to monsoon
conditions to find the time to gladden visitors with their luxurious blossoming
before arrival of early frosts. Chrysanthemums are the most cold-resistant
culture, the flowers withstanding frosts of up to minus 7oC.
of the enclosure and pool evoke no small public interest, especially in
children. In the enclosure, you can see little decorative hens and cocks,
an important-looking turkey-poult and proud silver pheasant. And in the
pool, hybrid water lilies bloom and golden fishes
swim throughout summer; this year, we introduced multicolored Japanese
The author thanks Yu. Vaskovsky, M. Abanjkina, L. Makogin and l. Pshennikova
for the slides and photographs.