Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

The “magic of spring” in Lviv

Magnolias run riot in Ivan Franko University’s botanical gardens
20 April, 2016 - 18:05
Photo by the author

The two botanical gardens of Lviv Ivan Franko University received guests last weekend – the old one (2 ha) on Kyryla i Mefodia St. and the new one (16.5 ha) on Cheremshyny St. This time the first open-door day was called “The Magic of Spring.” Indeed, it was a magic of sorts, for there were not just hundreds but over 30,000 visitors. The gardens have never seen so many guests throughout their history. There are plenty of things to see, including magnolias of all kinds of color shades – from white to almost violet. The flowers seemed sometimes to have been retouched, for their petals are so bright-colored! Primroses have already faded, but you can now feast your eyes on tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, bright-pink Sikhote-Alin rhododendron.

The botanical garden organizes six to eight open-door days every year, which is announced on the official website. Admission is free on these days. The botanical garden comprises five research departments – of natural herbal flora, dendrology, culture flora and greenery, tropical and subtropical plants, physiology and biochemistry of plants – with its flora consisting of about 5,000 plant taxa. The oldest plant is an almost 160-year-old dammar tree. Also old-aged are a Phoenix canariensis (almost 140 years old), the cycads and cereuses (almost 100 years old).

The Botanical Garden of Lviv National Ivan Franko University is one of the oldest gardens in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. According to the first projects, it was to be established on the basis of a garden on the premises of liquidated suburban monasteries. For example, in the late 18th century, it was planned to use for this purpose the garden of a former missionary monastery on the Zhovkiv outskirts. Another botanical garden existed briefly on the grounds of a Dominican nunnery in the Halych outskirts (Kopernyka St. now). In 1852, Professor Hiacynt Lobarzewski founded the Lviv University Botanical Garden on the place of an old garden at the Trinitarian Order monastery (4, Kyryla i Mefodia St. now). In 1911 the university bought an additional plot of land for its botanical garden on the former Lychakiv outskirts – what was one called “Tsetnerivka.”

Do not miss the opportunity to visit the garden in the near future – the residents and guests of Lviv will be able to see “Various Magnolia in the Garden’s Collection” (April 24, 4 Kyryla i Mefodia St.) and “The Rhododendron Paradise” (May 22, 44 Cheremshyny St.).