About the Hortus
Foundation, ANBI, History, Board and Friends
The Hortus botanicus Haren is one of the oldest and largest botanical gardens in the Netherlands. At the Hortus, which covers about 15 acres, there are a large number of very different gardens.
In addition to the various (botanical) gardens, the Hortus also includes an authentic Chinese Ming garden with an authentic Chinese tea house. This garden, which has a different design than western gardens, is a gift from the city of Shanghai to the City and County of Groningen.
The Hortus was part of the University of Groningen (RUG) and until the 1980s’ played an important role in the teaching and research of Biology especially Plant Systematics. A national division of labor between universities and developments in science led to the minimization of the Hortus’ role within the RUG. Since 2002, the Stichting Behoud Groene Hortus (SBGH) has acted as custodian of the heritage of the) RUG. As of 2012, the Hortus stands on its own feet financially.
In addition to a permanent core of staff, about 100 volunteers enthusiastically dedicate themselves to preserving the Hortus in Haren for the Northern Netherlands. In addition, the SBGH receives financial support from the Society of Friends and others who care about the Hortus. You can also support the Hortus. To that end, the SBGH is a recognized charity with ANBI.
Continue reading about it below:
- Foundation Behoud Groene Hortus;
- ANBI status to donate;
- history from the 17th century onward;
- become a friend.
Stichting Behoud Groene Hortus (SBGH)
The Hortus Haren was part of the University of Groningen (RUG). The Hortus played an important role in teaching and research in Plant Systematics. Since the 1980s, developments in science and a division of labor in university teaching and research have minimized the Hortus’ role.
In 2002, the RUG established the Foundation for the Preservation of the Green Hortus (SBGH) with the goal of maintaining the Hortus botanicus in Haren, especially its natural, natural-historical and cultural-historical values. The SBGH was given management of the Hortus botanicus.
As of 2012, the Hortus stood on its own feet financially, although the RUG still interfered with the Hortus in terms of housing for staff and volunteers and necessary building maintenance.
In 2022, the RUG decided to sell the Hortus (land and buildings) to the Municipality of Groningen, which wants to preserve the Hortus as a Green Hotspot. The SBGH will continue to manage the Hortus, but the RUG’s role on the Foundation Board has been taken over by the Municipality of Groningen as of January 1, 2023.
The SBGH is an Institution for General Benefit (ANBI). This means that individuals who wish to support the work of the institution with a donation can claim those donations as a deduction when levying income tax. For institutions, it means they can apply for an energy tax refund. ANBI status also means that the government requires these institutions to make specific information about the institution available to the public through their website.
History of the Hortus HarenThrough the centuries
Apothecary Henricus Munting settled in Groningen in 1626 after many years of traveling through Europe. Behind his house on Rose Street, he laid out a garden with many crops. The garden was soon well regarded, in part because Munting’s friends sent him plants from all over Europe. In 1642, the apothecary offered the garden to the States of Town and Country. In this way, the garden could be maintained for the Academy and the people of Groningen.
The University then got a botanical garden. Munting was appointed provincial botanist with a teaching position. The garden’s first catalog was published in 1646 and contained names of plants from all over the world. In 1654, Munting, then 71 years old, became a professor of botany. He thus became the first professor specifically of botany in the Republic of the United Netherlands.
It proved difficult to keep all the plants – especially those from warmer regions – alive. The States therefore provided the sum of 1,200 guilders in 1656 for a reconditorium. This is a heated greenhouse, also called an orangery. In the greenhouse, the Agave first bloomed in 1675. This was a first in the Republic.
After the death of Henricus Munting in 1658, he was succeeded by his son Abraham. He had been his father’s deputy for several years. Abraham published the book Waare oeffening der planten. In it, he wrote a lot about his own experiences growing plants. When Abraham died in 1683, he was succeeded by his son Albert Munting.
However, a garden for genetics was created in 1920. (This garden now no longer exists. Here now stands the former building of the Biological Center of the Rijksuniversiteit; the Center has since moved to the Zernike complex). They also began growing trees and conifers from seeds in test plots at that time.
In the late 1920s, the planting of the site was addressed. From the beginning, the idea was to create a garden where plants could develop as much as possible in an environment natural to them. Therefore, varied terrains such as bogs and different soil relief were created. In addition, the requirements of spore plants were considered alongside those of higher plants.
The war between 1940 and 1945 temporarily slowed work. Then Hortus De Wolf rapidly became what it is today: first the wild plant garden, in 1966 the large tropical greenhouse was completed and the plant collection from the Rozenstraat was transferred to Haren, finally the rock garden and water features followed. Through purchases of adjacent land, the garden reached its current area of 20 acres.
In 1995, the Hortus got a Chinese garden. The Hidden Realm of Ming was officially opened by Queen Beatrix on April 12 of that year. Ogham’s Gardens followed in 1999. This garden focuses on the mythological ideas of the Celts.
The Hortus Haren has many plans. Are you curious about what the Hortus looks like in the 21st century? Then come take a quick look at the Hortus botanicus Haren.
Since the University of Groningen (RUG) ended its financial contribution to the Hortus a few years ago, the survival of the Hortus depends in part on this Society of Friends. This “fan club” financially supports the Foundation for the Preservation of the Green Hortus (SBGH) in activities related to managing and expanding the plant collection, ecological outreach and promoting education.
By becoming a member of the Friends Association, you contribute to the survival of the Hortus. The attractively priced membership has the benefit for you of free admission to the Hortus for an entire year, exceptions may be made only for “special” events.
For more information about the Friends Association of the Hortus botanicus Haren, visit the Friends Association website.