The Laarman Garden (the wild plant garden)
The wild plant garden, or Laarman Garden, is part of the National Plant Collection. It consists of four different areas, each with unique properties.
The Arboretum consists of more than 250 varieties of deciduous tree from all over the world. In the springtime, the “stinsen” plants—introduced and escaped non-native plants that are naturalized here—form a spectacular show. The rich and unique collection of these plants is one of the largest in the North Netherlands. Many of the species have been present more than 50 years.
Many of the trees bloom in the summer, and in the Indian summer, in the fall, leaves turn colors in all shades of red and yellow, and fruits of a variety of shapes and colors ripen. When it rains, many mushrooms grow under the trees. In the winter, it may seem that growth has stopped, but the trees sport buds that are a promise of spring growth.
One tree hidden in the Arboretum is special: Artist Els Otten has transformed this tree into a “marble tree”.
The Pinetum is a large collection of conifers from east Asia, North America and central Europe. It includes the sequoia, the largest type of tree in the world. You can enjoy the beauty of the American spruce/hemlock forest or wander through the Scandinavian coastal forest. With a bit of luck, you may even see deer.
You can cross over the wet moorland of the heather on narrow paths. In the summer, many orchids grow here, as well as flesh-eating plants such as the sundew, which you can recognize by its red tentacles.
In the springtime, the meadow is filled with the snake’s head fritillary. In the summer, it changes into a richly blooming field, full of butterflies. In the fall, you can search for mushrooms, including the small, colorful waxy cap, which seems to be made of porcelain. You might also see a variety of insects and spiders, including the large (but harmless) wasp spider waiting between the plants for its prey.
The Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation has made possible the production of a Laarman Garden app and accompanying booklet. Discover the garden with the audiotour van de Laarmantuin (Hortus Haren/Laarmantuin), available for free in Dutch, German and English.