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The Ellerhoop-Thiensen Arboretum In Hamburg Is Worth A Visit

Unexpectedly located in the countryside near Hamburg, Germany, the Ellerhoop-Thiensen Arboretum is an Alice in Wonderland-like break from traditional arboretums (which can sometimes feel a little stiff). The 42-acre space features a seemingly endless variety of plants: there are gardens dedicated to yellow, red, mauve, and blue, erupting into a landscape of subtle hues. There are gardens themed around design, like French and Tuscany gardens. There’s even a pavilion dedicated to amber, where the walls replicate what the world looks like to an insect trapped in amber.  Each corner promises something new and extraordinary.

While the arboretum began as a nursery in 1943, its land was eventually purchased by the state in 1980. In collaboration with the University of Hamburg, the space was developed into its current form. Today, the Ellerhoop-Thiensen Arboretum takes a broad view of plant life, encompassing the many perspectives one can take. For example, the garden has an especially developed look at flora over time– surveying trees in the Carboniferous Period, herbivores from the Triassic Period, and the swamp forests of the Tertiary Period– but also has amassed the largest peony collection in Germany. It is an eclectic mix, but one that gives the garden an unusual, charming character and makes its educational aspects all the more engaging. At any age, the space promises surprises, proving the natural world is more than just the background.

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For more information about the Ellerhoop-Thiensen Arboretum, visit the arboretum’s website.

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