BAVCON, Jože. 200 years of the Ljubljana Botanic gardens. V: BAVCON, Jože (ur.). 200 let Botaničnega vrta v Ljubljani. Ljubljana: Botanični vrt, Oddelek za biologijo, Biotehniška fakulteta, 2010, str. 73-103. [COBISS.SI-ID 2288719]  

Jože Bavcon


Abstract

The present work deals with the history of the Ljubljana Botanic Garden. It brings to light some newly discovered archive documents. It provides a closer examination and comparison of Paulin's and Voss's assessments of the Garden for the period after F. Hladnik (1834) till the arrival of A. Paulin (1886), which are further compared with the so far undisclosed archive documents on the relevant Garden period. These comparisons reveal that the Botanic Garden has never failed to maintain continuity of work such as expected in a botanic garden. The final part covers the Botanic Garden in the recent times.

Key Words: botanic garden, colleges, Illyrian Provinces, F. Hladnik, J. Biatzovsky, A. Fleischmann, A. Paulin, J. Lazar, V. Strgar.


Introduction

According to the documented sources the first larger Slovenian gardens were those at Dol near Ljubljana. Between 1716 and 1758 they were in possession of Janez Benjamin Erberg. After 1740 they began to undergo changes under the influence of the then dominating French style. They were at their height between 1783 and 1843, when owned by Jožef Kalasanc Erberg. These gardens known as Erberg's Botanic Gardens were minutely catalogued by H. Freyer (1840). They may have exerted some influence on the foundation, in 1810, of the Botanic Garden in Ljubljana (Strgar 1991). What has survived of them is their central axis with a pavilion and an avenue planted with trees on both side (Pergovnik Cotič 2009).
Contrary to this, other researchers consider that the first botanic garden was that of Karl Zois (1754–1799). According to Petkovšek (1960) it was founded in 1785 whereas Dobrilovič & Kravanja (2003) state 1781 as the year of its foundation. The garden was famous for its dendrologic characteristics and Alpine plants, most particularly endemic flora, as well as numerous foreign species (Petkovšek 1960, Praprotnik 1988, 2004, Dobrilovič & Kravanja 2003). In spite of having undergone changes the garden has survived. In 2008 the estate was proclaimed a cultural monument of national importance. It has since 1991 been used as the central protocol venue of the Republic of Slovenia (Koruza 2009).
In addition to the abovementioned gardens there were some other parks and gardens in the territory of present-day Slovenia (Jernejec Babič et al. 2009), among them also in Ljubljana (Andrejka 1934, Dobrilovič & Kravanja 2003). In 1809 the horticultural scene of Ljubljana became very lively in various locations. At least two of them were quite close to each other. The year 1809 saw the opening of Zois's alley running over a moat area. According to Voss (1885, reprint 2009), this was most probably the present-day Zoisova cesta road. F. Hladnik had by then planted the garden in the courtyard of the Lyceum building, i.e. a former Franciscan monastery which in 1788 stood in the present-day Vodnikov trg, now the open central market of the town (Ciperle 2001). The building was badly damaged in the earthquake of 1895 and pulled down to make space for the market halls (Kajzer 1995, Ciperle 2001). The Vodnik Memorial, which is still in place, had been erected before (Ciperle 2001). Hladnik used the Lyceum garden to cultivate some Carniolan plants for educational purposes (Pintar 1939).


Hladnik's Period (1810–1834)

In 1809 the French army marched into the country for the third time (first in 1797; then in 1805/1806, when marching across the territory of present-day Slovenia). The signing of the Treaty of Schönbrunn on October 14, 1809 was followed, on the very same day, by Napoleon's decree on the foundation of the Illyrian Provinces which enjoyed considerable independence (Šumrada 1999a, Cvirn 2001). Ljubljana became the capital of the so-called buffer state extending from Tyrolia as far as Dubrovnik, cutting the Habsburg monarchy off the sea (Šumrada 1998). The first governer of the Provinces became Marshal Auguste- Frédéric Viesse de Marmont (1774–1852) (Granda 2001). 1813 marked the end of the Illyrian Provinces (Žmuc 2009, Polajnar 2009). In 2009 Slovenia celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Illyrian Provinces which resulted into a real national renaissance due to the introduction of the Slovenian language into public institutions (Dular et al. 2010).
Voss (1885) reports that after the foundation of the Illyrian Provinces Hladnik soon obtained a new parcel of land along the Karlovška cesta road by the Gruber Canal built between 1772 and 1780. The canal was part of the draining efforts which started on the Ljubljana Moor, a superficies of 163 km2, in order to save Ljubljana from floods (Bleiweis 1989). According to the sources, this land, i.e. field, was originally intended for the army (Pintar 1939) and was used for growing potatoes (Lazar 1954). As following from some records on the history of the Garden (Lazar 1960, Strgar 1973, Bavcon 2000) as well as some old newspaper articles, Hladnik had to choose between two options: a location in the area of the present-day Tivoli and another along the canal. It was probably easier and more expedient to prepare land on an existing field where the soil had already been cultivated than in an area of Tivoli which most probably included no tilled land. In a later newspaper article (the Slovenec 1942, Voss 1885) an additional fact is mentioned, namely, that F. Hladnik took a great deal of interest in willow trees and that this was the deciding factor in his choice. However, considering the circumstances elsewhere in the world and the foundation of numerous botanic gardens a correct answer might lie with the fact that this was state-owned land which was most easily assigned for such a purpose. In Europe botanic gardens were often laid out on the land owned by some ruler or else some less valuable parcel of land was donated for such a purpose.
Due to the previous existence of the field, the division into garden beds was not a very difficult task. The explicit mention of the garden in the relevant decree indicates that it was imperative to take immediate action. This is what makes the choice of this particular parcel of land quite logical. After numerous attempts of the revolutionary governments the French educational system was based on a Convention decree of 1795 (National Convention – people's representation, 1792–1795) on the foundation of central schools dedicated to the teaching of all sciences and arts, and a compulsory part of it was also a botanic garden (Polec 1929). Marmont's decree of July 04, 1810 refers to it; according to Article 9 of the Decree there shall be founded a library, a physics and a chemistry cabinets and a botanic garden. The Decree entered into force on October 01, 1810 and raised the Illyrian colleges to the university level in contrast to the central schools in France which did not enjoy such a status (Polec 1929, Pintar 1939, Baras 1984, Šumarada 1999b, Ciperle 2009).
Hladnik must have been well aware of the fact that this was worth the effort, so in order to get the funds he had to show something in the shortest possible time. Although some sources state that the Garden was established already in 1809, this is doubtlessly wrong. As the Illyrian Provinces were established after the mentioned peace treaty on October 14, 1809, it is highly unlikely that the French authorities would concern themselves with the foundation of a botanic garden so well in advance. We know that Hladnik had a garden in the Lyceum courtyard. In his manuscript of 1928 Paulin states that in 1809 Marshal Marmont handed over a part of the present area to gymnasium prefect Franc Hladnik. Hladnik may have planted some plants in the autumn of that year, however, considering the Ljubljana climate, any activities must have come to a halt in November or December and the planting actually started in the spring of 1810. It is more than likely that the intellectual circle to which Hladnik belonged was conscious of the national renaissance and the possibilities provided by the French rule: introduction of the Slovenian language and foundation of schools (Écoles centrales), all of which gave them a strong impetus to work. Another project might have been Zois's alley. The question that easily comes to mind is whether the direction of the alley and the Karlovška cesta road, then bordered by few buildings, may have not been seen as an option to extend the alley towards the garden. The land itself would allow adding new space to the initial Garden premises. As evident from a 1811 map, the alley running by the Garden had already been planted. In a letter of December 27, 1810, Hladnik reports to Jožef Walland, rector of the central schools: »In September 447 Linnaean species were planted in the Ljubljana Botanic Garden. This, however, was just the beginning of hard work. Much effort remains to be invested before the Garden becomes worthy of its name. As the flora of Ljubljana is almost exhausted, distant travels will have to be undertaken. The travel expenses for 1811 will amount to 900 francs.« (ZAL, LJU 184). In a letter of June 08, 1811 that the rector writes to the chief school inspector Zelli he cites Hladnik's letter concerning the settlement of the costs of hiring a pasture adjacent to the Botanic Garden (in the amount of 129 francs 29 centimes 29 mil.) (ZAL, LJU 184). There exists another letter dated June 22, 1811 in which Hladnik says that in the course of the first trimester the expenses of the Botanic Garden have arisen 110 francs 59 centimes and 60 mil., so he voices an urgent request that the total of 500 francs as anticipated on account of the first term be paid without delay. He adds that »without an immediate and efficacious help this year will be lost for the Botanic Garden.« (ZAL, LJU 184)
Older as well as more recent newspaper sources continue to refer to July 11, 1810 as the inauguration date of the Botanic Garden – or the National Flora Garden as it was known at the time. However, none of the researchers studying the material on the Illyrian Provinces has found any related document, neither did I when searching through the documents kept in the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, department of the Historical Archives of Ljubljana for the period under scrunity. Strgar alone (1973) refers to a later document dated March 10, 1814 which indicates the date of July 11, 1810 as the latest possible date of the opening of the Garden. The then newspaper Télégraphe officiel des Provinces Illyriennes that would have reported such an event started to be issued at a later date, namely, from October 03, 1810 to September 26, 1813. In his memoires (translation and adaptation by Baras 1984) Marshal Marmont mentions only the Ljubljana Lyceum. He remarks that the Lyceum is in the hands of capable people and that he allotted to it also a botanic garden. He mentions the foundation of colleges in Ljubljana and Zadar while Hladnik does not refer to this in any of his letters. Even so, the subsequent archive records claim that on the occasion of inaugurating the Botanic Garden Marshal Marmont planted no less than eight trees, whereat some later articles specify a linden and an elm (Juvan 1942) which fell down after only two years (Wraber 1944, drawing). A hundred years later (December, 30 1911) some newspapers even state that the Garden began to be planted only in 1811, which can be disproved on the basis of Hladnik's letters of 1810 found in the municipal archives and published in the work. It is true, however, that in his first letter Hladnik adds a critical comment that much work will have to be done before the Garden actually becomes a real botanic garden.
A 1812 list of plants is preserved, signed by catechist Michel Tušek who most probably also compiled it by following Hladnik's example. This until recently unknown list was discovered in the Archives of Slovenia by N. Praprotnik enganged in botany history research (2009). A facsimile accompanied by her comments is published in the jubilee issue – 200 Years of the Botanic Garden Ljubljana. The oldest data found to date go back to the records of H. Freyer (1829). As following from a well legible handwritten list, the Garden displayed not only such native genera as Anemone, represented by several species growing in our country (A. trifolia, A pratensis, A. ranunculoides, A. nemorosa, and also A. hepatica) but also foreign species such as doubtlessly bred in the contemporary gardens since many garden designers ordered plants from various parts of the world (Andrejka 1934, Dobrilovič & Kravanja, 2003). The list already includes Aster novae-angliae, Aster novi-belgii, A. chinensis, Asclepias syriaca, Carthamus tinctorius, Mirabilis jalapa, Rudbeckia laciniata, to cite just some of them. As evident from the archives, Hladnik, as a college professor of botany, received in 1811 an amount of 130 francs, determined by the then school statement of expenditure. The salaries of other professors were within the same range (ZAL, LJU 184 (226)). Judging from the sources, 3000 francs were reserved for material expenses of the library, physics and chemistry cabinet and the Botanic Garden (Polec 1929). According to some other sources the Botanic Garden received a third

Ljubljana, June 22, 1811
To the Rector
While attaching the list of expenses that have arisen in the course
of the first trimester of 1811 on account of the Botanic Garden,
amounting to 110 francs 59 centimes and 60 mill., I am herewith
applying to you to order that the total of 500 francs as foreseen for
botany lessons per semester be paid without delay. I have the honour
of assuring you that without an immediate and efficacious help this
year will be lost for the Botanic Garden, and I remain,
Yours respectfully,
Your servant,
Franc Hladnik, Professor of Botany

of this amount, i.e. 1000 francs (Lazar 1960). The budget specifically refers to the costs of keeping a manservant in the Botanic Garden, amounting to 500 francs per year. But in the letter of December 27, 1810 that Hladnik addresses to the regent (rector) he states that the collecting of plants alone – travelling costs – will amount to 900 francs. And the plants will have to be brought from abroad as the flora in the environs of Ljubljana is not rich enough, meaning that the abovementioned financial means were inadequeate (ZAL, LJU 184).
Franc de Paula Hladnik was born in Idrija on March 29, 1773. Idrija was widely known for its 200 year tradition of exploiting the richest mercury mine in the Habsburg monarchy. Hladnik was the son of Matija, a mine supervisor, and Doroteja. As the Idrija mine provided work for all the inhabitants in this basin which had little tillable land, it was quite logical that the father soon acquainted him with the practical aspects of mining. The son, however, showed no interest in mining but in study. The father must have been enlightened enough to send him first to the local elementary school and thereafter to the grammar school in Ljubljana which he finished with honour in 1789. Between 1790 and 1791 he studied philosophy at the Lyceum and finished with excellent results. He went on to study theology and was ordained in 1795. His weak health prevented him from serving as a priest (Rechfeld 1849, Voss 1884, Praprotnik 1994). In the same year he became a scriptor of the Ljubljana Lyceum library. On October 08, 1796 he was appointed a teacher of the fourth grade of the Normal School in Ljubljana, and in 1800 an associated teacher at the Technical School in Ljubljana. On June 21, 1802 he became a temporary and on January 05, 1803 a full headmaster of the Ljubljana Normal School. In 1807 he filled the post of grammar school prefect.
Judging from the duties he was entrusted with, he must have been a very capable man, making swift progress irrespective of his being a newcomer to Ljubljana. His knowledge and successful management of the assigned work helped him to get promoted. The archive documents and records (Rechfeld 1849, Voss 1884, Polec 1929, Pintar 1939, Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, ZAL, Lju 184 (226)) show that in the period of the Illyrian Provinces he became a professor of natural history and botany at the Ecoles centrales. Although 1813 marked the end of the Illyrian Provinces, Hladnik retained his high academic position and continued to run the Botanic Garden, obviously experiencing no problems under the restored Habsburg rule. According to the sources, the Austrians had all the while been spying on the territory of the Illyrian Provinces and the people collaborating with the French, however, once they returned to power, they obviously gave precedence to knowledge and abilities of individuals rather than their political convictions. How otherwise explain the fact that in its decree of December 04, 1815 the royal education commission declared that in two years under Hladnik's management the grammar school had made so much progress as to be in line with the best institutions of its kind in the Austrian provinces. Emperor Franz I awarded Hladnik a great gold medal (Voss 1884) to honour his work. In the sole preserved portrait painted by Amalia v. Hermannsthal and stored in the National Museum of Slovenia, Hladnik is seen wearing the medal on the right side of his breast. In addition to his obviously substantial knowledge he seems to have had a fine talent for organisation. He managed to run both the grammar school and the Botanic Garden, raising both of them to an elevated level. After the abolition of the Illyrian Provinces he succeeded in preserving the Botanic Garden in spite of the fact that the Habsburgs put an end to all French institutions. This may be put down to Hladnik's character that Voss (1884), citing Babnigg, describes as follows: »His fundamental principle was to listen and keep silent, while the most distinguished of his talents was his intellect.«
Another person who played an important part in the preservation of the Botanic Garden was Austrian botanist Host with whom Hladnik maintained a friendly relation. Pintar (1939) refers to him as an angel guardian of the Ljubljana Botanic Garden. Hladnik had been corresponding with him since 1812. He also sent him plants. Even before that Host had collaborated with the botanists in Carniola, particularly Karl Zois. In Ljubljana a group of enlightened intellectuals were active within the so called Zois's circle headed by Karl's brother Žiga (Sigismund) Zois (Aljančič et al. 2001). In a letter to Zois Jernej Kopitar, an eminent linguist and author of the first scientific grammar of Slovenian, then working in Vienna, mentions Host. »I recently made acquaintance of Host in his garden near Belvedere (thereby in fact referring to the Vienna Botanic Garden) while I was taking a walk with the university bibliothecary. I was not at all aware of his being Illyrian. He was right in the midst of writing to Hladnik (Kopitar 1812).« As it it, Host was born in Rijeka, in nowadays Croatia, on March 06, 1761 and died in 1834, so he was not indifferent to the Illyrian spirit awakened by the French.
Hladnik most probably became a botany enthusiast thanks to Wulfen, which Voss (1884) claims on the basis of Wulfen's letter of thanks of March 19, 1803. Wulfen died in 1805, i.e. well before Hladnik started teaching botany. Hladnik enjoyed a growing renown amongst the contemporary European botanists. Ever since 1812 he maintained a steady correspondence with Host whom he met for the first time in 1821, on the occasion of the Holy Alliance congress in Ljubljana. This political congress was attended by Russin Tzar Alexander I, Austrian Emperor Franz I, King Ferdinand IV of Naples, and the duke of Modena Francis IV, as well as representatives of France, Great Britain, Prussia, single Italian states, and beside them about 500 VIPs. Ljubljana itself counted about 20 000 inhabitants yet it had to accommodate all the august personages and their entourage. The congress lasted from January 10 to May 22, 1821. Throughout this period Ljubljana's social life was very lively as the great event attracted many visitors not only from other parts of the monarchy but also from other countries (Šumrada 1992, Holz 1997). Host came to Ljubljana as a physician to Emperor Franz I (Pintar 1939). So it may be assumed that he may have met with and talked to his friend Hladnik on more than one occasion. According to the sources (Voss 1884) Hladnik provided numerous contributions to Host's works Salices and Flora austriaca.
In Hladnik's times the Botanic Garden was enlarged and possibly walled in already in 1828, and a garden shed was added to the premises. Even at that time, however, there were rumours of eventually moving the Garden closer to the town center, to an area of Tivoli between the forest and the Letterman alley, the principal alley leading towards the Cekinov grad castle. Pintar (1939) also adds that Hladnik himself was in favour of such a project which, however, was not realized.
Hladnik continued giving well-attended botany lectures as late as 1834. Botany lectures as an optional subject clearly meant an advantage that Ljubljana had over the educational system in the other provincial towns that were left without it (Pintar 1939, Ciperle 2001). He inspired new pupils such as Freyer, Graf, Tommasini to take up botany. He initially even prevented Freyer to come to botany lectures for fear that he might devote too much time to it and as a result fail to finish his studies, but later on he encouraged him and recommended him to his Viennese colleagues N. T. Host (1761–1834) and J. F. Jacquin (1766–1839) (Wraber 2002). In addition to the National Flora Garden, which is doubtlessly his greatest achievement and continues to represent a living monument to his work, Hladnik compiled a rich herbarium collection of Carniola; he left behind a nomenclator in manuscript, including 3484 seed plants, and a fine library. In 1836 he donated the herbarium and the nomenclator to the newly established museum which had since October 1836 been in operation in the ground floor rooms of the Lyceum building, and he left the library to the the Lyceum library (Voss 1884) where he had begun his career.
Accompanied by Andrej Fleischmann (1804–1867), whom he took on as a fourteen year old gardening apprentice for the Botanic Garden, he wandered through numerous parts of the homeland (Wraber 1963, Praprotnik 1993a). As stated by Freyer (1829), he was bringing plants from different parts of Carniola. He mentions, amongst others, Ljubelj, Korošica, Zelenica, Bohinj, Krn, Črna prst, Porezen, Jelenk, Goljaki, Čaven, Nanos, Vremščica.Voss (1884), among other mentions also the Drava and the Soča valley.
In his historical survey of botany in Carniola Voss (1884) defines the time till 1884 as the classical period starting with the arrival of Scopoli to Idrija in 1754, the time from 1801 to 1852 as the Hladnik period, and the period of the subsequent thirty years. He is perfectly justified in referring to the first period as that of Scopoli and the second as that of Hladnik, although the latter period actually extends well beyond the year of Hladnik's death in 1844 (Bleiweis 1844). It might make sense to conclude it with A. Fleischmann who carried on Hladnik's work although Voss's division is nonetheless acceptable because in the second part of his career Fleischmann devoted much of his work to practical botany, fruit growing and horticulture (Praprotnik 1993a).


The Period of Biatzovsky and Fleischmann (1834–1867)


After Hladnik applied for retirement and retired in 1834 the management of the Botanic Garden and the botany lectures were taken over by physician Janez Nepomuk Biatzovsky (1801–1863). He had came to Ljubljana in 1833 and worked as a professor of physics, chemistry and botany at the school of medicine and surgery where he obtained the status of a regular professor only in 1839. An attestion on his employment status was issued to him much later, only in 1843 (Pintar 1939). Similarly as Hladnik, Biatzovsky played an important part in the education of the new generation of botanists (Praprotnik 1993a, Garden Archives). He successfully headed the Garden till 1850 when he was transferred to Salzburg. He paid tribute to Hladnik by naming Scopolia hladnikiana after him, its current name being S. carniolica f. hladnikiana (Biatzkovsky & Fleischmann) E. Mayer. In 1842 the Garden premises were enlarged to 76 ares. After being transferred to the Salzburg medicine and surgery school, Biatzovsky redesigned the old local botanic garden and endowed it with a more scientific intent, also initiating an international exchange of seeds (Pintar 1939).
After Biatzovsky's departure the management of the Garden was entrusted to Andrej Fleischmann. He also took over the botany lectures at the grammar school where botany was an optional subject introduced by Hladnik. He conducted preparatory courses and taught at the school of agriculture, his major subject being fruit growing which was then considered very important. In 1844 Fleischmann published his Übersicht der Flora Krains – A Survey of Carniolan Flora that the botanists do not credit as a completely reliable work. His lectures were attended by various important men – F. Erjavec, I. Tušek, J. Šafer. He also organized Garden tours. Weather permitting, the Botanic Garden was open to the general public every afternoon. Praprotnik (1993a) comments that, contrary to Hladnik, Fleischmann was a more prolific author. Beside the abovementioned work he published in the Carniolia 1838–1843, the Flora and the Verhandlungen des zoologisch-botanischen Vereins in Wien. In 1884 he started writing in Slovenian for Bleiweis's Novice. He was engaged in fruit growing and acted as an assessor at exhibitions. In 1839 he became a corresponding member of the Bavarian Botanical Society and in 1841 a member of the Carniolan Agricultural Society. Fleischmann was apprenticed; as evident from one of Host's letters to Hladnik, the latter is promissing him to send Fleischmann to Vienna to learn gardening and German. However, as following from another of Hladnik's letters, Fleischmann was too busy in the Botanic Garden to ever leave it (Rechefeld 1849). Irrespective of his imperfect professional education Fleischmann did a great job in popularizing the Garden with the public. In the 1839 Carniolia he even published the information which plants bloomed in the Botanic Garden from May till the end of August (Praprotnik 1993a).


Comparative Assessment of the Period from 1834 to 1886

All to-date historical surveys report that the Fleischmann era was followed by a less successful period and that the Garden regressed, and I myself used to cite those sources (Paulin 1929, Lazar 1960, Strgar 1973, Strgar 1985, Bavcon 1996, 1998, 2000). However, judging from Voss's description (1885) of the Botanic Garden and the unsigned written sources from the Garden archives which refer to older annual reports, I would now find it very hard to agree with such an assessment. It should be noted that this was a period when fruit growing and horticulture were getting much attention, their major promotor being Fleischmann who was followed in his tracks by Konschegg and gardener Rulitz. According to the manuscripts found in the Botanic Garden, Konschegg left Maribor for Ljubljana on October 16, 1854. He was to teach at the Ljubljana grammar school. In 1862 he became a provisional director of the new lower grammar school in Kranj but returned to Ljubljana already in 1863. According to a source, in 1866 he is again teaching natural history. On June 17, 1867, just 12 days after Fleischmann's death, he is appointed head of the Botanic Garden.
Perusing the exemplary description of the Garden in his time, we get an entirely new insight. A handwritten Garden source indicates that in 1868 a tree nursery was planted in an as yet unused part of the Garden where some space was reserved also for several other cultivated plants. We also learn that the 1868/1869 budget of the Garden amounted to 420 florins and that the Garden received a subvention of 210 florins to pay the gardener. The source mentions that a new acquisition has recently been added to Garden, namely, an alpinetum. According to a manuscript of 1871/1872, the Botanic Garden has been enriched with 150 species of predominantly Alpine plants donated by the then mayor Deschmann, Professor Linhart, Tušek and Wurner. In the years 1872/73 100 new species were added to the tree nursery. The period of 1873/74 seems to have been marked by a snowless winter badly affecting the Alpine plants so according to the source, the damages will have to be repaired in the year to come, which actually happens in 1875/76 . The lost Alpine plants were replaced in the years 1875/76. The 1878/79 report indicates that further 105 Alpine plants were planted on the hillock. But the 1882/83 report indicates that the tree nursery will be given up.
The mentioned handwritten documents refer not only to plants but regularly mention also the tree nursery, which seems to indicate a regular inflow of funds for it. Additionally, we are also in possession of an exemplarily designed ground plan and a fine description of the Garden, and of a list of plants, all of these by Voss (1885). The image of the Garden as revealed by the two sources is by no means as poor as later described in a handwritten report by Paulin (1928). It is true, however, that this deteriorated state is mentioned also in an article published in the newspaper Slovenec in 1942, in which Franc Juvan, head of the Botanic Garden, affirms that under Konschegg the Garden was let to regress. This unflattering image of the Garden might be associated with Juvan's report to the newspaper, but the source was most probably Paulins's report. It may not be very far from the truth if we say that the trends of promoting fruit growing made themselves felt also in the Botanic Garden.
Under Paulin the Garden regained Hladnik's spirit and became closer to the other botanic gardens in Europe. Paulin's critical attitude might have made it easier for him to negotiate a loan for the Garden and excursions on which he began going to various parts of Carniola. It would be hard to accept that the Garden was presented in such a fine light in 1885 to be described just one year later as perfectly uncared-for and neglected. Though it is true that any garden may decline rather quickly, it does seem unlikely that this one had fallen apart within such a short period of time. It is also surprising that, if all this were true, he did not fire the gardener right away. On the contrary, he continued to work with Rulitz a great many years to come. A later report on the construction of the Garden house in the period after the earthquake may reveal Paulin as a extremely critical man not easily pleased with whatever was being done. Thus, in a record the new Garden house which was built in 1897 is described as useless. Lazar (1954) states that the house was built in autumn 1897, that it was bigger than the previous one but by half smaller than planned because less funds than foreseen were actually available.
For the purposes of comparison with Paulin's subsequent report, let me cite a part of Voss's (1885) contemporary description of the Garden, the passage being given in its original form: »The Garden has three entrances: main entrance (1) and two other entrances (2, 3) which are mostly closed. If we enter through the first, a wide walk bordered on both   sides with tall-stemmed centifolias leads to the garden shed (h).«
»As evident from the plan, flower beds planted with decorative plants lie along the walk. Here we find Paeonia officinalis and P. tenuifolia, L., several varieties of Digitalis purpurea L., Delphinium Ajacis L., Nigella damascena L., various petunias and phloxes (Phlox). Papaver somniferum L., Gladiolus and Campanula media L., Lilies are planted near the garden shed. It is particularly worth mentioning the lovely Lilium carniolicum Bhrd., the magnificent L. speciosum Thbg. (or lancifolium, as referred to by gardeners), L. Martagon, L. candidum et bulbiferum L. Fritillaria imperialis L. and Canna indica L. both attract much attention.«
»Three large garden beds (A) where the plants are arranged in lines lie on both sides of the principal walk. The question is mostly of the plants growing in this country and of which the following should be pointed out: Blagay's daphne (Daphne Blagayana Frey.), Potentilla fragariastrum Ehr. and micrantha Ram.), as well as P. carniolica Kern.) which is very similar to the latter-named plant, Epimedium alpinum L., Veratrum nigrum and album L., Helleborus viridis, niger and atropurpureus, Leucojum vernum and aestivum L., Allium carinatum L., Verbascum phlomoides L., Poterium Sanguisorba L., Lunaria rediviva L., Stachys germanica L., Oenothera biennis L., Doronicum austriacum Jacq. and Pardalianches L., Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus and poëticus L., Digitalis lutea L., Potentilla recta L., Iris germanica L., Asclepias syriaca L., Echinops sphaerocephalus L., and many others.«
»Umbelliferous plants, which are very abundant in Carniola, are planted in the third field on the right. Growing here are Malabaila Golaka, discovered by Hacquet, Molopospermum cicutarium DC, Scopoli's Myrrhis odorata, (Heracleum Sphondilium and austriacum L., Ligusticum seguieri, Hacquetia Epipactis DC., Astrantia major L. and carniolica Wulf., and finally the huge Tommasinia verticillaris Bert.«
Voss's description is actually longer but this passage should suffice to provide an insight into the circumstances. Let me dwell briefly on his examination of the financial matters. The Garden was the property of the Royal Imperial Grammar School, receiving a yearly grant of 210 florins while the Municipality contributed a further amount of 105 florins. These funds were used to pay the supervising professor and the gardener. Voss remarks that very little money is left for current expenditure. Two other institutions, the higher secondary school and the veterinary department, were entitled to use the Garden. College candidates attended fruit growing classes in the Garden till 1882. On rainless afternoons it was open to the general public. Voss concludes by saying that he has drawn a precise plan of the Garden because of the rumours that it would be reasonable to move it to a more lively part of the town – to the meadowy area in Tivoli on both sides of the Latterman Alley (Voss 1885).
Paulin (1912, 1928) writes about the Garden in a completely different way. He is particularly critical in his manuscript of December 20, 1928, giving a short history of the Botanic Garden since Hladnik till the mentioned year. He writes: »After Fleischmann's death in 1867 the Garden was taken over by grammar school professor V. Konschegg while J. Rulitz was engaged as a gardener.« He reports that after Konschegg's retirement the provincial government appointed him, the author of this writing, head of the Garden and assigned him, in 1910, grammar school professor Fr. Verbic as a scientific assistant. In the meantime (1907) gardener Rulitz retired and was replaced by Fr. Juvan. Paulin then says: »As far as the then state of the Garden is concerned, it had been in decline ever since Hladnik's retirement. In 1868 the Garden got a tree nursery for the purposes of instructing future teachers on fruit growing, a fairly productive orchard was planted, and a considerable number of vegetables were grown there, so that primary attention was devoted to those plantations. So when taking over the management of the Garden in 1886 I recorded just 312 species of common native trees, shrubs, tall forbs and annual herbs.« He wrote this much later, after 42 years of managing the Garden.
Paulin's report is in complete contrast to that of Voss (1885) who is full of praise for the Garden whereas Paulin, though praising Hladnik, expresses little appreciation of any of Hladnik's successors. Paulin's criticism might result from the fact that the period he describes and the perspective from which he sees the Garden as it used to be are now both in the remote past, thence his altered view of those times, or perhaps he might simply be critical of the non-botanic gardening such as practiced in that period.


Paulin's Period (1886–1931)

As evident from the handwritten documents referring to the Botanic Garden of 1886, Paulin, in his very first year, managed to obtain, in addition to the aforementioned grant and the municipal subvention of 105 florin, a further amount of 100 florins from the Provincial Assembly. Paulin remarks that this helped them to collect a greater number of plants from nature and to establish contact with other botanic gardens, thus acquiring 400 seeds of different plants. In 1887/1888 he bought 600 Alpine plants so that the total number of plants rose to 2000. In connection with 1888/1889 he reports publishing the first seed index – Index seminum which was exchanged with 30 botanic gardens while the number of species went up to 2829. Between 1892 and 1893 the grant was increased from 210 florins to 420 florins and the Garden continued to receive the municipal subvention of 105 florins. At that time they had contact with 78 gardens. He particularly points out that the exchange was a great success because the garden had been offering also numerous live plants in exchange. He reports about a successful excursion to Velebit (Rulitz is indicated in parentheses), which meant a substantial addition to the plant collection. It is only in 1893/94 that he refers to some newly acquired space due to abandoning the tree nursery and also that the Municipality added 100 florins to the usual subvention of 105 florins. He adds that the Garden as a whole is being redesigned and the alpinetum has been enlarged by 17 hillocks. So, while speaking rather deprecatingly of the tree nursery, he nonetheless kept it for more than eight years. He may have been receiving some additional money on this account, although this is not explicitely stated in any report.
In 1894 and 1895 a handwritten source states that the town representatives were considering the idea of transferring the Garden to Tivoli. This is why the new layout of the Garden was momentarily halted. In the Ljubljana earthquake of 1895 the Garden wall broke down, badly damaging the house. According to the source, erection of a new house is to be postponed due to a possible relocation of the Garden. This idea first mentioned already by Voss (1885) was obviously revived. In the course of 1896 and 1897 no repairs had as yet been undertaken, and as the seed index was not issued the seed exchange was seriously reduced. However, in autum 1897 the house is reported to be in place, though not in the expected dimensions, so the source describes it as unsuitable. A section of the wall is recontructed. The idea of moving the Garden has by now been obviously abandoned, which according to the source is regrettable because this means that it will be necessary to continue with the rearrangement of the Garden, and such a project will now that the Municipality has stopped adding the extra amount of 100 florins be much more difficult to carry out. In 1898 it is reported that the system is arranged according to the then valid Engler system.
Paulin (1928) writes that when taking over the management of the Garden he was well aware of the fact that much toil and continous effort would be required to raise the Garden to the level of a scientific institution. A brief outline of the state of the Garden in the year 1911 is reported in the Laibacher Zeitung. Paulin (1912) contributed a more comprehensive article on the Garden to the Carniola. He says that by 1912 the Garden had been regulated to such an extent to compete with many a university botanic garden: in that year it counted 6000 species and harboured almost all representatives of Carniolan flora. The plant fund of such propotions was acquired as a result of the connections that the Garden had established with 96 botanic gardens. He claims to have achieved all this primarily through the scientifically edited printed indexes Indices semimum. In the article he also speaks of his plans to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Botanic Garden (1910) by publishing a comprehensive work of up to 150 pages about the Botanic Garden that would serve as a detailed guide but he abandoned the projects due to insufficient finances. Paulin retired from his professorial post in 1901 but at the express wish of the provincial government he retained his post as head of the Garden (Garden archives). »During World War I all the contacts were disrupted, the gardener was conscripted into the army and the Garden was badly affected,« says Paulin in his report. Even so an exemplarily prepared and quite thick Index seminum dated 1917 is to be found in the Garden archives, which again indicates that the circumstances were not so very bad and that Paulin was obviously capable
of overcoming the difficulties caused by the war.
Alfonz Paulin was born on September 14, 1853 to a stewart of the Turn castle at Leskovec near Krško. He went to elementary school and lower grammar school in Ljubljana and in 1873 passed his school leaving examination at the higher grammar school in Novo mesto. He went on to Graz where he studied from 1873 to 1878. He majored in natural history, his subsidiary subjects being mathematics and physics. In 1878 he passed his state board examination in natural history. In the year of the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (1878) Paulin was conscripted. At Bosanski Petrovac he fell seriously ill, as a result of which he passed his state board examination in mathematics and physics only after two years. Between 1880 and 1910 he taught at various secodary schools in Ljubljana, mostly at the State Grammar School (Petkovšek 1934).
He took over the management of the Botanic Garden already in 1886. He attended to this work for 45 years, till 1931. This period ran in parallel with the making of his greatest work, the publication of a dry herbarium collection entitled Flora exsiccata Carniolica. Paulin was the leading researcher of flora in the then Carniola. Beside publishing his own collection he collaborated in compiling Kern's herbarium collection Flora exsiccata Austro-Hungarica, Hayek's Flora stiriaca exsiccata, Flora der Sanntaler Alpen (Hayek & Paulin 1907) and also in Hegi's work Illustrierte Flora von Mitteleropa. He wrote about twenty treatises published between 1895 and 1917, disclosing data on the newly discovered and rare species of Carniolan flora. He described some taxa and wrote monographs on such groups as Lycopodinae, Equisitinae, Filicinae), the genus Alchemilla, Euphorbia etc. (Petkovšek 1934). He was keen on nature conservation but while the related paper remained in manuscript it reveals his focused and professionally accomplished action in Slovenia (Mayer 1988). In his published report he also states that the moorland plants will have to be cultivated in a substitute habitat in the Botanic Garden as they will soon have disappeared from Ljubljansko barje moor (Paulin 1912). In 1898 he wrote the first original botany manual (Verčkovnik 1995), and in 1901 translated a zoology manual. He collaborated with Pleteršnik in his work on the Slovenian-German Dictionary. Paulin was a honorary member of the Carniolan Museum Society, the Ljubljana Natural History Society, and a corresponding member of the Ljubljana Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 1963 a monument was erected in his honour in the Botanic Garden (Kapus 1963, Mayer 1963) and another, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his death, at the Turn castle at Leskovec near Krško. In the same year a symposium (Jogan & Wraber 1992, Praprotnik 1992 a) was organized and an exibition set up at the Natural History Museum Ljubljana (Praprotnik 1992 b, c), both paying tribute to his work. Paulin's rich written legacy, now deposited in the library of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, was subject to an in-depth study by Wraber (2008). In his work Wraber cites all seed indices whose author is Paulin and which are kept in the Ljubljana Botanic Garden.
The University archives show that in 1920 the provincial government transferred the authority over the Botanic Garden to the University of Ljubljana established in 1919. On November 12, 1919 the University Council, acting at the suggestion of Professor Rajko Nahtigal (Faculty of Arts) and Professor Karl Hinterlechner (Technical Faculty), decided to apply to the provincial government to assign the Botanic Garden to the University (record of the University Council meeting of November 12, 1919). The Board of Education and Worship of God of the provincial government of Slovenia granted the request on February 13, 1920 (Garden Archives, Wraber 2000). The Garden had till then been managed by the Royal Imperial Grammar School which had meanwhile been renamed as the First State Grammar School. As evident from the documents (Garden archives), the transfer of ownership was associated with some complications because the Garden was owned by the Province of Carniola and a part of it by the Agricultural Society. The latter had given up its part to the provincial government in return for another parcel of land. The Province of Carniola objected to this as it continued to consider the Garden its own property. In consequence it cancelled the decision issued by the Board of Education and Worship of God of February 13, 1920 according to which the Botanic Garden had already become University property. But in the end the Garden became an integral part of the newly established University of Ljubljana.
In his report Paulin says: »By order of His Highness Crown Prince Alexander of November 06, 1920 I was appointed Director of the University Botanic Garden as an official of the 6th rank and promoted on October 10, 1921 to the fifth rank. On November 18, 1920 the University management appointed Franc Juvan as a gardener of the 11th rank.« In 1926 the Garden welcomed laboratory assistant Marija Župančič.
Paulin adds that after the University took over the Garden, he immediately proceeded with regular work. He re-established contact with other botanic gardens and again published the seed index. He reports that in 1922/1923 he received 3000 seed samples and dispatched 5000. The Garden acquired also some rare live plants. Polec (1929) declares that in obtaining the Botanic Garden the University acquired both an extremely well regulated institution and in Alfons Paulin an excellent professor. Although Paulin continues to complain that the Garden finances are deficient and that this has prevented him from publishing the seed index, he nonetheless finds words of praise for gardener Juvan who, he says, is very committed, and also for the laboratory assistant, adding that a large number of native mountain plants are once again present in the Garden (Praprotnik 1993b).
Beside working in the Garden Paulin also lectured, but he says that after two semesters (Paulin 1928) he had some well-grounded reasons to stop doing it though he does not precise why. According to Petkovšek (1934) two years, Paulin gave up his lectures on systematic botany at the Ljubljana University because of the uncomfortable circumstances then reigning at the Institute of Botany. He   regrets (Paulin 1928) that the Garden has no hothouse, adding that it is hardly possible to imagine a university botanic garden without at least one glass-house. In 1922 he submitted a detailed plan to the building directorate, however, without success.
In addition to his other publications (Wraber 2008), the most remarkable work of Alfonz Paulin is his Dry Herbarium Collection of Carniolan Flora, Flora exsiccata carniolica, in 20 centuriae with 2000 numbers (Wraber 1966), published between 1901 and 1936. According to Paulin's report of 1928, it had by 1914 come out in ten centuriae (Nos. 1–1000). »In 1927 I published the XIth and the XIIth centuria (Nos. 1001–1200), in 1928 the XIIIth and the XIVth centuria (Nos. 1201–1400), and the XVth and the XVIth centuria (Nos. 1400–1600) came out in January 1929. In this scientific work live plants from our Garden served me very well for comparative purposes,« writes Paulin in his report.
The fact that in his time the Botanic Garden was actually kept in exemplary order and that in terms of its existence as a whole it then had the largest variety of species is supported by Paulin's description and list of plants in the Garden archives. The systematic plantation, as he refers to the plant system, is arranged according to the Engler system. It consists of 170 flower beds and smaller beds with 75 families of monocotyledons and dicotyledons with 1800 species. Under Point 2 he states four greater compartments for trees and shrubs, represented by seven families with 160 species. He most particularly draws attention to two bigger compartments of conifers with 50 species. Shade plants are planted in 13 beds and comprise 250 species. He adds that they were made in 1924 and 1925. In 1923 six beds were prepared for ferns with 60 species. Three  bigger and two smaller flower beds were reserved for annual and biennial plants with up to 200 species. 230 species are planted in four cement troughs for aquatic and marshland plants. A large area is occupied by 27 rocky hillocks, nine of which were newly erected in 1928, providing home to the following plants: mountain, karst, Ponto-Illyrian, and some plants from the moderate parts of Asia and America which do not thrive in the systematic plantations. A total number of 1180 species grow here. Under Point 9 he makes reference to a brick built hotbed and five cold beds made from planks, with 45 windows. There they grew 3800 potted plants with about 2000 species.
He adds: »Among them there are also 350 native types from the southern parts which are grown in the hotbed because the Garden has no glass-house.« Under the equipment for 1922, he reports that a water supply system was installed in the Garden. According to Paulin's record, the Garden measured 72 ares 43.9 m2 and was surrounded by a wall of 400 meters in length, from 2.5 to 3 meters in height  and 50 cm in breadth, made in part from rocks and in part from bricks, the wall top being covered with tiles. The wall was renovated between 1927 and 1928, while also roofing the house. Concerning other fixtures, he reports that in 1921 the well-stocked Garden library was moved to the Institute of Botany located in the University building but some books from those times nonetheless remain in the Garden.
He concludes his report by saying: »Further maintenance of the Garden at its present scientific level and its future development would naturally require more substantial grants. The current grants are in every respect too small. Most importantly, the Garden should have more technical garden staff,« he claims in the report of December 20, 1928, written in a very neat and legible handwriting. It is signed »Prof. A. Paulin, Director of the Bot. Garden«, but the handwriting in the manuscript is presumably that of laboratory assistant Župančič.
After Paulin's departure in 1931, the Garden saw a succession of very important men. Dr. Fran Jesenko (1875–1932) experimented with wheat-rye hybrids. A quite substantial work book of records on crossbreeding successes and failures survives in the Garden archives. Lazar (1960) adds that at that time there was really very little official will to enlarge the Garden so that Jesenko had to conduct his experiments in faraway Beltinci. At the beginning of the 20th century Jesenko was one of the world-renowned geneticists (Kreft 1990). Unfortunately he died in an accident so his work was efficiently carried on by other experts. Jesenko was succeeded by Dr. Jovan Hadži (1884–1972), till 1933, Stjepan Horvatić (1899–1975), till 1941, and Gabrijel Tomažič (1899–1977), till 1945.
Similarly as the impact of Hladnik's work was felt long after his retirement, the same is true of Paulin's period, only that it was even more long-lasting since its was under his guidance that gardener Franc Juvan, who worked in the Garden from 1896 to 1960, developed into an excellent expert on plants (Wraber 1985). Starting as an assistant gardener, he took over the post of gardener Rulitz who retired in 1907 (Paulin 1928). Similarly as Fleischmann who worked in the Garden from 1819 to 1867, Franc Juvan spent there an even longer period of time and was closely familiar with the operation of the Garden, which moderated the unsettling effect of a rapid succession of Garden directors. During the wartime period the Garden was in the hands of Tomažič succeeded after the war by Jože Lazar.


Lazar's and Strgar's Period (1945–1992)

Jože Lazar became employed as an assistant in the Botanic Garden in 1933 (Mayer 1975). A typewritten record from the Garden archives, dated December 15, 1931, reveals a proposal to employ Jože Lazar, a graduate candidate, as an expert civil servant who is to temporarily attend to director's duties. The existing documentation does not allow to say for sure whether the proposal was implemented or not. The Garden documents bear the signature of F. Jesenko. No document other than the already mentioned Mayer's record refers to Lazar being employed by the Garden.
In contrast to Paulin, Lazar's contribution on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Botanic Garden is quite modest. He praises the national authorities for allotting to the Garden 160 ares of the neighbouring land, thus enabling them to move the systematic part of the Garden to the newly added space and arrange it according to the modern principles of taxonomy and phylogeny. The parcel of land came into the Garden's possession on August 05, 1946. The Garden then measured 2.35 ha. The alpinetum was redesigned and enlarged, planted with native and in part Asian and American representatives of mountain flora, he reports. They later added a small dugout pond, renovated various garden devices, and laid out parts  with littoral and Velebit vegetation as well as other Balkan elements. They started working on larger ecologic groups. It is a less known fact that in 1949 the Garden was involved in the breeding of new potato varieties on the basis of crossbreeding and selection; in view of improving produce they worked also on sugar beet and studied different cereal varieties from Russia (Lazar report 1949).
In 1955 they finished the construction and plantation of the hothouse. The hothouse is very simple, adjacent to the house on the southeastern side, thus actually getting all the sun, which is most important in terms of energy. As one wall leans on that of the house, the losses are smaller. The hothouse was created as a term paper mentored by Professor Plečnik. The hothouse plan was made by student Boris Gaberščik, now a doctor of sciences. Plečnik allegedly told him: »Well, today we are going to do something for plants!« At this point, however, the Garden suffered the first reduction of its surface. In 1959 the reconstruction of a bend of the Ižanska cesta road was finished and the enclosure was shifted into the Garden. In this area a part of the Garden remained outside the enclosure. Here the former brick wall was replaced with a wire fence (Lazar report 1959).
Lazar's research concentrated above all on algae (Mayer 1975). He wrote two important works, The Algae of Slovenia (1960) and Distribution of Freshwater Algae in Slovenia (1975). He devoted much time to the work in the Garden. Here, laboratory rooms were built next to the hothouse and some of the ecogeographical groups were arranged.
In 1967 the management of the Garden was taken over by Prof. Dr. Vinko Strgar (1928–1992) who carried on with Lazar's work (Wraber 1992). Sadly, however, this was the time when the Garden began losing its ground due to the modernization of the road and the railway track. The Garden had meanwhile been increasing contact with similar institutions, raising the number to 316. Strgar and his colleagues from the Biology Department focused their efforts on acquiring land for a new botanic garden under Rožnik and the subsequent construction of a university biology center (Strgar 1987a). Strgar's major research was dedicated to the genus Sesleria. He discovered and described an endemic houseleek which he named after Franc Juvan – Sempervivum juvanii (Strgar 1971). He was involved in the breeding of some endemic and endangered species (Velebit degenia (Strgar 1979), Rhododendron luteum (Strgar 1987 b, Blagay's daphne (Strgar 1976), Scopolia carniolica f. hladnikiana (Strgar 1987c)). After Strgar's death in 1992 the Garden was temporarily headed by Prof. Dr.Tone Wraber and since 1995 by the author of this text.


Modern Times

Between 1995 and 2010 the Botanic Garden was renovated with the financial means granted by the Municipality of Ljubljana and some subsequently acquired state funds. Though insufficient, they were put to good use, not to mention an enormous amount of work done by the garden staff themselves, all of which contributed to a more efficient and less costly renovation process. We renovated all Garden buildings and aquatic surfaces, only the old hothouse has not been fully restored as a result of different plans and longtime promises, so that the work has been going on well towards the 200th anniversary of the Garden. In 1997 and 1998 the Garden got a new fence. The renovation work on the buildings was started already in 1999 but due to the constant lack of means it was terminated only in 2005/2006, bringing a particularly important acquisition, namely a new multipurpose lecture room. In 2001 and 2003 an allotment was prepared for the Mediterranean plants and a formal thematic garden laid out along the hothouse. The old administrative building was renovated in 2001, which allowed us to start providing regular lectures and workshops for the general public. In 2006 the already dug-up construction hole was filled up once again. This area was made into a dry meadow. The Ministry of Science and Technology will, via the University, finance the construction of a tropical hothouse. The work will start in the year of celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Botanic Garden. In 2000 Japan made Slovenia a gift of a number of cherry trees which were planted at the entrance of the future botanic garden under Rožnik, near the Biology Center on the Večna pot road. As a result of painstankingly accumulated savings the hothouse in the new location was finally finished in 2004. In 1998 we launched a proposal to hire a dry meadow on the outskirts of Ljubljana. This project was realized so that in addition to Jeglič's home, which Professor Jeglič donated to the Botanic Garden in 1970 (Strgar 1985), we now also have a lease on a nearby meadow which is mown just once a year.
The Botanic Garden has since 1995 been a member of the international organization Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and since 2003 a member of the AIGBA (Associazione Internazionale Giardini Botanici Alpini), an international association of alpine botanic gardens. After  the accession of Slovenia to the European Union in 2004 we represent the Slovenian Network of Botanic Gardens in the European Consortium of Botanic Gardens. We continue issuing the Index Seminum – a list of seeds collected in the Garden and nature. We currently send it to 300 botanic gardens all over the world. 140 to as many as 180 botanic gardens order our seeds so that we yearly dispatch about 2000 seed bags. We take an active part in the international meetings and congresses of botanic gardens. In 2007 the Ljubljana Botanic Garden was presented side by side with other important botanic gardens in the work Botanic Garden a Living Memory (Monem 2007).
Since the autum of 2009 we are (at least on a temporary basis) in charge the Tivoli hothouse, meaning that after 200 years we have symbolically returned to the place offered for this purpose already in 1809 and later seriously considered as a suitable location for a botanic garden (Voss, 1884, handwritten source, Paulin, manuscript 1928, Lazar 1945).
In 2008 the Botanic Garden was declared a cultural monument of national importance. Throughout its history plans to move it to another location have never been abandoned but it nonetheless remains on its original land, and most importantly, it has survived in spite of numerous rulers and, if counting also the present-day European Union, all seven states under which it has never stopped functioning. Marmont's linden tree continues to invite visitors into its shade.


Acknowledgements

My sincere thanks are extended to Prof. Dr. Tone Wraber for his detailed survey of the history of the Botanic Garden and for providing me with some missing older literature. He suggested some well-founded supplements to the currently known historical facts. I am equally obliged to Dr. Nada Praprotnik, museum councillor, whose in-depth knowledge of the history of botany in Slovenia and her recent discovery of a 1812 list of plants have added to a comprehensive insight into the early life of the Botanic Garden.

Zadnja sprememba: Wednesday 22. November 2017, 7:35.
© 2017 BOTANIC GARDENS LJUBLJANA