Good morning

It is a cold clear morning here in California, after several days of rain. In a little bit, I will be going with Palmer's class to the Botanical Gardens at UC Berkeley. Palmer has been learning about botany the last few weeks and has really enjoyed it. So I am looking forward to taking a guided tour of the gardens with him and his classmates.

When I was living in Iceland, I rather missed being able to go to a botanical garden. There are of course lovely parks and gardens in Iceland, but a botanical garden combines the enjoyment of a stroll in the park with the enjoyment of learning something new. In a botanical garden, there is a sign next to each tree and flower telling visitors exactly what species it is, and often other interesting facts about the plant's life cycle.

In the US, we call places like that "opportunities for life-long learning." I do not believe there is an equivalent Icelandic term, for the same reason there are no botanical gardens in Iceland.

Comments

Óli Gneisti said…
Fórstu aldrei í Lystigarðinn á Akureyri.
Lissy said…
Jú, ég fór þar u.þ.b. sex sinum, en það er ekki botanical garden. Það er lystirænt í skopnum (it is aesthetically arranged) og ekki til að kenna man um tenging í milli plöntum. Sumt trénum var með skilti en alls ekki allir, í min menning.

Botanical gardens are in sections, each with a specific botanical theme or lesson. Sometimes it is by geographic area from which plants come, so that a trip around a botanical garden is in a way a trip around the world.

Iceland also does not have a zoo, even though it has a dýragarðin. There is no learning objective intended by the purveyors, and definitely not an adult learning objective.
Anonymous said…
What about the one in Laugardalur?
http://www.grasagardur.is/
Lissy said…
Well the one in Laugardalur is a sculpture garden, a very nice and cool sculpture garden, but again, the emphasis is on aesthetics.

I would say the difference is that Iceland was never an imperial power, because the kind of encyclopedic experience I am talking about is very much a legacy of empire, a mastery of the entire world brought to the scale of the local.
Anonymous said…
Or perhaps, instead of Iceland's lack of imperial history, the climate is not conducive to having outdoor displays of plants from warmer climates ie savanna, tropical, desert, a lot of the northern temperate area etc?

Also, so you find the information and signage in the Laugardalur inadequate?
Lissy said…
Well of course one can offer a materialist explanation for most anything. But I prefer cognitive explanations for why things are done, or not done, because "where there is a will, there is a way!" For instance, many of the plants my son and I visited on Friday were in greenhouses, which Iceland could use as well.

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