The impact Philipp Franz von Siebold made on the garden flora in Europe and the Netherlands is fairly unknown. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Siebold collected 700 plants which he brought with him from Japan to the Netherlands. He cultivated these in his own garden and planted 30 of them in the Botanic Garden of Leiden, which still features 15 of the original plants. The introduction of the Hydrangea, Camellia, Japanese anemone and many other plants into the European garden was a fact.
Certain plants bear his name, like Hosta sieboldiana, while others refer only to their origin in Japan. Did you know that the large blue Hydrangea, Hydrangea otaksa, has been named after Von Siebold's Japanese wife? Additionally, the first complete overview of Japanese plants was published under his supervision.
Inspired by this extraordinary individual, the Association of Botanical Artists of the Netherlands created paintings of the best known plants that Siebold introduced to the Netherlands. These unique aquarelles form the basis of the exhibition Siebold’s Flower Garden, together with drawings from Siebold’s era and the plant material he collected in Japan.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue. In addition, a program with lectures and workshops is scheduled. A visit to both the Botanical Garden and the SieboldHuis will give you a discount. The best pictures of the Hortus can be uploaded to: http://www.flickr.com/groups/hortusleiden/