There are botanical gardens in many cities of Russia, many of them are located on the territory of scientific institutes. In this review on the online travel guide Geomerid you can read about the most famous botanical gardens of Russia, which are famous sights of cities:

1. Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg
2. Main Botanical Garden in Moscow
3. Nikitsky Botanical Garden in Yalta
4. Sochi Arboretum
5. Southern Culture Park in Sochi
6. Solovetsky Botanical Garden
7. Arboretum Garden in Pereslavl

1.    Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg

The Botanical Garden of Peter the Great in St. Petersburg is the oldest in Russia. In 1714, by order of Peter I, an Apothecary's Garden was founded on the northern bank of the Neva River. The first greenhouse in the Apothecary Garden of Peter the Great appeared in 1735. In 1823, Tsar Alexander I signed a decree on the establishment of the Imperial Botanical Garden, which was named in honor of Peter the Great.

Nowadays, there are large Botanical gardens in other cities of Russia; however, nowhere are there such large territories of greenhouses. They are built in the form of a square (carre) and the length of the "tropical route" along all 28 greenhouses is more than 1 kilometer. During a walk through the greenhouses, you will see a huge number of tropical plants and the pride of the Botanical Garden Peter the Great – the water greenhouse, where Victoria Amazonica, Euryale Ferox, as well as lotuses grow. 

No less proud of Botanical Garden of the Peter the Great are the peony garden, the rose garden, and the iris garden. They contain various types of peonies, roses and irises. Several sections of the Peter the Great Botanical Garden are reserved for the cultivation of northern plants and trees, as well as exotic plants that tolerate the cool climate of St. Petersburg.

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2. Main Botanical Garden in Moscow

The Main Botanical Garden in Moscow is the largest in Russia and one of the largest in the world. It was created in 1945, much later than the Botanical Garden in St. Petersburg. However, if in St. Petersburg the garden appeared on the site of a small Apothecary garden in the city center, then in Moscow an area of 350 hectares in the Ostankino district of the capital was allocated for the creation of a Botanical Garden.

The Botanical Garden in Moscow is named after academician Nikolay Tsitsin, who became its first director. The gigantic territory of the garden creates some difficulties for walking, as many interesting sites are located at a considerable distance from each other. As the size of the garden is so large, part of the territory is more like a forest, since it is quite difficult to process huge spaces of the garden.

The Botanical Garden of Moscow is divided into several zones. The northern part is occupied by an Arboretum, and in the center is an Oak Grove. On the east side there are various types of gardens: a shade garden, a garden of continuous flowering, a garden of coastal plants, an exposition of perennial plants. The buildings of greenhouses are located in the south-western part of the Botanical Garden of Moscow.

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3.    Nikitsky Botanical Garden in Yalta

Nikitsky Botanical Garden in Yalta is the oldest park in Crimea and one of the most visited attractions of the Southern Coast of Crimea. The Nikitsky Botanical Garden was founded in 1812 by the botanist Christian Steven. The tourism potential of Crimea was appreciated by the first Governor-General of Novorossiya, Duke Armand de Richelieu. He appealed to Emperor Alexander I with a petition for the establishment of a botanical garden, since the Southern Coast of the Crimea was a rocky surface, almost devoid of vegetation. Planting material was urgently needed to create resorts in the Crimea. 

Christian Steven enthusiastically took up the work of breeding ornamental trees and plants that can be acclimatized in the Crimea. He also began the selection of grapes for the development of the winemaking industry in the Crimea. Soon Nikitsky Botanical Garden has become one of the leading scientific centers in Russia. 

Nowadays, the Nikitsky Botanical Garden in Yalta occupies an area of 40 hectares, where more than 19 thousand different plants and trees grow. There are also greenhouses, although most plants and trees grow outdoors. "Tulip Parades", "Chrysanthemum Balls" and other flower festivals are constantly held here.   

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4. Sochi Arboretum

The arboretum in Sochi is one of the most famous arboretums in the country.  Only here in Russia there is a subtropical zone that allows trees and plants from all over the world to grow without greenhouses. Sochi Arboretum is in the south of the Central District of Sochi. Its lower section begins at the Resort Avenue, and the entire park is located on the rather steep slope of the hill. There is a cableway between the lower and upper sections of Sochi Arboretum.

Sochi Arboretum was 130 years old in 2022. The arboretum was laid down by the publisher and playwright Sergey Khudekov in 1892. For his own money he acquired a lot of 50 dessiatinas  on the slope of the Lysaya (Bald) Hill and built there his summer residence now called «Villa Nadezhda» and began to actively buy and grow plants from all over the world.

Now, there are 24 kinds of palm, 80 kinds of oaks, 76 kinds of pines, a lot of subtropical plants, such as breadfruit tree, soapbark tree, coral tree, argan tree, strawberry tree, and many other plants in the park. Totally, there grow 1700 kinds of plants from different corners of the world in Sochi Arboretum.

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5. Southern Vegetation Park in Sochi

The Southern Vegetation Park is located in the Adler district on the left Bank of the Mzymta river. The Olympic stadiums are just 2.5 km away. The area around the Southern Vegetation Park was completely rebuilt before the Olympics, but the Park, which is more than 100 years old, was preserved.

Landscape Dendrological Park Southern Vegetation was founded in 1910 by General Daniil Drachevsky on the project of horticulturist-decorator Arnold Regel. Under the creation of the Park, the General gave the territory of 11 hectares of his estate “Sluchainoe”. There is a fairly large slope here, which made it possible to split several cascades.

In the southern part of the Park, an extensive parterre was created with two ponds – the Upper and Lower. The paths in this part have a regular layout. From the Upper pond, the path goes up the slope and here the layout of the Park is already landscape.

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6. Solovetsky Botanical Garden

The Solovetsky Botanical Garden is one of the northernmost gardens in the world. It is located on the Solovetsky Islands, 166 km from the Arctic Circle. Four kilometers to the north from the Solovetsky Kremlin the Makaryevskaya Hermitage is located. From three sides it is screened by the high hills, and warm air flows there from the south. As a result, there was formed a special climate making it possible for monks to grow water-melons and some other plants, uncharacteristic for the Russian North.

The matter of supplying medical herbs and fruits was very important for the monastery, and so they at once appraised the specific climatic conditions of the Makarievskaya  Hermitage and began to create there the Solovetsky Botanic Garden. In the course of the 19 century the monastery sent its monks on the missions to different regions of Russia where they collected the medical herbs, which was uncharacteristic for the northern climate of the White Sea region, but which could be cultivated at the Botanic garden of the Makarievskaya  Hermitage. 

Apart from plants and bushes in the Makarievskaya  Hermitage one can admire beautiful trees, a cedar grove, as well as the larch alley, which, by the way, was planted at the time of the Solovetsky prison camp of NKVD in 1933. Communists destroyed many monastic buildings on the Solovki, but left intact the Botanic Garden, moreover, they tended and extended it.

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7. Arboretum Garden in Pereslavl

The Arboretum Garden in Pereslavl-Zalessky was established in 1952, on the initiative of the Pereslavl forester Sergei Kharitonov. So a wonderful botanical garden appeared in the small town of the Golden Ring, which became one of the main attractions of the city. Since 1998, the Pereslavl Arboretum Garden has been included in the Pleshcheyevo Lake National Park.

The territory of the arboretum garden in Pereslavl-Zalessky is 58 hectares. Its territory is divided into landscape zones of various continents. Here you can see the landscapes of the forests of North America, the Caucasus, Siberia, Europe, Central Asia, China. Now there are more than 600 species of plants and trees from different continents growing in the park, and their number is constantly increasing.

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