All the Siberian corydalis, Corydalis nobilis,
found in the Linnaeus’ Garden today, originate
from the seeds sown by him. In spite of the fact
that the garden closed down after Linnaeus’
death, his Siberian corydalis survived as a weed.
Photo: Hans Odöö
University commissioned the famous architect
Carl Hårleman to design the garden
in an attractive way. He designed a greenhouse
with small wings and gave the flowerbeds
handsome shapes. Linnaeus filled them with
plants according to his own teaching methods
and sent for the skilled gardener Dietrich
Nietzel from Holland.
The Garden now became a "living textbook" where
you could wander among the plants finding
examples of all the classes in Linnaeus’ sexual
planted the annual plants together in one bed and the
another. Medicinal and other useful plants dominated since the garden was,
of course, primarily intended for the teaching of medicine. Three ponds were
made for plants typical of streams, lakes and marshes. Thus Linnaeus demonstrated
ecological context long before the word ecology came into use. A statue of
Venus was placed in front of the central pond.
In one part (area vernalis) near the orangery Linnaeus
placed the plants that bloom in the spring, in another
(area autumnalis) those that bloom in the autumn. Round
about the entire garden different species of trees
and shrubs were planted. In the orangery, the greenhouse,
Linnaeus’ tropical plants were kept – among them
a coffee bush, bananas, rice and tea (the latter soon
died). Linnaeus was able to send bananas of his own
growing to the King and Queen in Stockholm. Altogether
he grew around 2157 species in his garden.
However, there were also animals in Linnaeus’ garden.
Parrots shouted here, imitating Linnaeus’ voice: "Blow
your nose!" Monkeys played around and a racoon
wanted to be petted. Peacocks strolled about displaying
their beautiful plumage. Goldfish swam in the pond.
Linnaeus acquired a great number of plants and animals
for his garden from many different sources. King Adolf
Fredrik and Queen Lovisa Ulrika, who both had considerable
natural history collections, gave him several animals.
Other royal families, scientists throughout the world,
the Swedish East India Company and his own pupils on
their travels, all sent him animals and plants but
above all, seeds of many plants.
Linnaeus bought some, but people from the province
of Småland are notoriously careful with money
and when in 1753 he received a catalogue from a Dutch
dealer in animals he was horrified by the prices. "My
hair rises on my head and fleas bite at the roots when
I contemplate the catalogue. 300, 100, 50 guilders:
in sum the cost of a cavalryman and his horse. All
the beasts are splendid, but money more splendid."
Linnaeus was never far from his garden. The professor's
residence lay in a corner of the garden and here
Linnaeus spent the rest of his life.