A Hundred Years of Flowers
Akureyri’s Botanical Gardens has thousands of plants and trees
Lystigarðurinn Akureyri is one of the northernmost botanical gardens in the world. It was founded in 1912 by four of the most prominent ladies of Akureyri. They dreamed of creating an oasis where the townspeople could relax and enjoy the colours of spring and summer after the trials and tribulations of the harsh island winters.
Although the town council agreed to a public park and provided money to start the creation, the botanic section had to wait. It wasn’t opened until 1957. Today, there are about 6,600 alien varieties growing in the garden in beds and the nursery. A further 430 species of the native varieties are to be found there, with more being constantly added to the collection.
The park has been enlarged three times since 1912 and is now about 3.6 ha and lies at 40-50 m altitude on Eyrarlandsvegur road near midtown. There are several aims to the Botanical Garden’s activity. The most important task is to provide northern Iceland in general with trees, shrubs and perennials that fulfil the demands of beauty and hardiness. The garden also functions as a gene bank for hardy plants suitable to the weather conditions in Iceland. The Icelandic Flora contains rather few species compared to other
countries. There are around 500 species at the moment and most of them are displayed in Akureyri’s Hortus Botanicus. Further, the general idea is for multiple use, such as a seed-exchange, public information, education and recreation.
Part of the ladies’ dream was to have a café in the park but they did not live to see that part realised. Indeed, the townspeople had to wait a hundred years for the café which finally opened in June this year.
The park has been immensely popular right from the start, both with Icelanders and foreign visitors. It is a tranquil and colourful place, with wonderful aromas, a good café – and exceptionally family friendly.Lystigarður Akureyrar
+354 462 7487