Botanical Gardens of Peter the Great

I’ll share with you a cool place in Saint-Petersburg which is becoming lately more and more popular - St. Petersburg's Botanical Garden. It is one of the oldest Botanical Gardens in the country and like many places in Petersburg, it's full of history.

Quick Historical facts:

  • The Garden was founded in 1714 by Peter the Great.

  • First, it functioned as the Apothecary's Garden, where the most beneficial medicinal plants and herbs were cultivated.

  • In 1823 it was reestablished as a botanical institution- the Imperial Botanical Garden.

  • And in 1930 the garden was merged with the Botanical Museum into The Botanical Institute subordinated to the Academy of Science.

  • During the second world war, the collection of plants was seriously damaged. However, despite all the hunger during The siege of Leningrad, the Botanic Garden's collection of seeds and plants was not touched. And After the War, the collection was partially replenished.

Now it is a huge park with greenhouses, alpine hills, a museum, laboratories, alleys, and gardens.

I love to go there to admire nature especially at the beginning of summer when lots of flowers are in full bloom.

This is also a great place for artists to find original and one-of-a-kind (and license-free) references for all their botanical works. Cool, right?

Small tip: Get a few sheets of white paper to make good quality and easy-to-use photo references for your future works. Place a white paper behind the flower as the background when capturing close-ups. This will help you maintain real colors and the right color relationships and tonal value.

This year I was lucky to visit the garden's yearly exhibition of botanical artists. I was very inspired by the works of my fellow artists and I left with great motivation.