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How would you think botanical gardens would work if they were as mainspread as zoos?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Fanfin anglerfish, 24 Nov 2021.

  1. Fanfin anglerfish

    Fanfin anglerfish Well-Known Member

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    If you don’t understand basically we know botanical gardens exist, but what if they were popular and spread around the world as much as zoos? What if people went to hem more? They already exist and people do come a lot but what if they were signs and different areas such as “African plants” or something? Come up with ideas and have fun talking about this. I don’t know if this belongs in the website at all though.
     
  2. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    Two points:

    1, I think you're looking for the word "widespead" in your title.

    2, botanical gardens are very widespread indeed, probably more so than zoos. I've been to quite a few botanical gardens, and know of many more. A few zoos are classed as botanical gardens as well for their collections, San Diego being a notable example. Themed areas in botanical gardens are also already a thing.
     
  3. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Seconding Argus's post. I've been to quite a few, and know of a bunch more :) Most are divided into sections, some of which are location based.
     
  4. Aardwolf

    Aardwolf Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Many small towns have botanical gardens - the overhead is much lower than a zoo or aquarium - I've got one that's a 15 minute drive away, and is quite nice. Like Argus and TinoPup have said, many do have sections, but they tend to be divided more thematically instead of geographically (i.e., an herb garden, a kitchen garden, a meditation garden).
     
  5. MRJ

    MRJ Well-Known Member

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    Yes, same here in Australia. I can think of many small towns with botanic gardens, and think that there would have to be quite a few more botanic gardens than zoos. Certainly most are divided up, either by geographic location, ecosystem or taxonomically. Often combinations of all three. Plenty of interpretive material as well ranging from labels as to species on most plants to complex signs and guide books.
     
  6. Westcoastperson

    Westcoastperson Well-Known Member

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    I think they mean mainstream?
    As everyone has already said yes botanical gardens are more widespread than zoos and many have geographical and taxonomical sections. Are you trying to ask if they were more popular? Maybe if they had multimillion-dollar exhibits as zoos did? If botanical gardens were more popular I don't think much would change. Gardens like Hunnington Gardens already have very nice detailed sections so I don't think making botanical gardens more popular would do anything. Maybe some more expensive exhibits but besides that, I don't know what you want us to find and discuss. Realistically this hypothetical future your talking about already exists so I don't know what you want. Take for example from the garden I mentioned earlier, Hunnington Gardens is very popular to visit and back in 2018 broke ground on a 23 million dollar expansion to their Chinese Gardens. Huntington Library Breaks Ground on $23-Million Final Phase of Chinese Gardens
     
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  7. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps @Fanfin anglerfish you simply do not know enough about botanic gardens
    "Botanic gardens have had a changing role throughout history and they continue to adapt and serve the needs of society as new challenges arise. Being major tourist destinations, attracting an estimated 500 million visitors each year, they are important contributors to local and national economies." (BGCI | Botanic Gardens Conservation International)
    "The 2019 attendance at the Chicago Botanic Garden was the highest ever, with 1.275 million" (for comparison, Brookfield Zoo gets closer to 2million)
    Keukenhof had 1.53million. Burgers Zoo gets about the same
    Beijing BG attracts more than 1.4 million domestic and overseas visitors every year
    Is that mainstream enough?
    When you consider that there appear to be more botanic gardens then zoos one must ask, How do you think zoos would work if they were as mainstream as gardens?
     
  8. Hvedekorn

    Hvedekorn Well-Known Member

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    I don't know where Fanfin anglerfish is from, but here in Denmark they certainly aren't as widespread as zoos. They are only two botanical gardens that have museum status (Aarhus and Copenhagen, which are also the only ones that have greenhouses) and maybe 3-4 other places that call themselves botanical gardens.

    Of course there are quite a few privately owned ornamental gardens around, and almost all towns with 1000+ inhabitants have some kind of park, though it depends a lot how manicured the town parks are.

    Maybe it comes with having a coldish temperate climate. There aren't all that many exotic plants that can actually grow here.

    My experience with at least the botanical garden in Aarhus is that people mostly just use it as another city park. Compared to a zoo where everyone queues for the animals, there are surprisingly few people who actually stop and examine the plants. In my own case, I know embarrassingly little about plants, but I love reading signs, so some good signage is what works for me. Tell all the details (in layman's terms) about what makes that particular plant species stand out.
     
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  9. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for making this thread. I have been to a few botanical gardens, and I quite enjoy them. This has actually made me think that I should visit more of them, we have quite a few in the area and I have only been to one of them in the last few years. I really ought to make a point to go to them more.
     
  10. Crowthorne

    Crowthorne Moderator Staff Member

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    In the UK at least botanic gardens are extremely popular, what with the big conservation and science ones like RGB Kew and Eden Project, ones more focused on horticulture like those run by the Royal Horticultural Society, plus nearly every big university seems to have its own botanic garden too. I've been to some brilliant botanic gardens, and will seek them out just as much as zoos. In the times before the pandemic, places like Kew could be completely packed for something like their annual Orchid Festival. Even when there aren't special events on, and even in winter, I've never yet been to an empty botanic garden, they're very popular.
     
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  11. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    One hugely popular botanical garden is Garden by the bay in Singapore. The design is innovative, and the greenhouse are more than enough in impressiveness. It's not just a garden but a landmark on the riverside together with other building(ferris wheel, marina bay sands, the cultural centre) It also have quite a lot of plant in and out of the greenhouse too
     
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  12. Bengal Tiger

    Bengal Tiger Well-Known Member

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    There is a small garden in my town (though my state is basically a giant garden of soybeans and corn)
     
  13. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    Botanical gardens are as mainspread as zoos, and they already are (except in the not very good ones) thematized by sections, including "African plants" and so.
     
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  14. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Botanical gardens might be different. Displays could be set like artificial recreated landscapes with a feeling of immension and a fake background. There could be modern education, including interactive displays. Endangered plants could be more prominently shown. Scientific projects done by the gardens (if any) could be displayed. Rare plant species could be highlighted, much like zoos used to be proud of rare animals. Children playgrounds could be set in the park-like landscape, and could educate about botany or ecology-based themes. More small animals could be introduced, and focus on, for example, pollinators or seed dispersers or species somehow ecologically important for plants. Nowadays there are animals in many botanical gardens, but mostly released pet fish, ornamental fish or waterfowl and pest control animals.

    Currently, botanical gardens are more like zoos or museums ca 150 ears ago. Just rows of displays with plain titles, with little showcasing to visitors why this exhibit is special, or what botany is about. If anything, botanical gardens tell this on (rare) guided tours.

    BTW, one problem of botanical gardens is that larger plants are grown on the spot - so a large palm tree in a greenhouse might be 100 or more years old.

    Botanical gardens can be cool. Berlin botanical garden fascinates with a set of recreated, small native German habitats - so you have a square of a swampy moor, net to a square of a warm sandy meadow, next to a square of a shady forest etc. Basel botanical gardens used to have a nice selection of tropical birds (not under reconstruction).
     
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  15. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    Botanical gardens are widespread in Czechia, they are more numerous than zoos. Local union of scientifically run botanical gardens has 36 members and some traditional large gardens as well as many smaller private ones are not members. Compare it with membership of Union of zoos (16) and alltogether 29 valid zoo licences in this country.

    However, botanical gardens can´t really compete in popularity and paying attendance with zoos. Even larger ones like in Prague-Troja that gets hefty subsidies from city budget and hosts some popular annual shows like buterflies or palms. To compare some: Liberec zoo gets over 250k, Liberec botanical garden only 50k, Prague zoo 1400k but Prague botanical garden only 300k visitors.

    I like botanical gardens a lot. But they often are pretty low budget and not much exciting for average Joe visitor. They could profit to emulate some new developments you can see in zoos. Immersive exhibits, diorama, some ethno-kitch, better usage of water elements, more popular short-time shows etc.
     
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  16. Daniel Funk

    Daniel Funk Active Member

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    In Germany, there are some zoos which also have botanical gardens, like Wilhelma in Stuttgart, yet there are some botanical gardens that have free-roaming animals like frogs. This also attracts potential visitors.
     
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  17. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Museums nowadays introduce some forms of edutainment, for example children play rooms. So the botanical gardens could follow, too.

    Botanical gardens might be a place to put those large screen displays which infected aquaterrarium Aquatis in Lausanne. A large presentation screen is flat, so could be easily retrofitted in an existing greenhouse, which is usually cramped. Humidity could be a problem, but the screen at Aquatis survives it.

    I imagine, for example, that a greenhouse could have a large screen set at the back. It would show a fake background of the natural habitat. Then a guy like David Attenborough would appear on the screen, point at the real plant specimens in the front, and tell 'this is .... and is special because...'. Perhaps small windows could popup, showing things like diagrams of the structure of the plant, distribution maps, a film about hummingbirds pollinating plants, a film about cycads or tree ferns showing that dinosaurs ate very similar plants in the Mesozoic, faraway people cultivating or eating this plant etc. Perhaps care should be taken that these displays don't create an anoying background noise murmur.

    However, this would require separate donations, because the budget of an average botanical garden is usually very low.
     
  18. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Most of the big, even mid-size, gardens and arboretums here have nearly all of what you described.
     
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  19. Daniel Funk

    Daniel Funk Active Member

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    That's actually a smart idea educating visitors about the secret lives of plants.
     
  20. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Of course many botanical gardens do exactly this.
    What this thread has shown me is that some Zoochatters have limited experience of botanic gardens - either do to limited access or limited interest -- and so are unaware of what they do or how popular they are. Maybe the thread will entice some of you to go visiting some!
     
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