Thursday, December 11, 2014

Last of the 2014 Travel Reports - Fiery Foliage and Banana Trees in Delft!

Thanks for keeping me company as I've shared some of my favorite horticulture or eco-travel memories from Germany and the Netherlands over the past couple of months.

This is my final travel report for 2014 and it's a quickie.

Although I spent most of my time in the Netherlands in Amsterdam (plenty to see and do there!), I did take a quick day trip to the nearby cities of Delft and The Hague.

Both have their appeal. I think I'd like to head back to The Hague someday, if only to sit once more surrounded by Vermeers at the Maruitshuis museum!

As for Delft, we traveled there especially to visit the Royal Delft pottery factory (very nice and a great source of Made in the Netherlands souvenirs).

We then took a small detour (which turned into a longer detour due to my lack of navigational skills) to visit the Botanical Gardens at the Delft University of Technology.

Truth be told, the gardens were a bit of a letdown to me, although I didn't really have time to explore fully since we had to make our way to The Hague before the Maruitshuis closed, but I did find two noteworthy plants that I'd like to share with you all without further ado:

Banana trees in the Netherlands?! It sure looks like it.
Of course, these are in large planter boxes, so presumably they can be moved inside for the winter.
Botanical name is Ensete ventricosum, known as a Red Abyssinian Banana or Ethiopian Banana.
Kew says it serves as a staple food crop in Ethiopia.
This is actually the same plant that I saw growing in Kentucky this past August at Yew Dell!

There was no sign on this plant, but I'm fairly certain it's some sort of Fothergilla.
I couldn't say if it's F. major or F. gardenii, but I could say that the fiery multihued foliage is spectacular.