(written by Abby Johnson, photographs by Nate Tschaenn)
Approximately 1300 meters above sea level is one of Indonesia’s many wonderful treasures. Bali Botanic Garden, lives up to its slogan, “culture and conservation in harmony.” The garden’s diverse collection of medicinal, ceremonial, and conservation plants reflect the pride of Bali. The lush green landscape is lined with bishop’s wood echoed by tree ferns and an extensive palm collection. Other delightfully engaging features include collections of over 250 magnificent species of orchids, over 200 glorious species of begonias, and 2 hectares of trees ferns. These collections along with others include plants found in the wild of Indonesia as well as propagated species. Conservation efforts are desperately needed to preserve the tree ferns. Tree ferns are often cut for use as a medium to grow orchids.
Bali Botanic garden opened in 1959 but was devastated by a volcanic eruption in 1963. Today, about fifty centimeters of volcanic ash contributes to the rich soil mixture. The diverse population of plant life is thriving. 10% of the world’s orchid population grows in Indonesia.
Our gracious guides, Dr. Adije and Mr. Wede, re-introduced us to familiar plants from an edible perspective, like eating the new leaves of athyriums. The most coveted sighting in the garden was the amorphophallus, the largest unbranched inflorescence. Certain species have edible bulbs. Our guides also highlighted plants that offer premium prices on the market like Ratan, which grows wild here in Bali!
The garden composts all possible natural materials and rubbish from the garden. Three months later, the outcome is healthy organic compost used in the onsite nursery as well as compost sold to local farmers and residents.
Overall our visit to beautiful Bali Botanic Garden was educational and inspiring. We recommend you visit Bali botanic garden too!