There is still an important oasis of green in the concrete jungle of the city of Athens. This is the Diomidis Botanic Garden.
It seems as a heaven on earth, a green space, where the visitors can sigh for the value of natural environment that we have so much missed. In a green environment, in the erotic nature, flowers gracefully dance to the song of the air and the rich smells, like that of the erotic jasmine, the aromatic oregano, the sage and so many others, offering to the visitor euphoria and sublime delight of senses.
In Athens, where the grey of the buildings is the major hue, the botanic garden has been justly characterized the garden of pleasures. It is situated in the area of Chaidari, in one of the west Athens suburbs and it is the largest botanic garden of the South-eastern Mediterranean with an excellent organization and amazing number of plants and trees, seldom found in Greece. Special signs in Greek and Latin inform us about the origins and name of plants, making our walk in the garden, an amazing opportunity for enjoying ecologic promenades and embracing nature.
Historically, the first botanic garden in the world was created in Athens in the 4th century BC by Aristotle and his pupil Theophrastos, considered today as the father of the botanic science. Julia and Alexander N. Diomides Botanic Garden or Diomidis Botanic Garden is situated in the suburb of Chaidari in an area of 150 ha and has more than 2.500 plant species from all over the world.
Besides the rich self-sown variety of flora, in the botanic garden there are cultivated sections, divided into various subjects and geographical sections.
The visitors of the Diomidis botanic garden will be enchanted by the fine and uncommon to an urban environment beauties around: they will be enchanted by the water-lilies that come out of the magnificent lakes, be bewildered with the turtles that bask in the sun on the wood that floats on the water and also enjoy the sound of the frogs trying to outdo the birds in the polyphonic, music concerts of nature.
But most of all, they will appreciate the magical images of the flora transferring us to gardens from all around the world. An exotic dimension allowing the visitor to gain rich experience, see plants from different countries and different continents.
Our walk in the botanic garden and in the hundreds meticulous paths, starts from the Historic Plants section, at the left side of the central entrance.
In no botanic garden in the world can one see all these subjects that the Diomidis botanic garden can offer to the visitor. One can see plant species that are mentioned in the ancient Greek mythology even in the Old Testimony and appear in various myths or events.
Indicatively, we mention the ferula (Ferula communis), in the shoot of which, Prometheus hid the fire and carried it secretly from the Gods to the people, Acanthus (Acanthus spp.) the leaves of which, rumor has it, have inspired the Korinthian chapiters. In addition to that, conium is cultivated (Conium maculatum) which was drunk by Socrates and led to the philosophers death, Paliurus (Paliurus aculeatus) of which Christs acanthine crown was made and the lily (Lilium candidum), which, according to the Christian tradition Virgin Mary took from the angel that was sent by God. (source: Botanic Garden Brochure)
The next section the visitor sees is the flower garden, with fifteen big beds and twenty five lakes. It is one of the most beautiful spots of the garden with many cultivated ornamental trees and plants, which adorn it every season of the year. The flower garden looks like a green valley full of climbing plants, trees, known and little-known aromatic plants, which give it an exquisite colour and character. It also has more than a 100 aromatic rose varieties.
The flower garden is a place, that should definitely be visited by enthusiastic amateurs, as well as specialized photographers. Take your cameras and stroll around to enjoy its beauty!!!
Parallel to the road that crosses the flower garden, there are lakes where aquatic and hydrophilous plants grow, like giant water lilies, water crinum, duckweeds (Lemna minor) and the Japanese water flag. Before that, you will meet the bamboo forest, which literally hides the sun and the light.
Another green garden adds to the rich images we see around. Following that path, you will see the Economic Plants section and the Pharmaceutical Plants section. There, plants are grown which are useful to various sections of the industry as well as plants and herbs used for the healing of various diseases.
Close to that, there is the Systematic collection section, designed to inform the visitor on the relation of various plants, as well as the greenhouse and the seedbed where one can see endangered species as well as species that need high or low temperatures and humidity, as for example plants from tropical wet forests, sugarcanes, pepper, the Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica) etc.
Returning to the main entrance, on the right hand and upwards, there is the tree area, with plants and trees from various continents. Divided into 6 sections, it has plants from Oceania, the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, as well as North, Central and South America. It can offer an exceptional biology lesson, and an opportunity to walk into green paradises with plants and trees which one cannot see elsewhere.
Those who are fit enough can climb to the top of Aegaleo mountain where they can enjoy an amazing view of Athens. Another reason to visit the garden, is to see the place, where according to Herodotus, King Xerxis of Persia saw the battle of Salamis. Diomidis Garden has hundreds of paths, benches, and recreation areas for open-air gatherings and above all, an amazing ecosystem that one can enjoy.
Diomidis Garden, thanks to its organization and beauty, is the ideal place for all nature lovers: parents who wish to instill to their children love and respect for environment, walkers and all those who like to jog in an environment of amazing vegetation, friends who wish to relax, picnic and have lovely discussions under the shadow of trees, people who want spiritual calmness, as well as lovers whose wandering in the garden is another reason for them to live again the experience of paradise taste
|Location:||At the area Dafni of Chaidari (Bus stop:Park or Mental Hospital )|
|From Aegaleo Metro you can take any bus to Aspropyrgos, Elefsina, Chaidari or from the bus starting point from Koumoundourou square.|
|Bus:||Α16 Koumoundourou Square Elefsina, 811 Aegaleo metro station Chaidari, 812 Koumoundourou Square Chaidari, 866 Aegaleo metro station Aspropyrgos, Γ 16 Koumoundourou Square Aspropyrgos|
|Facilities:||The Botanic Garden has a cafeteria-restaurant and playground|
|Open:||It operates daily from 8:00 14:00, Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 15:00|
The garden is closed between July, 15 – August, 31
|Information:||Bicycles, pets, sports and the collection of plants are not permitted.|