Dendrological collection

History

According to annual growth ring counting data there are several old trees in the garden which germinated in the first half of the 19th century. These trees give the framework and foundation for the present dendrological collection.

Part of them are the remains of the original oak-ash-elm wood vegetation of the streamlet valley. The rest of them are huge, hundred and fifty years old specimens of plane (Platanus), eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra), common hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) and chinese pagoda tree (Sophora japonica) scatterred in the garden showing the different eras and fashions of garden architecture. This garden first became a famous dendrological collection during the ownership of Count Sándor Vigyázó, devotee of science, who, together with Vilmos Jámbor, famous landscape gardener of his age, have it transformed into a rich botanic garden. In the early years of this century the garden was famous for the richness of its tree-species, rock-gardens, greenhouses.

Between the first and second World Wars there has been great damage due to the lack of a responsible ownership and management. The war damages having been reconstructed and the ruins and bush cleared away, the garden was started to be restored to its original beauty according to the original plans but with a lot more species. At present it is the richest dendrological collection (3300 taxa) in Hungary due to our international seed exchange activity, collecting expeditions abroad and generous plant donations.

Structure

The extreme factors (limey sandy soil poor in nutrients, druoghts, severe winter frosts) preclude growing several plants well-known from botanic gardens of more favourable climate (e.g. Rhododendrons, Azaleas), and the plant growth of the garden can be maintained only by regular careful watering.

Three principles determine the character of this collection: to conserv the historical structure of the garden, to maintain a phytogeographical grouping of newly planted taxa which will supposedly grow well here.

Its outstanding value is the high number of Eastern Asian species, although taxa of all temperate regions of the world are represented in great numbers. The most represented genera are the maples (Acer), lindens (Tilia), birches (Betula), honeysuckles (Lonicera), barberries (Berberis), lilacs (Syringa), ashes (Fraxinus), cotoneasters (Cotoneaster), viburnums (Viburnum) etc., some of which have National Collection status (Acer, Tilia, Cotoneaster, Fraxinus, Viburnum). The Rose family (Rosaceae) is outstandingly well represented, but many rare angiosperms can be found here. Plenty of our rare species are difficult to find in Hungarian botanical gardens and even in Europe.

This collection shows its best in the peak blooming season from 20th of April to 20th of June and in early October with splendid autumn leaf colours.