The botanical garden, which was established in the 19th century, is said to be the northernmost in the world. There is an underground heating system that allows a wide variety of plants that would otherwise not thrive at this latitude. I have been able to identify only a few of the ones pictured below. In some cases they had labels that I could take a picture of.

The "garden group" took a mini-van to the garden. We then spent an enjoyable afternoon prowling among the flowers and butterflies. We elected to walk back to the ship rather than wait for another mini-van. There were a surprising number of people going to & fro on the isolated road. By the time we finished our walk, we were staring to envy the groups of cyclists.

I'm going to indulge my love of flowers here and forego spreading them throughout the narrative (except for certain unique ones that I can't resist).

Pink spikes

Best I can tell this is Polygonum bistorta, although there appears to be some taxonomic controversy over how it should be classified.

So much for those who say that botanical names are less confusing than the common ones.

Pink paniclesWe saw a lot of these. It might be one of the phlox family.

Golden FlowerTrollius chinensis, Chinese Globeflower, is available in the US and my garden is calling it!

Blue FlowerOne of many bell flowers.

Polemonium viscosum

Poleminomium Viscosum has the inauspicious common name of skunkweed!



They were very large throughout the Russian gardens we visited.


A peony blooming in July against a background of astilbe!

Either because of the micro-climates of the garden, or the northern latitude, there were summer flowers blooming alongside what we would call spring flowers.

Purple flower

Probably some kind of campanula.

Flies appear to be the dominant pollinator. Most flowers were mobbed by them.

BellsThis beauty had a striking dark interior. Couldn't figure out how to get a good picture of it.

More bells

This looks like a form of columbine although the leaves are different.


May be a viburnum.

Pink flowerPhlox? I liked the fringed petals.

Mugo Pine

This was labeled as a mugo pine, but it doesn't look like any mugo pine I've encountered.

Blanket FlowerThis looks like some kind of blanket flower (Gaillardia), but the color is wrong.

Yellow flowersNo clue what they are, but the butterflies loved them!

ButterflyA Fritillary butterfly of some sort.

Pink flowers

Whatever it is, it is very similar to a plant we saw at Inverewe Gardens in Scotland.

SucculentLooks like a variety of Sempervivum (Hens & Chicks).

Yellow FlowersAppears to be sedum acre, native to the Balkans and Asia Minor but now widespread.

Pansy and friendsPansy and friends.

Tall red flowers

Don't know, but it was one of my favorites for its strong vertical habit.

Bulbous flowersMy best guess is a kind of cypripedium or lady's slipper orchid.

RoseWhite-flowered bush cinquefoil Dasiphora (or Potentilla) friedrichsenii

ButterflyAppears to be a Knapweed Fritillary butterfly.

Blue Iris

Bearded Iris, unknown cultivar.

SucculentAnother succulent. We saw a lot of this on the arctic islands and into Norway.

RoseRosa Rugosa (ramanas rose) - Native to Asia

Water LiliesWater lilies.

Red flowerUnknown red flower.

Gate-keeper's LodgeGate-keeper's Lodge


There were fauna as well as flora.

This may be an eider duck chick.

ButterflyThis butterfly's common name is "Black-veined White" for obvious reasons. It is Aporia crataegi.

Comarum palustre (Marsh  Cinquefoil)? I believe this is Comarum palustre or marsh cinquefoil.

Jim WilsonOur naturalist was Jim Wilson. If I had taken along a notebook or if I had caught up with him on the ship, he could probably have identified a lot of these flowers for me.

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