Sites and insights into NBG’s Thematic Displays

A lesson in history

On the morning of 6 August 1945, the ‘Enola Gay’, dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The heat from the bomb is said to have been so intense that some people simply vanished in the explosion. Many died and more are still suffering the effects of radiation sickness. This they say is history. The Memorial garden is dedicated to the memory of the men and women who died in the 2nd world war. The plantings in this garden include some common culinary herbs such as ‘Rosemary’, remember?

The tree, the forest

What has a tree done for you? This question lingers as you walk through the Wooded garden. Appreciate the woody plants which give character and form to our landscape. In this low density mixed forest, there are many indigenous trees for timber, medicine, agroforestry, landscaping and more.

Spiral of life

The medicinal herb garden, dubbed the ‘healthy herby’ showcases some of Kenya’s indigenous food and medicinal plants. Learn about them, grow some and help conserve them for posterity.

Grass the forgotten flower

The Grass garden showcases important grasses in the landscape and in daily living. Grasses are monocots with lance-shaped leaves, arranged alternately on a hollow, jointed stem. In addition, grasses have fibrous root systems and their leaves and stem have parallel veins. Grasses grow in different habitats and are the world’s most common plant, covering about 30% of the land area!

Orchid house and the plant house

Orchidaceae is a large, diverse family of flowering plants. The plant family name, “Orchis” derives from the Greek word for testicle, referring to their enlarged roots or bulbs. The popularity of orchids is attributed to a few members, mainly those with beautiful, showy, or ‘strange’ flowers and those that are economically important. Historically, orchids feature in legends, magic, love and religious ceremonies. The NBG orchids are the most comprehensive collection of Kenyan orchids. Book a tour of the Orchid house and plant display house to appreciate their charming flowers and unique habitats.

The forest returns

The New Nairobi forest display is reminiscent of the forest structure and composition of Nairobi city before 1900. It is dominated by plants of the Upland dry forest, the riverine vegetation and the Acacia woodlands. This display of indigenous plants of Nairobi allows visitors to learn more about the landscape history of the city.

Get water wise

Succulents are hardy plants that store and save water for later use. They thrive in places where there is very little water. These plants make beautiful drought-proof gardens that flower throughout the year. Succulents also have many ecological roles for example they provide nectar to honeybees and sunbirds. In Kenya, there are about 350 succulent plant species and some 180 species are growing here.

The mini biosphere

The pond is the main feature in the Quarry garden. It supports a variety of water plants and is a haven for wildlife including insects, fish, birds and frogs. This mini biosphere is fascinating to watch.

Dinosaur’s Breakfast

Cycads are the planet’s oldest seed-bearing plants. They are unique and an integral part of the tropical world’s biodiversity as well as its heritage. These plants have outlived the dinosaurs and have been part of some remarkable transitions in climate and ecology. Like the dinosaur, they are now threatened with extinction. The Cycads are venerable in the botanic garden.

Children’s garden

Visit the children’s garden for a lesson on plant-animal interactions. The planting scheme has a mixture of indigenous and exotic plants, for a variable flowering cycle, while the open lawn provides space for learning and playing.

The plant nursery

The garden propagates some rare, endangered and indigenous plant species. Buy some and grow them on your own land, to help conserve them.Pending projects Shamba/Chakula Threatened plants Nursery Phase I and Phase II Path Network Commercial Center Compost Area Wetland Community.