In Arboretum Notoarestoen in Eenrum (just north of Groningen), you can enjoy the beauty of exotic conifers and broad-leaved trees, and can also admire one of the largest rhododendron collections in Holland. The park features about 1000 different varieties. Literally translated as ‘notary garden’, the Arboretum Notoarestoen was the life’s work of a notary public named Mr. Smit. After he passed away in 2002, a foundation was created to preserve his life’s work.
History of Arboretum Notoarestoen
Assisted by some 30 volunteers, in 1968 the notary public Mr. C.N. Smit started planting an arboretum, two hectares (nearly 5 acres) in size. In the years that followed, the inner area was filled with 600 different varieties of exotic conifers and broad-leaved trees, and 1000 varieties of rhododendrons. Mr. Smit was convinced that these unique varieties would thrive in the soil and climate of Groningen. He acquired cuttings from America, England, Germany and Denmark, and ensured that the trees and shrubs were meticulously planted and cared for.
Unique Rhododendron varieties
The gardens contain several very rare, large-leaved, rhododendron varieties originating from China, the Himalayas and Tibet. The leaves of the rhododendron Sinogrande can grow to become half a meter (almost 20 inches) in size. Surrounding the pond are a majestic sequoia or mammoth tree (there are some sequoias in America that are 2000 years old), a Pagoda tree and three marsh cypresses. A small kiosk is located at the entrance to the gardens providing a list of trees, and each tree is labelled with a number.