Something I took for granted as a kid was living within walking distance to a large, expansive park. I fondly remember going to the playground, the nature center, and the botanical gardens as a kid. Sean and I even got married in those very gardens. It’s my happy place.
When we moved to Annapolis the first time and every subsequent move since we haven’t lived quite so close to any type of green space. In Edgewater I let it slide since we are in a neighborhood made for walking, but here in Tbilisi, our current situation isn’t ideal. Yes, I could walk around up here, but it’s not very pretty, and there are a lot of stray dogs in the area. I’m not looking to get myself into a compromising situation.
Luckily, to satisfy my green space thirst, Tbilisi is home to the National Botanical Garden of Georgia.
From Old Town, and much of downtown Tbilisi, this expansive garden is hidden from view. It’s nestled between the hills of the Sololaki Mountain Range and sort of behind Narikala Fortress. The garden occupies 161 hectares and contains an impressive collection of over 4,500 different plant species. The entrance fee for adults is four lari and even less for children. There is a wide, paved path running throughout the entire area, making it accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. I would be careful to bring enough water for yourself, especially in the summer; despite being a botanical garden, there is an abundant lack of shade in a few spots.
A few standout features of the National Garden include the Japanese-inspired garden, the waterfall and bridge overlook, the bamboo collection, and the children’s play area. I think it’s possible to wander out of the garden itself and up to the foothills on the opposite side of the city, but we were hot and didn’t want to stray too far with our limited water supply.
Sean and I have meant to go here for weeks now, and on Saturday we arrived just in the nick of time to see the last roses blooming, and I’m very relieved. I still have a special place in my heart for macro flower photography.
I’m sure we will frequent the garden often during our remaining time in Tbilisi. I’d love to see it in the fall with the trees changing colors, and I’m sure it’s hauntingly beautiful in the winter.