The current Botanical Garden of Siena is the direct heir to the Orto dei Semplici annexed to the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in which the healing plants were cultivated.
The current headquarters, about two and a half hectares, was chosen in 1856. The Botanical Garden has passed from a purely medical and pharmaceutical service, to be a support in various areas of research and preservation of natural species and environments.
The itinerary starts from the “school”, two artificial terraces where the medicinal plants are presented. Then you enter the park with indigenous plants of central-southern Tuscany. The visit takes place over the first two levels of the garden. There are driveways covered with gravel, flat for the most part or slightly sloping and short stone stairways, some benches to sit on and rest.
An ancient greenhouse of the late nineteenth century presents tropical species, while the “podere” (estate), an area extending up to the walls, is cultivated with vines and olive trees, in an environment that preserves the landscape aspect of the city. In the upper part of the podere there is a rock garden, while further down the valley a bracken was rebuilt through an escarpment with dripping.
The waters then flow in a small pond full of hydrophytes. Next to it there is the lake, a space where two small tanks have been put in place for breeding and conservation of aquatic plants at risk of extinction in southern Tuscany, like the white water lily.