13 • 06 • 2019

The Splendid Peony Colour and Smell Adventure in LVM Kalsnava Arboretum


LVM Kalsnava Arboretum, filled with different colours and smells, invites everyone interested to the traditional Peony Festival, which is to take place on 16 June. More than 200 peonies, various musical performances and activities for both the young and the old including excursions in the peony garden, expert advice, exotic seedlings auction and much more will be offered to the visitors from 9 am to 6 pm.

Peony flowering celebration will be accompanied by a performance of Madona Brass Orchestra under the baton of its conductor Andrejs Cpītis, by Didzis Melderis, and Aija Andrejeva. The youngest visitors will be involved in various activities held in Kašers' Dream Factory. LVM Kalsnava Arboretum team have also thought about the youngest guests, this time offering a variety of large-format outdoor games that will also make adults remember their childhood. There will also be a market of seedlings and crafts, environmental awareness games, creative workshops and much more.

In LVM Kalsnava Arboretum visitors also have an opportunity to walk around the surrounding area to see other plants, such as conifers of various breeds, rhododendrons, water lilies and many more. In the neighbourhood, there is a special conifer tree labyrinth and a viewing tower overlooking the spectacular surroundings.

The special mood of the Peony Festival

In terms of the number of taxa, LVM Kalsnava Arboretum presents one of the largest tree plant collections in Latvia, where over 143 000 taxonomic units are under long-term observations devoted to the development and suitability for our climate. Along with adult trees, which have proven their ability to survive in the climatic conditions of the Central Highlands of Vidzeme, different young trees find their place here every year with the help of foresters and dendrologists.

“Just like Riga, Latvia's Sate Forest Kalsnava Arboretum is never ready. This area is constantly changing. Times, generations and the environment are changing, but the value of arboretum continues to grow. This place is not only a nature tourism facility; it also has an important scientific, educational, economic and recreational significance. When Latvia's State Forests took over Kalsnava Arboretum in its possession, there was a wide range of scientific work carried out by specialists working in introduction laboratories, where the amount of precipitation and air temperature were also recorded, which influenced the growth conditions of plant collections.

Arboretum, as a dendrological collection, is valuable in the fact that plants have to withstand dramatic weather changes. For example, in the winter of 2006, rhododendrons began to bloom when the air temperature was 10 degrees above zero, but then a severe frost came and the temperature fell to minus 30 degrees. In the following summer, the temperature rose over 30 degrees. Moreover, spring in Kalsnava is late, while autumn is very early. Trees and shrubs do not mature to shoots and do not get ready for winter. Some do not survive the changing climate and leave a free space for some other tree or shrub, but those who are able to adapt will be able to survive also elsewhere in Latvia,” says Jānis Zīliņš, Head of LVM Kalsnava Arboretum.



Active information and seed exchange with various botanical gardens and arboretums around the world take place at the arbotertum during winter. For 38 years, an international seed exchange has been taking place in the arboretum. All the information about seeds and plants is recorded: when and where the plant was obtained, where and how it was created, how it lives in Kalsnava and who its best friends are.

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“Together with the forest sector reform and the establishment of JSC “Latvia's State Forests”, Kalsnava Arboretum from its former creator and manager - Forest Research Station “Kalsnava” - was handed over to JSC “Latvia's State Forests”.

Taking into account that LVM Kalsnava Arboretum is included in the list of specially protected nature territories - dendrological plantations, as well as its importance as a scientifically documented collection, the decision was made to separate the production department by establishing Kalsnava Nursery, but to maintain the arboretum itself as a facility of public significance. Initially, it was just a simple financing of maintenance work, but over time it has become an important place for public education and recreation, while preserving its function of examining ornamental tree species and varieties.

The well-maintained environment, specific collections, creative workshops and other events have attracted public interest, as evidenced by 27 000 visitors in 2018. It is worth mentioning that in 2001 the number of visitors did not exceed 400! And this is the result of purposeful work and targeted investments,” says Director of “LVM Sēklas un stādi” (LVM Seeds and Plants).

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“A man-made natural garden that has been cherished for 44 years. Initially, as a place for the establishment of scientific plantations, it has gradually evolved into a nucleus with an additional casing - its information centre, providing those interested with meaningful information about collections; environmental attractions that include a viewing tower and a labyrinth of coniferous trees, beautiful ponds, bridges and recreation areas, giving holidaymakers an opportunity to choose between slow walks and trying one’s strength in more active pursuits; classes for groups of school students accompanied by specialists, gaining an understanding of the profession, closely associating nature with bioeconomy; specialised classes for industry students, gaining a broader understanding of the features of the chosen specialty; tourism offer that needs to be constantly updated to make the arboretum more accessible and attractive to its youngest visitors. The LVM Kalsnava Arboretum annual event schedule is constantly being expanded to give visitors a different experience,” says Jānis Zīliņš, Head of LVM Kalsnava Arboretum.