by Nikolai VEKHOV, Cand. Sc. (Biol.), Russian Research Institute of Cultural and Natural Heritage named after D. Likhachev, RF Ministry of Culture
At all times the gardener's trade was one of the honorable and rare professions. The "fashion" to have such specialists in estates, in modern phraseology called phytodesigners, came to Russia from the West in the 18th century. The national school of phytodesigners was formed approximately 150 years ago. However, the development of industrial ornamental floriculture and park dendrology in our country became possible only after getting new plant varieties and when studies of imported exotic plants were put on a scientific basis.
The Soviet government adopted a program of improving the appearance of built-up areas in the first half of the 1920s. Park development (the term appeared in those days) became one of the directions of that program. It gradually turned into a profitable sector of the national economy, using the latest achievements of dendrology, gene engineering, selection, plant geography and other spheres of biology.
In 1924, on the initiative of the future academician Nikolai Vavilov a famous geneticist and plant breeder, the All-Union Institute of Applied Botany and New Cultures (today the All-Russia Institute of Plant-Growing named after N. Vavilov, St. Petersburg)* was set up. Hundreds of scientific experimental stations were formed within its structure in all natural zones of the country. The Tula Acclimatization Station (since 1928 the Forest Steppe Experimental Breeding Station) based on the former Artsybashev estate in the Tula Region is one of them. The point is that a representative of this family, Professor Dmitry Artsybashev (leading researcher of the above-mentioned institute), who started to collect decorative and beautifully flowering species of trees and shrubs from every corner of the globe, tried to preserve for science the extensive collection and existing achi ... Читать далее