River of Flowers: Amsterdam

About our river

Community garden Amsterdam River of Herbs

River of Herbs is a community initiative which began in the summer of 2012, in Amsterdam - completely inspired by the River of Flowers project. It encourages and assists people to plant and use insect pollinated herbs throughout the city. This may be in areas as small as a plant pot or window box, as overlooked as a neglected tree pit or as large as a the perimeter of a park or the central reservation of a main road. The planted areas are called Urban Herb Meadows. We are promoting insect pollinated edible and medicinal herbs. We encourage city people to understand how useful herbs can be, for humans, insects, birds and other wildlife.

Amsterdam is rich in plant species and many Amsterdammers enjoy taking care of plants in tree pits, tiny pavement gardens and other strips of reclaimed land. If only more of (all of!) the plants used could be edible or medicinal and that more urban gardeners knew how to harvest and use some of those amazing plants.

Amsterdam River of Herbs
We are currently planning to create a major River of Herbs edible wildlife corridor, running from the A10/Middenweg intersection up to de Hortus Botanicus, incorporating the sympathetic transformation of the public orchard in Frankendael into a community run food forest. Simultaneously, we plan to link this herbal river in East Amsterdam with another in West, by planting though the city centre and out along a canal in de Baarsjes. We are collaborating with several other green groups. If you would like to be involved please contact us. We have a launch meeting on February 3rd at Pakhuis de Zwijger. See the events tab.

We aim to help city people:

  1. Identify and prepare unused spaces, however small, for growing useful perennial, biennial and annual herbs.
  2. Sow suitable herb seeds and plant cuttings, roots etc. in these places. Suitable for the location, insects and food or medicine.
  3. Tend the developing Urban Herb Meadows.
  4. Map the locations of these Herb Meadows and photograph them.
  5. When ready, harvest some of the herbs without compromising their usefulness to pollinators such as bees, hoverflies and butterflies.
  6. Learn and teach others how to use these herbs.
  7. Build on successes and learn from the group process, to make more and more Urban Herb Meadows, creating an urban pollinator and food security friendly corridor.