The Costerusgarden

Zonnelaan 4-Z, entrance next to apartment complex Schutterscheide

In 1930, biologist Dr. J.C. Costerus (1849-1938) from a small backyard on the Herenstraat to a spacious plot of 1250 m2 on the Zonnelaan. Here the hortus botanicus with more than 1200 plant species, the pond and the many bird and butterfly species forms a true oasis in the Boomberg district in the northwestern villa area. The entrance to the garden is somewhat hidden next to the white apartment building from the 1990s. The garden is a municipal monument.

Dr. J.C. (Jan) Costerus

Jan Costerus was trained as a botanist at the University of Utrecht. In his working life he was director and biology teacher at the 1st HBS in Amsterdam. After his retirement Costerus moved from Amsterdam to Hilversum and immersed himself in the Gooise plant wealth. His ideology was that if people got to know the plant world better, they would also see its beauty. Costerus had been involved in this since the creation of the local chapter of the natural history association for a native botanical garden of the Gooi. The Dutch Natural History Association was founded in 1901 by, among others, the well-known biologist and conservationist Jac. P. Thijsse. Like Thijsse, Costerus championed the importance of native plants and nature in the Netherlands in general.


On September 22, 1920, Costerus was able to open the first wild botanical garden in the Netherlands on the Herenstraat. The garden, which contained 250 species of plants, was freely accessible to everyone. In the beginning, visitors found this garden where ‘weeds’ were nurtured strange, but the explanation of Costerus and his co-founders increased enthusiasm for his initiative.

Ten years later, the garden was moved to the current plot on Zonnelaan. Landscape architect K. Perk and hortulanus E. de Lange had taken care of the construction of the new garden. The opening took place on September 8, 1930. On that occasion, Mayor Lambooy called the garden of great educational significance and announced that the hortus botanicus had been decided to be named Dr. Jan Costerus Garden.

Stichting Botanische Tuin ‘Dr. Costerus’

After the Second World War, the collection of plants was expanded with exotic ornamental plants. The garden was managed for a long time by the hortulanus of the Pinetum Blijdesteijn, Mr G. Bootsman and his daughter A. de Haas-Bootsman. In 1994 the Botanical Garden Foundation ‘Dr. Costerus’, which still manages the garden. The Costerustuin is the only garden in the Netherlands that uses the so-called Eichler system, in which related plant families are ranked in forty orders. A large group of volunteers maintain the garden, which is worth visiting at any time of the year.




Zonnelaan 4-Z, entrance next to apartment complex Schutterscheide, Hilversum

Gemeentelijk monument