Since the announcement of the opening of Aflopark in Pabianice, hateful comments have spread in local newspapers: “It is too expensive”, “Who does even need it?”, “My garden is bigger and nobody pays me to see it”. Citizens complain mostly about the money that was spent on this investment as well as the price of the tickets. They compare the collection with the ones in botanical gardens in Łódź, Rogów and even Wrocław and they don’t see the future of this park in bright colours. Are they right? Is Aflopark worth any hype?
I decided to check this out myself. Since I don’t live in my home town anymore, any new attraction sounds interesting. I like to see positive changes and developments. Luckily for me, I could combine my visit with the celebration of Mother’s Day. Instead of giving my mum a flower, I could give her the whole garden, even if it was only for one hour.
What is Aflopark?
Aflopark belongs to a local entrepreneur Andrzej Furman, who bought a big piece of land at Widzewska street, right next to his house. In the past, it was just a forgotten orchard, which now Furman, together with his gardener Łukasz Tarapacz, is transforming into a “small paradise” (as the local newspaper describes it).
The smaller part of the park called “the triangle” contains a collection of over 3000 roses of around 150 variants, which grow organised by colour. Another highlight is the selection of old and rare apple tree varieties. In springtime, visitors can admire rhododendrons and flower beds of bulbous plants: tulips and daffodils. Expanding the botanical collection is not the only goal of this business endeavor. Weekend family walks with coffee and cake, wedding photoshoot or cultural events with live music – all of it is already possible in Aflopark. The owner also aims to support education by providing space for school visits. Senior citizens can contribute by taking care of the plants in their free time.
Spring in Aflopark
At the entrance, we were encouraged to walk wherever we want including on the grass (which was super soft!). Since it was a weekday, there were no other visitors and we had a truly exclusive experience.
Spring is the time when things are coming to life and so is this park. I expected the modern geometrical design of paths and flowerbeds. Instead, it was an organic combination of wild meadows, old trees and flower carpets. Daffodils covered the birch grove full of birdhouses. Tulip fields surrounded parts of the old orchard. Those flowers were of unusual shapes and colours: from white to mahogany red, almost black; lily-flowered and fringed.
Pansies were hidden behind the gate to a “secret garden”, but the highlight of May was blossoming rhododendrons. The pond was full of water lilies, jumping fish splashing the water and frogs… Fortunately, the only frog I saw was a sculpture (I hate them!). Everyone tired of walking in the park, can sit directly on the grass or on one of the wooden benches or go to the nearby café.
To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrowAudrey Hepburn
Very often, when I am asked where I am from, I struggle to describe our town in an interesting way. There are not many places worth mentioning. Initiatives like Aflopark have the potential to increase the touristic attractiveness of this region. 10-15 zl (3 Euros) for an entry ticket is extremely high in comparison with other places. But is it worth visiting at least once or twice? Definitely yes!
This is a gallery of some images I took in Aflopark (May 2021).