August Karlovich Thomson, a Latvian by birth, came to Irkutsk in 1908. He worked as a painter at a railway station. The son of a forester, he did not abandon his dream of a garden even in Siberia: he subscribed to literature, studied the Siberian flora.
It took a long time to get a plot of land for an experimental plot, so the first seedlings were grown in tubs in an apartment. Finally, Thomson managed to buy a small plot, where by grafting cultivars on local apple trees, by 1912 he achieved fruiting in two plants.
In 1921, August Karlovich retired from the depot and devoted himself entirely to his beloved work.
The dream of August Karlovich, realized by many years of tireless, selfless work, was coming true. His garden has become a unique botanical and breeding center.
In 1938, the main part of A.K. Thomson handed over the Agricultural Institute to the state as a nursery and experimental farm. According to the act, about 230 varieties of apple trees, 77 varieties and species of fruit and berry plants, 47 species of decorative and other trees (in particular, elm, oak, maple, linden, silver poplar, hazel and others) grew in it. Most of them were home to North America, China, Korea, Japan, Europe and even the Balkans. All of them were in excellent condition, blossoming and bearing fruit, despite the Siberian frosts.
In 2021, the administration of Irkutsk promised to reconstruct the garden.
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