No less noteworthy a peculiarity of Kyiv than its picturesque landscape and beauty of the ancient architectural ensembles is its luxuriant greenery. It bestows on the city an extremely gentle and lyric appearance. There is over 900 square meters of greenery for each Kyiv's dweller. And hundred thousands of young trees and bushes are planted every year.
It is known that in ancient times the Kyiv's hills were covered with thick forests where wild animals were found. As long ago as the 11th century, apple-, pear- and plum trees as well as currants and raspberries were grown in the orchards attached to the Princes' courtyards and monasteries. The first decorative park in Ukraine was laid out by Metropolitan P. Mohyla in 1631 at his courtyard in the Holosiivsky hermitage of the Kyiv-Pechery Lavra. Reminiscent of it are the 300 - 400-year giant oaks and lime-trees, remains of the terraces in the modern Holosiivsky Park, where grapes and mulberry-trees grew. We have already mentioned the mulberry and grape orchards, a lime grove, Tsar's Garden in Lypky. In the late 18th century the Medical Gardens were laid out on the Andriivska Hill slopes where herbs were cultivated. And it was not the only city's park of its kind. In 1839 the Botanical Gardens of the University were laid out to offer over 10 thousand species, shapes and sorts of the plants from various regions of the world. Among them is a large collection of cacti, relicts, tropical and sub-tropical plants. The Central Botanical Gardens of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine established in 1936 are a scientific research institution. It occupies 130 hectares of the grounds of the historic areas Zvirynets and Vydubychi. Of great popularity are decorative single-crop gardens "Syringariun", "Rosarium", "Formed Garden", "Lianas", "The Mountainous Garden". The Botanical Gardens offer a nice collection of orchids.
Thousands of people come to feast their eyes upon mastery of decorators presenting their skills every summer in the Pechersk Park.
The natural preserve Kytayevo in the outskirts of Kyiv covers about 100 ha. It includes the complex of historical monuments: remains of the 9th - 10th-century, old Russian town, medieval cave monastery, the 17th - 18th-century structures of Kytayevo hermitage.
The Askold's Grave Park is a holy place for Kyivans. According to the legend, in the year 882 Princes Askold and Dyr, the last princes of the local Kyi dynasty, were killed by Prince Oleh of Novhorod. Prince Askold is believed to be buried here. On this site, beginning from the 12th century, there was a large St. Nicholas' (Pustynno-Mykilsky) Monastery named in honour of Askold's Christian patron . St. Nicholas. The Pavilion-Rotunda in the centre of the park is St. Nicholas' (Mykolaivska) Church survived by miracle (built in 1810, architect A. Melensky). In 1935 its dome was replaced by a balustrade. At the same time the aristocratic burial-ground around the church was damaged, and the area was replanned to lay out the park.
A lot of new parks sprang up in the post-war period, including the Dnipro Park complex covering 1558.6 ha with the centre on the Trukhaniv Island in the middle of the Dnipro. Insular meadows, shady groves, lakes, beaches with water-sport stations and recreation bases, sport and game grounds draw thousand of relaxing Kyivans. Kyiv totals over 60 parks, each splendid in its own way.