Situated in Palermo, in the heart of Buenos Aires’ urban sprawl, is a lovely oasis of green, the Jardin Botanico. The garden covers more than 7 hectares (17 acres) and brings together a large diversity of plant species (over 5500) in a setting that includes massive shade trees, many broad walking paths, fountains, statues, and places to sit and relax. Designed more than 100 years ago by French-borne architect and landscape designer Carlos Thays, in whose honor the garden is named, Jardin Botanico is a little run down (like much of the city is). Despite the need for repairs and more upkeep, the garden is a pleasant refuge on a hot day when you want to get away from the crowds and congested streets of the city. It was declared a national monument in 1996.
The garden features groups of plants generally organized by geographical origin, with species from around the world, as well as highlighting the native flora of Argentina. The park has a has a large home/small mansion built in 1881 (in which Carlos Thays lived in the early years of the park), a herbarium, a library, five greenhouses and 31 statues. It has a small lake, several fountains and pools where you can find aquatic and marsh plants.
The Botanical Garden has become home to a large population of feral cats, most abandoned by their owners. A network of volunteers look after these cats, feeding them and looking after their health needs.
So enjoy a stroll this stroll with me through the Jardin Botanica.
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