.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Palermo’s Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico)

01a Orto Botanico

While Sicily itself is green and lovely after the rains, Palermo doesn’t have many spacious parks or gardens.  This is in part why exploring Orto Botanico di Palermo (Palermo Botanical Garden) was a treat for my wife and I.  It covers about 30 acres and has a large and interesting variety of plants that are pleasant to stroll through.  Orto Botanico also conducts research for the Department of Botany, University of Palermo. 

The garden dates to 1779 when the University created a chair of “botany and medicinal properties” and dedicated a plot of land for a botanical garden.  The goal was to grow and study plants that useful had medicinal properties.  The garden was moved to the present site in 1786 when …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado / North America

A Stroll through the Betty Ford Alpine Garden, Vail, Colorado

001 Betty Ford Alpine Garden 09-2014

The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is the world’s highest botanical garden, situated at the foot of Vail Mountain in the Colorado Rockies, in gorgeous Vail Valley.  The Garden rests at an altitude of 8,200 feet (2,500 m) and is named in honor of former First Lady Betty, the wife of President Gerald Ford.  The Fords had a home in Vail as the President was an avid skier, and both were very active in the Vail community.  Ford Park consists of this alpine garden, a fairly large amphitheater complex, a children’s play area and a large grass field for soccer and such.  As you’d expect, these attractions are very popular in the warm Rocky Mountain summers.

While it’s currently likely under a blanket of …

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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

Buenos Aires’ Jardin Botanico. A urban oasis

039 Buenos Aires Jardin Botanico 2014.  Fountain

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 …

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