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Mar 11, 2018 8:10 AM CST
|The garden, or to give it its full name, the Jardin de Aclimatacion de La Orotava, was constructed by Royal Order to acclimatize tropical species brought to Spain from elsewhere in the world, and planting commenced in 1792. The rectangular garden slopes gently upwards from the entrance, divided into four by wide central paths meeting at a round pond in the middle, and further sub-divided by smaller paths cutting through the plantings. On the top terrace of the garden is a large, square "infinity" pool for tropical water plants.
The first thing that I noticed was the size of the trees. Huge would be an understatement. I was in dense shade, surrounded by massive, buttressed trunks and curtains of aerial roots. The second thing I noticed was a scarcity of flowers. Although the trees were thickly under-planted with perennials and shrubs, most of them were not blooming. I guess February is not the best time to visit! I wandered through collections of ferns, palms, figs, bromeliads, cycads, and so on. The garden was impeccably maintained and the plants well-labeled. Flowering plants that I found included the bright orange pincushions of Scadoxus puniceus, a bulb from Africa; and the Bolivian shrub Caliandra haematocephala 'Alba' bearing starry, white orbs.
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