Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Vinales Botanical Garden, Cuba

After six days in Havana, we left for Vinales, a small village a few hours west of Havana, and immediately wished we'd gone there sooner. As it was, we stayed until we absolutely had to go back to Havana to catch our flight. Friendly, idyllic and beautiful, the village of Vinales is home to a fantastic jardin: the Jardin de las Hermanas Caridad y Carmen Miranda. The afternoon spent there was one of the highlights of our trip.

Passing through a gate decorated with fresh fruit and doll's heads, a dense garden crowds the path to the small house.

Old sister
The garden is maintained by two sisters (the eldest is shown above with one of the many hens that live on the property). They welcomed us, and we enjoyed home-grown tropical fruits while taking in the house, which was papered with magazine ads and decorated with bizarre tchotchkes.

The garden itself was lovely and serene, except for the dismayed chatter of a mother hen when you got too close to her nest.

As in other tropical countries, houseplants like Cordyline grew larger than I've ever seen them. Also prominent in the garden was the use of dolls and doll heads, the photos of which were too creepy to post, proving without a doubt that doll parts have no place in garden design.

Orchids grew everywhere, usually grafted onto a rootstock, and as they did elsewhere in the province, air plants grew in tree branches.

Containers were created out of old tires, pop cans, and of course, rusty buckets.

One of the sisters told me that this little burst of excitement was called Aroma floridita but I can only find referred to as the Hawaiian flower 'Ohi'a Lehua on the web.

You can see more of my Cuba photos here.


Anonymous Judith said...

Your photos are great and I have enjoyed reading about your trip to Cuba, a place that has always fascinated me. The recycling of pop cans, tires, etc for plant containers is something I saw when I travelled to Dominica. Where will you travel next?

6:59 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Judith, I wish I knew. I became officially house-poor yesterday when Ben and I finalized the paperwork for our new townhouse. So for now, my next trip is to east Vancouver! Ha ha. And maybe a honeymoon if we can afford it... let the dreaming begin.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Takoma Gardener said...

I agree with Judith and have enjoyed your posts thoroughly. Now can we, your readers, vote on where you guys go on your honeymoon, like hte viewers of The Today Show? How about Maui?

6:57 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Sounds like fun, Susan! Bring it on.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I have enjoyed you pictures of your holidays over a cuppa tea. Lovely. Cuba has always been on my list to visit.

2:30 PM  

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