Murder in the botanical garden

Spring is the best time for a walk in the flourishing parks. But guided tour in a botanical garden? What can one tell besides introducing the bushes and trees? - I was asking myself. However, later it turned out that our tour guide, Victor, a fanatic biologist and microscope fun had humor, and during the two hours we heard about a lot of stories, and also found out about a mysterious murder. 

The botanical garden can be found in the Palermo neighborhood besides the city zoo. Its official name is Carlos Thays Botanical Garden, which it received after the founder. Based on the works of Thays, the 7-hectar garden opened its doors first in 1898, and as normal, it was declared to be National Heritage in 1996. Currently in the garden there are 5,500 species of plants, and an approximately similar number of cats, as this place is the meeting point of those trying to get rid of their pets and those, who feel like feeding such creatures in their free time.

We saw Roman, French and oriental type of gardens with its typical flora. As Thays used to say a botanical garden is an open-air museum of species, and accordingly we saw here corners for pine trees, cactuses, palm trees and ferns.

Interestingly, the park has a corner for blind people, where they can touch the plants, and based on some characteristics they can find out about their family. Victor told us, that despite of their cheeky attitude they did not plant cactuses in here. But out of that we saw evergreen bushes which we can find in the big gardens of palaces; we saw plants without leaves or flowers and fruits capable of reproduction; plants which were used for narcotizing by Indian shamans. We also brought one.

This lantana camara has flowers and fruits at the same time
Our tour guide talks about the grasses with great emphatize
The water lily is the inevitable accessory of the French garden

Besides touching the leaves, we also heard about the giant trees and the law of the jungle. What does a tree do to reach the sun? It has three options: either it grows high, or it grows huge leaves on the ground level to catch as many sunbeams as possible, or lastly it changes its color to yellow or white, which does not need a lot of sunshine. Still, every plant is very thankful if an older tree falls, because then the way is free for the younger generations. That is also another strong law of the jungle that the elder trees have to die, which the younger ones try to supper in all possible ways.

We were also witnesses of such murder. The seed of our good friend, a ficus settled on the trunk of a palm tree and slowly started to grow its roots. Extenuating circumstance that the ficus is not a parasite, because it did not dig the roots into the trunk of the palm tree, but was growing them trying to reach the ground. It was growing slowly for ages when finally the roots hit the ground. The fraud just came now, because when the ficus got stronger and the roots got thicker, they suffocated the trunk of the palm tree. Today we only saw the rotten memories of the palm tree amongst the strong roots of the ficus.

So this is how it happened that during the two hours we walked around in the park, we got to know the names and shapes of the plants, we listened to their stories and how they effected the culture of the humanity. We had some biology, history, humor and excitement not only for plant and cat enthusiasts.

Would you think that this is actually a baby palm tree
The spot, where the ficus killed the palm tree with its roots
The witnesses were watching the murder from the glasshouse

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About Tiny Girl With Big Bag

Hobby writer and autodidact photographer whose passion is to travel and get to know new people and cultures. She has been on 4 continents and 30 countries, and the outcome is this travel blog where she shares travel stories, thoughts, tips and photography always through a subjective eye.

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  1. I am a fan of botanical gardens. We have a very beautiful one in Vilnius with a Japanese style garden now as well. I am sorry I missed out on the one in Paris but I hope to come back one day.

  2. Honestly I would be bored in places like this but I really lke your write up! The pic of where the ficus killed the palm is SO cool! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, that was the idea about it, that what can happen in a botanical garden.. looks boring, though seems like the trees also have their little lives and stories :) Thanks for the comment!

  3. On the second thought, they were not witnesses, it was conspiracy to murder.

    1. Haha, I also thought the same.. but they looked so innocent :)