Hi there my Steemian friends and followers!
Welcome to my special weekly series called Beauties of Azores that was created by me to raise awareness of the extraordinary charm of a captivating Portuguese archipelago known as the Azores.
In this episode, I will take you to a beautiful green oasis in the middle of the city, a wonderful place known as Jose do Canto Botanical Garden.
Located on Rua Jose do Canto in the northern part of Ponta Delgada, just a short walk from the famous Parque Atlantico Shopping Mall, Jose do Canto Botanical Garden occupies an area of almost 8 ha and it is home to more than 3,000 species of plants and trees from all over the world.
There is no particular year of the official establishment of this facility as it originally was just a private garden of Jose do Canto (1820 - 1898), a prominent Azorean landowner, bibliographer, nature lover and avid botanist.
Over the decades in the second half of the 19th century, Canto was working on extending his garden by establishing contacts with plant nurseries and botanical gardens from many foreign countries. He bought and exchanged plants and trees with the facilities to turn his own garden in what is now a renowned botanical garden registered with the UNESCO branch of botanical gardens. There is a large statue of Jose do Canto overlooking his masterpiece in the lower part of the garden, close to the entrance gate.
The garden is divided into several sections where you can find different groups of plants and trees. The paths leading through the garden are well maintained and marked. For easier navigation through the garden, you can get a free map at the entrance.
In the central part of the garden, there is a little lake with interesting aquatic plants and a lot of frogs whose unmistakable croaking sounds can be heard all over the area.
The garden is home to some of the largest and most majestic trees I have ever seen, including the Moreton Bay Fig, Eucalyptus, Swamp Cypress and many other species. I know the origin of the garden dates back to just some 150 years ago but some of the trees give the impression of having been here for many centuries.
The guy at the entrance gate told us that the tour around the garden usually takes between 45 and 60 minutes but with so many amazing plants and trees around, I think nature lovers and botany fans can easily spend long hours just hanging around this charming place.
Apart from studying the informative tags attached to the plants and trees, you can also learn something about the history and culture of the Azores Islands from these beautiful paintings.
From what I found out, this impressive type of tin glazed ceramic tile work is known as azulejo in the Portuguese (and Spanish) language.
There are many of these picturesque azulejos in the southwestern corner of the garden. I am sorry about the poor readability of the writings and the pictures but the strong contrast of the powerful Azorean sun with the shades of the majestic trees was just a bit too much for my cellphone camera to handle.
Jose do Canto Botanical Garden is open every day from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. in winter and from 9 A.M. to 7 P.M. in summer. The admission fee is 4 EUR and they accept payment cards.
I heard that Ponta Delgada, the capital city of the Sao Miguel Island, gets pretty crowded with tourists in summer months so I suppose this botanical garden can serve as a great getaway from the crowds as it is located off the marina and the promenade where most tourists usually gather.
I hope you enjoyed this episode of my Beauties of Azores series that was dedicated to the beautiful Jose do Canto Botanical Garden (or Jardim Botanico Jose do Canto in the Portuguese language) that can be found in Ponta Delgada. All of the photos featured in this post were taken by me.
If you want to learn more about this exquisite Portuguese archipelago and its charms, stay tuned for the next episodes of my Beauties of Azores series ;)
This post was created by me for the Steem blockchain exclusively.