The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 5: Gardens in Asia, America, Africa, Australia

Brazilian gardens near Rio de Janiro

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916. The gardens in the neighbourhood of Pedro Alves, a Brazilian town containing about fifty houses, in the Mato country, about half-way between Rio Janeiro and Villa Rica, are described by Dr. Walsh as picturesque in appearance, and rich in the fruits and culinary vegetables of both hemispheres. The white houses of the town were scattered through the greensward interspersed with trees. The garden of one of these houses inspected by Dr. Walsh 'was filled with the productions of both hemispheres, and all climates. Bananas and apple trees, walnuts and calabashes, were growing luxuriantly side by side; vines and peach trees were loaded with fruit; and the latter so abundantly, that the branches were broken to the ground with their weight. Under this luxuriancy of fruit above were plots of European vegetables below; large flat Dutch cabbages, and different kinds of lettuces, were flourishing among melons and pine-apples; and the whole presented a most graceful picture. Among the trees was a cactus, with stems as thick as a man's thigh, and ascending to the height of thirty feet, deeply ribbed, and from the furrows burst an immense profusion of blossoms.' (Notices of Brazil, vol. ii. p. 248.)