The Garden Guide

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

Public Parks in South America

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919. Public walks and promenades. The garden at Rio Janeiro, called Passeio Publico, or public walk, is situated on the sea-shore. From the front of the Calabouca to that of N.S. da Gloria, is a fine sweep of strand ; and near the middle of the arch, the public garden was laid out by the viceroy Vasconcellos, a name to which Rio seems much indebted. It consisted, in 1830, of broad walks, bordered with large trees, some native and some foreign, forming a dense and delightful shade, and enclosing apartments within planted with fruit or flowering trees and shrubs. Among the former are mangoes, yambos, and gramixams, yielding, in their seasons, a vast quantity of delicious fruit, which every one is allowed to gather and eat. Among the latter is the poinciana, a species of Brazil wood, whose yellow and orange flowers are exceedingly beautiful; the coral tree, with long spikes of scarlet flowers, as large as those of the horsechestnut; and the magnificent bombax, covered at one time with a profusion of large purple flowers, like rich tulips, and at another with huge pendent pods of silk. Near the middle of the garden is an octagonal temple, intended for a botanical lecture-room, where the professor explained the structure and qualities of the various plants in the garden: it is now, however, entirely out of repair. (Dr. Walsh's Notices of Brazil, vol. i. p. 477.) The Alameda, or public walk, of Mendoza, is situated at the foot of the Andes, and commands a noble prospect. It has two fine rows of poplars on each side, with a stream of water running between them. (Brande's Journal of a Voyage to Peru, p. 53.)