Thursday, March 02, 2006
Exploring the "Estufa Fria"
The first section is the Cold Greenhouse where the slatted roof lets in air, water and warmth but cuts out the direct sunlight, except for those trees high enough to burst through it.
Not too many weird and wonderful plants here except for what I shall call the "Egyptian Boat Plant":
Still, a lovely place just to walk through and relax. In the early afternoon when I went, there were hardly any visitors - I must have seen about 10 people the whole time - which I think helped. In other similar places I have been to there have been vocal birds adding some background noise to the greenery. Although there were birds here, they seemed to be quietly huddling in grilled caves and not enjoying life. There were no signs around so I couldn't tell what the birds were or what they were doing there - maybe they were injured birds recovering in peace before being released?
The more exotic plants were in the glass greenhouse - I can imagine that this place gets really hot in the summer; in the winter (like such a season exists in Portugal) it was still quite comfortable. Here I saw some cacti and spikey plants that left me scratching my head. Take this one, for example, with the aeroplane wings that alternate at 90 degrees:
Or this lovely flower growing from a vicious spiked creation.
Some info for the more organically challenged types... your 'Egyptian Boat Plant' is actually a Bird of Paradise flower, or a Crane Flower. Quite common in Africa, and very pretty! You can check out some pics at http://davesgarden.com/pf/showimage/14046/
Enjoy, and Keep Blogging!!!
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