We love to cycle, so we went from Alexandria to Washington D.C. by bike.
After walking around Capitol Hill we visited the Botanic Gardens. It is not as big as other Botanic Gardens we have visited in Europe and Canada but it is still beautiful. Compact and informative. We enjoyed our visit a lot!
Being Brazilians it’s is quite natural that we compare the Botanic Garden in D.C. with the one in Rio de Janeiro.
Does Rio de Janeiro have a Botanic Garden? Yes, it does.
Does Brazil produce pineapple fruit? Yes, it as a great producer.
Although answering “yes” to the two questions above, can you believe that after living in Rio de Janeiro for more than 50 years I had never seen a pineapple tree before??? Even at the Botanic Garden?
Can you believe that my apartment in Rio was located less than 1 mile from Rio’s Botanic Garden?
What is the reason for not seeing a pineapple tree before? Simply! There is no “informative education” in Rio de Janeiro‘s Botanic Garden!
I am not saying it is not beautiful. It is.
It is beautiful because D. João IV had many Imperial Palm Trees planted there. It is a beautiful Botanic Garden because it was planned and executed more than 100 years ago! I would say that very few actions were taken place since then, in order to improve the Botanic Garden in Rio. First, there is a slum growing in part of its premises. It is not a huge slum (as others in Rio) but it is getting bigger (as all slums in Rio are).
Why the administrators don’t remove the slum and plant trees that could educate children and adults as well? How about show people how popular fruits and vegetables grow from seed to table?
The first time I saw a cotton plant was in England (Oxford Botanic Garden). The first time I saw an eggplant tree was at Montreal Botanic Garden. The first time I saw a pineapple tree was at Washington D.C. Botanic Garden. What I learned in Rio’s Botanic Garden? Besides the palm trees? Nothing!
Although Brazil is a large producer of Cocoa this was the first time in my life I saw a cocoa tree and its fruits! I had to come to Washington D.C. to learn about a fruit that is very common in the country where I was born. This is unbelievable!
Why they don’t show this in Rio de Janeiro Botanic Garden? They have the space. They have the climate as the weather there is perfect for these trees! It is an absurd that a Brazilian must travel more than 5000 miles to see a fruit that is common in Brazil and it is not present in the Botanic Garden there.
In D.C. Botanic Garden they climatize the rooms where they keep the tropical species, like cocoa. There are signposts educating the public about this fruit and its importance to make the delicious chocolate!
It was also amazing to see the variety of orchids they have at the Washington D.C. Botanic Garden! Dozens of species, many of them very rare. Bring your camera and a lot of space on your memory card. You will need it!
Go visit the D.C.’s Botanic Garden: You will LOVE it!