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Jardín Botánico Nacional De Cuba #SaturdaySnapshot

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

I’m getting close to finishing my recap of our Cuba trip. This post and one more, I think, will do it.

Rick and I are fairly new to foreign travel. Our first two trips were with the Missouri Botanical Garden‘s director, Peter Wyse Jackson. When we made our plans to go to Cuba we asked Dr. Wyse Jackson if there was anything we could do for him there. He asked us to visit the Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba (National Botanical Garden of Cuba) in Havana and to issue an invitation to the new director there to visit St. Louis.

Our tour guide in Cuba, Christopher, was able to arrange a taxi driver to spend the day with us. Christopher also called the director’s office to let her know, in Spanish, that we were on our way. The director arranged for the garden’s English-speaking guide, Ana Maria, to spend the day with us.

Greenhouse in Havana, Cuba
Our English-speaking guide in the greenhouses at the National Botanic Garden in Havana, Cuba

Here, Ana Maria is showing us the greenhouses. In Cuba, they have plenty of heat, so the greenhouses have roofs but no walls. In order to grow desert plants, they need the roof to keep the rain off so they can control the amount of water the plants get. Another set of greenhouses are covered with thick netting to make it possible for the Garden to grow more temperate plants that can’t handle the heat and sun in Cuba.

This garden is enormous! To see it, you have to take advantage of the transportation — a long bus-like carriage pulled by a tractor. They have several interesting collections including one of the world’s largest collections of palm trees and a display of serpentine plants,(yeah, I had to look that up when Dr. Wyse Jackson told us about them), including many rare and endangered specimens.

Director of the National Botanical Garden, Havana, Cuba
Rick and me on either side of Nora Hernández Monterrey, director of the National Botanical Garden in Havana, Cuba

We’re still hoping to see Dr. Monterrey again in St. Louis, but it’s a complicated process to get her here.

Here are my previous posts about Cuba, most with photos for Saturday Snapshot at West Metro Mommy Reads:

  • Photos of Entering Cuba
  • Book review of Cuban Revelations by Marc Frank
  • Photos of the Palacio de Valle
  • Book review of Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
  • Photos of downtown Cienfuegos
  • Food in Cuba
  • Colorful Trinidad, Cuba
  • Book review of Havana Nocturne by T.J. English with photos of 50s Cuba
  • Interiors of a 1929 house in Havana
  • Colors of Cuba exhibit
  • Views of Havana from Hotel Capri
  • Architecture and book stalls in the Plaza de Armas, Havana
  • Food in Havana
  • Plaza de la Catedral, Havana
  • A non-touristy walk in Havana
  • A day-trip to Pinar del Rio, featuring our best meal
  • Agriculture in Cuba

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