BOTANICAL GARDEN IN VILLAS JOSIPEK
The Josipek Botanical Garden was created in 2011 and aims to offer visitors of Villas Josipek a space with great scenic beauty that allows a learning experience about the natural processes of the plants and how they have been useful to people, always with direct contact with nature.
Once you enter the right of the tour you can see the rustic garden of Rosita, named in honor of the owner’s mother, and because it reflects the traditional sense of the Costa Rican farmers to use and recycle the tools and utensils they usually have at home. It is an open garden, with green areas where you can walk and observe fruit trees. These trees not only provide fruits for natural drinks that are served in Villas Josipek, but also provide a beautiful shaded area to enjoy the breeze.
It is worth noting in this garden the presence of a Paila (big metal bowl), of course the one we have here is an imitation of the traditional pails used in the trapiches. Several (three to five) of these are used for the process of “cooking” and cleaning the sugarcane juice to produce the “tapa de dulce” or “panela” (molded small cakes of firm compacted brown sugar product), which in the end will be the basis for traditional drinks and desserts.
Another important element in this garden is the presence of a typical Costa Rican oxcart, this was the pickup truck of the past, it was used to move all the loads necessary to subsist and trade in the farms or houses, for example wood was transported, the sugarcane for the “trapiche”, fruits to the market, and very important the coffee of export towards the ports.
It is worth mentioning that the oxcart was declared as a national Costa Rican symbol on March 22, 1988, because it reflects the hard-working spirit of the Costa Rican peasant, and the traditional way of painting it by hand allows two equal carts not to exist, thus the sum of all this allowed that it was declared an oral and intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO, a fact that has been celebrated since 2005.
In this garden we have distributed 23 species very commonly used in Costa Rica for their foliage and striking blooms or edible fruits.
In this botanical garden we have created a labyrinth, because it represents the search for mythical beings that finally lead to finding oneself. This symbol apparently originated in the area of the Mediterranean several years ago, and traces of labyrinths have been found in almost all ancient cultures. It is usually associated with the duality between life and death, freedom and secluded knowledge, the underworld and salvation.
Our labyrinth has been designed to be simple with a single entry route, a central point and a single exit route directly inverse of the access route.
It is basically built with two plant species: Chenese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosasinensis) on the edges and Flame of the woods (Ixora coccinea) yellow in the center and red flowering in the internal divisions. In addition to entry and exit have been associated with the Indian mast trees (Polyalthia longifolia) for its magical meaning and medicinal uses.
The invitation is to walk on our labyrinth and with good humor, feel imprisoned looking for your personal escape route.
Birds & Butterflies Garden
In this space we have sought to create the conditions so that different birds and butterflies can feel at ease with good light conditions, little wind, and of course many flowers that attract other insects and provide nectar and pollen to feed.
But why do flowers exist? From the functional point of view and for now coming out of the romantic, these are parts of the plant that changed for two reasons, one, that the insects began to prey on the reproductive parts, so they had to be protected or covered, before this many individuals were lost and they did not reproduce, and two that in many cases the plants needed an insect to visit them to distribute their pollen, that is why they generated parts that worked as advertising to attract these insects.
In this space we have strategically distributed 24 species of plants, in addition to a striking fountain that simulates the path of a river from the source in the mountain to its mouth in a lake.
THE FOREST, PREHISTORIC GARDEN AND TROPICAL
We include here a collection of plants belonging to the order Zingiberales, it is about 4 families of plants that usually have very large and striking leaves, such as banana plants and Gingers.
A family that stands out in this site is Heliconiaceae, which as its name indicates refers to the Heliconias, a very well represented group in the country, because followed by Colombia, in Costa Rica we have the second place worldwide in number of species, we speak of 38 native species and about 10 more cultivated for ornamental purposes or for export. Another interesting fact about this family is that flowers are only pollinated by hummingbirds, which share the distribution only in neotropical areas.
If we look carefully we will observe the spiral ginger or Insulin plant, these are recognized by their spiral shaped spiral staircase, they have different medicinal uses for the kidneys and they are excellent to quench thirst.
Tropical forests are changing ecological systems and are affected by various phenomena, some as spectacular and long-term as the formation of mountain ranges, to other almost imperceptible and short-term, as when a beam of light crosses the lower floors and illuminates a plant.
The presence of water on this site plus the high temperature is essential for the great diversity of the tropics, so let’s take the opportunity to walk through Josipek and enjoy both.
A peculiarity of the tropical forest is the form in several strata of plants. In general, a primary forest has a low stratum of trees and very small shrubs, it does not pass from one place to another and is where the large trees are camouflaged and then emerge to compete for sunlight. The second stratum or level is between 7 and 10 meters with fast growing trees, and the producers of wild fruits to feed the fauna. The upper layer is very close to 25 m, sometimes up to 45 to 50 meters high, this is a little known floor because it presents a great difficulty for its study.
iN this case we have made a selection of plants that have survived without many changes for many millions of years. The idea of this garden is to simulate the physiognomy of a forest the Mesozoic era during the tertiary and Jurassic periods, that is, a period between 225 million years ago (Cretaceous) until about 65 million years ago (end of the Jurassic).
If you look closely you will see that there are almost no flowers on this site, as the main groups represented are ferns, although they appeared about 350 million years ago, they had their splendor during this time, likewise the plants with bare seed (gymnosperms) were very important and common during these periods. We have also located models of dinosaurs that lived in this era and that complement this aspect of what a forest looked like at the time.
With the period represented here, we must remember that from Costa Rica and Central America in general there were only some islands that thanks to volcanic, tectonic and erosive processes came to give the current form.
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