Monday, November 19, 2012

Guell Park, Barcelona

You would have thought that the gardener in me wanted to ensure a visit to the botanical gardens in Barcelona Spain. It turns out a week is not enough time to do everything on the list and the gardens were missed. 
Primary on the list was to visit all the Antoni Gaudi buildings that we could. Gaudi is called an architect but truly he is a visionary. His career spanned the late 1800's into the early 20th century of the Modernist Period or Art Nouveau period. He had luck on his side as he found his patron and client in Eusebi Guell early in his career. The homes and other buildings such as the Basilica Sagrada Familia could not be built today as they involve immense skilled labor not to mention high quality and expensive woods, stones, glass etc. For a gardener or naturalist, however, Gaudi's works are a joy to behold. Nature is part of his design whether it is the swirl of a shell or an obvious creature like the salamander.
Let's have a stroll through the gardens of Guell Park.

Coming in from the hills on the west

The main building in the park is by the front entrance. It is a complicated structure that serves many purposes. First you are greeted by a large staircase with the dragon that is a fountain which flows to a pool below him.

Up the stairs and you are in a covered 'hypostyle' hall with columns. The square above is a large area for the public to get a great view of the city. Notice the mosaics on the winding bench that serves as the wall to the square. The square is actually a water collecting point that sends rainwater through the columns into a cistern below the hypostyle which is used for watering the gardens. Ingenious.

This is the ceiling of the hypostyle. Natural organic forms in abundance

We move on to another area. This a courtyard with columns of quite a different sort. Gone are the fluted columns and medallions of colour that represent stars ? shells ? and we are surrounded by rock and stone.

Close up of the planters on top. They are filled with succulents like agave and yucca.

The inner courtyard below is made to resemble trees. Each column is made of stone and each one is individual from the others. Walking paths are above the courtyard and provide the shrubbery that is the trees canopies.

In the photo below, the columns create a wonderful covered portico and are of course skillfully arched.

Lady with pot on her head

The next photos are of some of the flowering plants we saw. Unfortunately I still don't know what they are - I had intended to try and research Spain's flora but never did. These were plants that we saw in many areas in this park and others.

The blue is ipomea or morning glory.

Agave's in the dry soil

These were in planters throughout the city as well

Bougainvillea 1

Bougainvillea 2


     A soft pale blue. Looks phlox - like

This is a stunning flower

Very pretty too. Notice that a lot of the foliage is greyish which tells you how little water they get.

Flowering  agave. Unfortunately too high to see the flower. I am standing at the same level as the plant in earth.

Barcelona is a beautiful city in Spain. We loved every minute and hope to return one day as we do for Amsterdam. Next time I will buy a book on the Spanish flora so I know what I am looking at.


  1. Tam jest pięknie. Spacerowałam tam miedzy innymi we wrześniu tego roku. Jak masz ochotę to zajrzyj do mojego posta "SPACER PO BARCELONIE". Pozdrawiam.
    There is beauty. I walked there, among other things, in September of this year. How do you want to see my post "WALK AROUND BARCELONA". Yours.

  2. Hi Patty, what beautiful photos. Greetings from Northern Ontario. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

    1. Thanks for visiting Chris.It is nice to hear from a Canadian!

  3. Loved the virtual tour. I have always been intrigued by Barcelona and would like to visit one day. I haven't even been to Spain!

    1. Apparently Barcelona is one of THE places to visit in the last couple of years. This was quite apparent with all the tourists, crowds of them! A visit to the old city still with evidence of the Roman's is a must.

  4. Wow, lucky you to visit Spain! I have never been there, but would love to go someday. Thanks for sharing a few highlights.

  5. It's a miscarriage of justice that gaudy evokes Mr Gaudi's name. Saw lots of his work during the Olmpics and fell in love.

    1. I feel the same way about his name. The Olympics in Barcelona - how wonderful for you.

  6. Looks like a wonderful vacation! I believe the shrub with pink flowers between the agave and bougainvillea might be Oleander.

    1. Thanks Cat, I believe you are right about Oleander. I know names on a lot of plants but just do not know them on sight.