December 13, 2017

The aroma of Tilos

As you walk through the streets of Buenos Aires, in the spring months of November and into December, every once in a while you will get a whiff of something beautifully aromatic. The smell is sweet and makes you think of perfume and carefree afternoons in the park. This smell is ephemeral and difficult to track down. But, if you look at the nearby trees as you pass you might notice tiny yellow-white flowers, hidden underneath the leaves. You have to look at the tree from underneath to get the full effect and to discover where this heady aroma is coming from. This can be somewhat difficult as the Tilo trees can get grow up to 40 meters tall! Normally they are between 20 and 40 meters tall, and they can live to be 500 years old.

While these flowers are heady and aromatic and the bees love them, interestingly this is not how they propagate. They spread out via their root system, which can be quite problematic for the sidewalks of Buenos Aires, and most notably, the nearby city of La Plata, where these trees dominate the landscape so much, the city is known as Tilo City.

These beautiful trees provide wonderful shade in the summer as you walk down the streets due to their large leaves. They are mostly planted in the sidewalks and not so much in the plazas.

They also provide medicinal benefits via the wood, leaves, flowers, and fruits. Tilo is a common tea you can buy here in Argentina and is mostly used to relax.

In English, the tree is mostly known as linden, but also Tilia and Lime tree, although it has nothing to do with the lime fruit.

As always with the trees in Buenos Aires, don't forget to look up, you just might be surprised by what you find.

Further Reading:

November 11, 2017

Successful opening and a bit of press for the show!

The show had quite a successful opening on Saturday November 4th with some 50-60 people in attendance. The day was bright and cheerful, the crowd was interested and interesting and the photos all looked great hung up on the walls.  I know that several friends have been during this past week as well and have all sent really positive feedback.

My friend Ariel K was on hand and took some lovely photos.  I have linked to the album on FB and included some photos below.  Juan Pablo and Malena were also on hand to take video of the opening and also the day before they took some of the mounting of the photos. When that is ready to show, I'll post another update.
Beatrice at the opening of her show "Jacarandas of Buenos Aires."

A bit of food for the guests
Jeff and Jerry from Bolinas made it to the show in Buenos Aires!
More nibbles for guests
Aggie, Beatrice and Paula at the opening
Luci and Roberto checking out Beatrice's book "Seasons of Buenos Aires."
Clarin, one of the daily newspapers here in Buenos Aires, just published an article about the jacarandas of Buenos Aires and included a quote from me and a bit about the show which was very nice of them.

"Pero no sólo los porteños muestran una admiración floral inusitada. También los extranjeros, como Beatrice Murch, fotógrafa estadounidense afincada en Buenos Aires que el sábado inauguró una exposición en el Botánico sólo con imágenes de esta especie.

“Llegué a la Ciudad un mes de noviembre, con los jacarandás en flor. Estaban tan lindos que me enamoré. En California, donde nací, también hay, pero acá están por todos lados: en las avenidas y las plazas, y también en las calles angostas, donde son una sorpresa de color”, cuenta entusiasmada Murch."

Dear readers and supporters, thank you so much for all of your support in making this dream a reality.

October 17, 2017

Las Jacarandas de Buenos Aires

This blog has been dormant for far too long, but life has kept on going. Most relevant to this blog, is that I have been very busy coordinating a photo exhibition of my collection of photos of Jacarandas of Buenos Aires at the Jardín Botánico of Buenos Aires.  Through the generous sponsorship of friends, family, and fans via an IndieGoGo campaign, more than enough funds were raised to mount this show.  With the sponsorship of the Marcelo Gurruchaga Espacio Fotográfico, the Jardín Botánico and the IndieGoGo campaign, this series of Jacaranda photos will be on exhibition during the month of November, when the Jacarandas themselves will be in bloom all throughout the city.

Show from November 4-26 at the Jardín Botánico in Buenos Aires
of the Jacaranda Photos by Beatrice Murch
I hope readers can make it to the opening on November 4th from 12-14 hrs, and if not then, please stop by the gardens throughout the month and have a peak in the main brick building at the exhibition.

November 25, 2011

Tipas Porteñas: una muestra fotográfica

I am honored to tell you about my photography show "Tipas Porteñas" that is currently running at the Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays in Buenos Aires.  Monday morning, my mother and I hung the dozen large prints in the gallery space in the brick building that was the former home of Carlos Thays.  This Saturday is the 'opening' event.  I invite you to please come along from noon to 4 pm at Avenida Santa Fe 3951 in Palermo.  

Years ago, I dreamed about the possibility of showing my love of the trees of Buenos Aires at the Garden and it is coming to fruition with the generous support of the Athena Educational Trust, the Jardín Botánico and Ambientate.  

Thus far, the exhibit has received some favorable press writeups over at JuaneleAR, GoodMorning Buenos Aires, and the Argentina Independent.

I hope you can make it to the inauguration on Saturday, if not, the exhibit will remain on display through December 12.

November 18, 2010

Jacarandas blooming all over

November is my favorite month in Buenos Aires. Not only is November 17th our arrival anniversary date, but spring is in the air, the air itself is the perfect temperature and most importantly, the Jacarandas are in bloom all over this beautiful city. These trees grace the plazas, line the major avenues, and provide explosions of unexpected color as they peek out on small streets among the more common trees. Whenever I see them, there is a burst of joy in my heart, and I remember to pause and take in their beauty. The blossoms don't last for very long, so it is important to take them in while they last.

The purple contrasts brilliantly with the bright green of the young leaves of the Tipa trees. Carlos Thays (my favorite 19th century French Landscape Artist) knew what he was doing when he planted these trees so close together all those many years ago. It is especially stunning in Plaza San Martin as there aren't so many Jacarandas and they lend a surprising burst of color.

I hope you enjoy the sample of some of my photos and the embedded slideshow below. You can see a larger slideshow on Flickr.  There is also a photo essay up on The Argentina Independent.

Jacaranda and Tipa
Purple Jacarandas, Green Tipas and the Blue and White Sky at Plaza San Martin
(Photo: Beatrice Murch)

Jacaranda at Plaza San Martin
A Jacaranda anchors the corner of Plaza de Mayo in the heart of Buenos Aires

Jacaranda Blossoms
Jacaranda Blossoms - to infinity and beyond!

Jacaranda blossoms carpet the ground in Recoleta
(Photo: Beatrice Murch)

Plaza Miserere garden
Plaza Miserere is home to a beautiful garden in the middle of the chaos of Once
(Photo: Beatrice Murch)

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

January 14, 2010

January 12 Rainstorm

Cut tree, originally uploaded by blmurch.

The night/morning of January 11/12 the wind whipped through Buenos Aires at top speeds of 60 km/h. More than 140 trees toppled in the storm and over 22 cms of rain pelted the city. Our windows shook and rattled, the shutters banging in place. It was a sight and sound to behold.

The downed trees smashed cars, damaged roads and two people were hurt. Most unfortunately, one young man was electrocuted by a downed wire.

I love the trees of Buenos Aires, but they are not trimmed much and grow really tall. The cathedral effect they cast over narrow streets is delightful, however that grace and beauty can come at a cost when storms roll through. This trade off might need to be re-examined if the weather patterns keep tending to extremes.

Thanks to Katie who tipped me off to Wayne from "Southern Cone" with his lead to the article in Clarin.

By the time I got out to see some of the damage on the afternoon of the 13th, it looked like a lot of the trees had been cleaned up (at least in Palermo). There still remains a lot of repair work. 42 cars were damaged and I don't know how many sidewalks and roads. The parks guys are keeping busy.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

January 8, 2010

David Murbach - RIP

When I started this blog, I had no idea who the readership would be. I still don't really (thank you very much for reading!!), but one frequent commenter was Dave. He left very detailed comments, often correcting, gently, my ignorance about the flora of Buenos Aires. He really knew his stuff. We started an email correspondence and it turned out that he lived here in Buenos Aires part of the year. We made tentative plans to meet up in August of 2009, but the stars never aligned and unfortunately we didn't meet in person for our drink, but it was okay because we would just meet the next time he was in town. This will never come to pass. I just found out that he died in December in his West Palm Beach home in Florida. He sent me some incredible shots of Ficus trees and their root systems from Florida. We got into various discussions and he pushed me to see and write up the Carlos Thays exhibit. I'm really glad I went, I wish I'd written everything up sooner. I really regret not having had the chance to meet him in person, but I am very happy that we connected about a passion we share. I want to take the time now to suggest to myself and to everyone: carpe diem!

Dave was a humble man in our interactions and it wasn't until we'd been conversing for a while that he told me his full name and suggested that I google him. He definitely knew his stuff about horticulture. His touch will be missed and there are some pretty damned big shoes to fill this next year in New York Rockerfeller Center.

Photo by David Murbach

December 21, 2009

Welcome Garden

People and plants in the patio, originally uploaded by blmurch.

Centro Cultural Recoleta in conjunction with the French Embassy and Curator Sonia Berjman put together a beautiful and thorough exhibit on Parks Master Carlos Thays. It ran from the beginning of November through to the beginning of December. I was only able to go twice towards the end of the run, but I am so glad I went.

There were four different sections to the exhibit.

You walked into the first: the Jardín de Bienvendia through heavy plastic strips covering the doorway and were immediately struck by the full patio. Flowering plants covered the sides and climbed up the walls and a large net covered the whole area. This net kept the hundreds of butterflies from escaping. They flitted around, drinking from humming bird feeders, resting on the plants and even mating. As you looked closer you could see that one of the types of plants - milkeweed - was pretty thoroughly chomped. There were BIG fat yellow and black striped monarch caterpillars munching away on the milkweed leaves. I also saw some furry caterpillars which reminded me of the types of critters I saw growing up in Northern California.

This first section slid you into the beauty of the parks of Buenos Aires and led you perfectly into the next exhibit halls. I will write those up soon, in the mean time, enjoy the photos.

Jardín de Bienvenida
Jardín de Bienvenida, originally uploaded by blmurch.

Mating monarchs
Mating monarchs, originally uploaded by blmurch.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

September 22, 2009

¡Feliz Día de Primavera!

Pink Lapacho Tree
Pink Lapacho Tree, originally uploaded by blmurch.

Spring has sprung here and is tormenting its way through with wild weather. We have nice sunny weather and days of rain with temperatures ranging from about 10 to 20 C. We did have a crazy warm spell at the end of August where for a week it was in the high 20s and I think the mercury kissed 30C.

I was alerted to the burst of pink in Palermo when I saw the post on "My Buenos Aires Travel Guide" that a friend pointed out. The Pink Lapacho tree on the corner of Figueroa Alcorta and Mariscal Castilla has blossomed. It still has flowers and I encourage you to go check it out if you can. This specimen was planted by another important landscape artist, Martin Ezcurra. I need to learn more about him. The day I went was one of the crappy rainy days, but the sky makes for a dramatic background and raindrops are always pretty on flower petals. This species of tree is Tabebuia impetiginosa and is native to South America. The bark has medicinal purposes and has long been used as a tea. Like the jacaranda, the flowers arrive before the leaves.

Pink Lapacho flowers
Pink Lapacho flowers, originally uploaded by blmurch.

While in Villa Elisa just over a week ago, I got to see a beautiful explosion of pear blossoms. The tree was humming with honey bees busily collecting the pollen and doing their bit to help those flowers turn into luscious fruits in the late summer. The branches were covered in white flowers. They smelled divine, looked gorgeous and made the bees happy.

The plants have sprung from their dormant state and are bursting out all over. I look forward to seeing what nature has in store for us with all the colors and new life everywhere. This is my favorite time of year here in Buenos Aires. It's not too hot yet and life is living it up.

August 20, 2009

Arbolito in concert

So, this is tangentially linked to trees. La Tribu Radio 88.7 FM is celebrating their 20th anniversary. They are sponsoring many events, one of which is a concert this Friday night in Barrio Pompeya of the band ARBOLITO! I have to go! :D

Concert details:
Friday, August 21st, 11 pm
4 Pesos de propina, Arbolito, Karavana
Salón Sur - Av Sáenz 459
Pompeya, Buenos Aires

Tickets can be bought ahead of time at La Tribu (Lambaré 873) and at all the "Locuras" for 20 pesos. Or you can pick up tickets at the door for 30 pesos.

I also heard recently that there is a band called "Arbol". I'm going to have to do more research!