Monday, March 07, 2011

Madeira Series: Funchal Botanic Gardens

Funchal's Botanic Garden only started in 1960, so is a relative newcomer compared to many of the well known Botanic Gardens elsewhere in Europe. However there are a significant number of large and interesting plants to make a visit worthwhile, (plus entry is a very modest €3).

The garden, like much of Madeira is on quite a steep slope, so various terraces are cut into the hill side.

The garden has a large arid section with numerous large yucca, aloe, agave as well as opuntias and euphorbia. This really highlights just how fantastic these plants can be given the right settings, and the ability to grow outside permanently without a British winter to set them back.

Everywhere you go the terrain of Madeira is breathtaking. This photo taken from the botanic gardens shows the engineering skill required to create the expressway. There are a number of similar bridges and tunnels cut into the volcanic rocks to create a fast link along the southern coast of the island.


  1. Oh, my! I am loving this series! What a beautiful garden! I would love to know what the mosaic plantings are. Loved seeing the bridge - it really adds to the feeling that you're taking us there.

  2. When are you guys going to move somewhere warm so you can really garden like you want to! LOL

  3. What a beautiful spot! I love the xeric plants, but my favorite photo of them all is of the expressway. It looks like nature and human development exist quite harmoniously on Madeira.

  4. Wow. Not convinced by the multi-coloured topiary, but otherwise, wow. As you say, always good to see plants growing at their very best in if not natural certainly perfectly suited conditions. How soon will you be going back?!

  5. An amazing array of plants. The gardens are wonderful. That expressway would creep me out though - not good with heights.

  6. HolleyGarden, I can't remember what plant the green bits are but the red ones are Iresine (they could be both Iresines).

    Hazel, that's on the cards for the distant future. We might follow you there, hehe!

    Gerhard, the expressway looks majestic in person, one of the projects that was realised there when the received some funding from European Union money. The entire island is very well manicured.

    Janet, the trend seems to be more or less every 18 months :)

    Missy, it's an acrophobe's nightmare. Just don't look sideways when you drive through it :)


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