Tuesday, 16 April 2019

A short visit with plants. Part 1.

Last weekend I finally got to the island of Madeira. It was only for a few days and with the in-laws, so there was limited time to visit gardens.  We did manage to sneak in a few gardens though. I had been warned in advance that Madeira is not famous for succulents; a lot of rain and no frosts make it perfect climate for too many other plants.  So the next few posts will contain lots of photos, but very few succulents, hopefully the gardens will be of interest, just for something different.

First morning we went to one of the orchid nurseries,

This is pretty much in the centre of Funchal, only 1km from the front. However it is all up hill, and in Madeira that really means up hill.  So having recovered, it was a pleasure to be greated by this set of aloes inside the gate.

This was the only larger aloe I saw on the whole trip. In the garden you get the advantage of those steep hills.

The outside area did have some lovely other plants. I expected the tropical flowers, but didn't expect to see so many different trees.

Anyway you don't visit for the trees, and as soon as you get into the nursery it is clear why you are there.

It would be pretty amazing if that was the whole place, but it wouldn't be Madeira if it was. No you have this:

The photo shows two of the main sections, turn around and you get even more:

I loved that they use tree ferns to create deeper shade. You can see the whole site is on slope, there is no flat land anywhere. There is another section the same size on top of this.  It was an amazing collection and if the orchids were not enough you can look up and notice that the vine above the main path is a jade vine.

The flowers are such a stunning colour, and if possile the buds are even better.

It takes some getting used to, having so many spectacular plants everywhere you look.

You could spend hours there photographing every flower, and smelling them to find out where the different scents were from.  When you do finally leave you are greated by the owners other interest which is bromeliads. Initially it is just the odd pot

Then you are out into the path between the shade houses.

There was a little spanish moss starter wall,

It is such a simple idea to form balls or boxes with a little bit of spanish moss inside and then in a few years you have your full waterfall.

 It doesn't matter what they look like, they will be hidden before you know it. I did try a few years ago, and forgot to water so lost my little clump.  I am tempted to try again.

There were some nice clumps of tillandsias as well. If only mine would grow into clumps like this.

As an introduction to Madeira it was perfect, such plant extravagance you simply don't know where to look.

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