Botanical gardens in Madeira
“Botanical gardens in Madeira” is a title used only by specific gardens which meet certain criteria. Although we have many gardens in Madeira, the designation “botanical” is used by only one. But first, let me explain the origin of our vegetation.
How did plants reach Madeira?
Laurissilva is a rare relict forest from the Tertiary period covering the island when the Portuguese arrived in the 15th century. Because of its density, the explorers called Madeira Island, the wood island, a precious commodity used to heat houses, cook food, fuel (sugar cane factories) and as coal (steamships).
The wind, the sea (floating) and the birds brought the seeds of the Laurel forest.
As far as exotic vegetation is concerned, the Portuguese expansion and the island’s geographical location were significant to enrich the island of Madeira. Many caravels searching for unknown lands came to the island to stock up on water, fruit, and fresh food.
Madeira Island in Portugal was also a compulsory port of call for ships that came to acclimatise before moving from colder to warmer territory, for example, from Northern Europe to Africa. Some came here to rest from their long voyages.
Many of these travellers played an important role. On their way back, they would bring seeds, bulbs, and plants they knew were of interest.
Madeira soon became famous for being an island where plants could grow with little care.
Plants from different regions and adapted to different altitudes and temperatures, except the poles, could shrive because of the geographical location, the climate, and the mountainous terrain.
Although Alexander Humboldt has not been here in Madeira, his connections with other naturalists, including Darwin himself, were very important. He was the precursor of the idea that altitude influences vegetation and Madeira is the perfect example.
An experimental field for botany that everyone should visit.
Madeira is, without a doubt, a floating garden. The Laurissilva forest covers almost the entire island, especially the north coast, and the plants introduced by man decorate the small gardens spread along the south coast where there are more houses.
How do we distinguish a botanic garden from a non-botanic garden?
According to the Wikipedia definition, “A botanical garden is a controlled and staffed institution for the maintenance of a living collection of plants under scientific management for education and research, together with libraries, herbaria, laboratories, and museums….”
It means that there is only one garden in Madeira that meets these criteria: The Madeira Botanical Garden Eng.º Rui Vieira.
Other gardens are also worth visiting, either for their beauty or because they differ from many gardens in the world.
What makes Madeira gardens different?
One difference is that although our gardens are small, they have a profusion of plants from all over the world, breathing the same air with no protection of greenhouses. The exception, of course, is the orchid greenhouses because these plants need shade. However, we don’t heat the greenhouses in Madeira either.
Another feature is that our gardens do not close in winter. We can refer to Madeira as the “Island of Eternal Spring” because of the mild temperature and flowers all year round. So, when your country closes your gardens because of the freezing, why don’t you travel to Madeira and enjoy our Nature, mild climate, and the following gardens?
The Eng. Rui Vieira Botanical Gardens Madeira has a superb view over Funchal, patterns made from plants, a Natural Museum, and a lovely cactus garden with a Madeira’s traditional thatched house.
Monte Palace gardens in Madeira island is an oriental style garden with red bridges and Koi ponds. Cycads, tree ferns and Laurel trees surround the beautiful tiles. The mineral museum is worth a visit.
The Palheiro Ferreiro’s garden or Palheiro gardens Madeira or Blandy gardens Madeira is a Victorian-style small palace with a sunken garden, chapel, and impressive trees.
The Municipal garden in the centre of Funchal has a plaque attesting that Madeira gardens Funchal received the Gold Award for the “European Competition for Towns and Villages in Bloom”, in 2000, by Entente Florale Europe. What an outstanding achievement!
Santa Catarina Park has a great viewing point overlooking the city and the harbour.
Quinta da Boavista is impressive for its hundreds of rare orchids from around the world. The different shapes, colours, and perfumes will passionate you.
Hotels in Madeira
The Hotel Quinta Jardins do Lago in Funchal is a 5-star hotel awarded for the exceptional quality of its services.
The Quinta Splendida Wellness & Botanical Garden, in Caniço, is a 4-star hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Casas de Pedra, in Camacha is perfect for walkers. The owners are genuine hosts who offer guided tours to the property.
They are different hotels and gardens, but all have something in common: they offer a relaxing environment surrounded by Nature.
Wealthy families own some gardens of Madeira, and you must contact some of them before you go. Others belong to the State.
Botanical gardens Madeira opening times differ as well as the ticket prices.
In the video, we can see the best gardens in Madeira and hotels whose concept is perfect for garden lovers.
Although there are more Madeira gardens to visit and hotels like the Quinta Palmeira, Reid’s gardens, etc., the video would become too long.
… There is much more to say, but if you are a garden lover and wish to book with us, you will have the best professionals to guide you in the magnificent world of those who feel a particular fascination for plants. Email us: email@example.com and Happy International Fascination of Plants Day – 18th May!
I look forward to seeing you in Madeira,