Monte Palace Tropical Garden Reviews
A garden to remember Aug 24, 2010
Having spoken to many who visited Madeira 10 years or so before us, I believe it is a good half way into changing from a near Paradise into a tourist trap. However one thing will surely not spoil and that is its claim to be a 'Land of Gardens.' Whereas the Botanical Gardens are great and well worth a visit my two favourites are the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens and Blandy's gardens, which I shall review later, first favourite being whichever of the two I am thinking about at the time.
The Monte one is not confined to flowers and trees. The main path in leads through a wealth of tiles, illustrating Portugal's history and there is a museum that, at the tme of our visit in 2007, was exhibiting wonderful sculptures from Zimbabwe. The fascinating website, http://www.montepalace.com/default.asp?lang=en will give you plentiful information about the garden.
However, what draws people in the first instance must be the flowers and trees. There is a fine Japanese Garden with plants collected from China and Japan. If I had not picked them up it would have two teeth as well, one natural and one from a denture, where I was clumsy enough to take a dive.
Some of the local plants are terrific. One that crops up all over madeira is the Bird of Paradise' flower, but there ae innumerable others here. There is an olive tree, shown on my photos as 'ancient olive' that is said to have fed the Romans. It was brought here from the mainland of Portugal. There was no permanent settlement on Madeira before the Portuguese!
They say a picture can be worth a thousand words so I hope you will enjoy the ones here!
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