Garden of prickly wonders

Guatiza Travel Blog

 › entry 24 of 40 › view all entries

Next, I drove further north, back to Gautiza. I wanted to see the Jardin de Cactus, another Manrique creation. The Cactus Garden was the last work of César Manrique, finished in Lanzarote in 1991. In 1973 the artist had already restored the mill that ornaments the limits of the Centre, with the idea of changing some semi buried volcanic monoliths into the main sculptures of a beautiful garden.

The Cactus Garden is an excellent example of how to recover a deteriorated space because it was built on an old quarry of volcanic ashes extraction, also known as "rofe" or "picón" and used by the peasants of Lanzarote to cover the crops and keep the night humidity.

This spectacular botanical garden shelters about 10,000 types of cactus from more than 1,400 distinct species originating from America, Madagascar and the Canaries.

He has used a natural volcanic crater that is amphitheater shaped to showcase a unique world , basically in a bowl with a windmill on one edge. There are cacti from all over the world however; Mexico, South America, and Madagascar are heavily represented. The variety of shapes and sizes and beauty stunned me.

Ok, I was really stunned by the anatomically correct stick figure representations used for the bathroom signs….too cool! Again, simple stuff but, he was genius in how he used them.

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photo by: EmyG