Madeira Botanical Gardens

Dear Penelope,

The Botanical Gardens is a place I’ve been eagerly awaiting to venture to; I could not tell who was more excited, Grandma or myself! I can definitely say that Grandma’s green fingers have been passed down to me, as these days I find myself perusing garden centres at any given moment.

After a short drive from Funchal we arrived – being a major tourist destination, it is easily accessible by taxi or there are several car parking areas. The entrance fee is around €5, a fairly reasonable price for day of flower viewing and of course many photo opportunities.

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Upon entering you are greeted with a quaint museum holding jars of preserved fish, stuffed animals, and rows of fossils for your perusal. There were informative signs around, however looking similar to a horror movie scene, I left fairly promptly.

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The stone paths lead you in every direction –  the gardens itself are separated into three main sections; flowers and gardens, cacti, and the bird sanctuary.

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It is disappointing to say that the flower and garden area was very underwhelming. There was this beautiful show garden plot which paid respect to the late president of the horticultural society, however it hardly impressed Grandma – certainly not up-to ‘Kew’ standards.

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We moved onto the cactus area which did lift my spirits. As a succulent plant fan and collector, it’s a lovely area (although small) to walk through, with many varieties, many I’ve never come across before.

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The final section was the bird sanctuary which was more enlightening. From the demolishing stone edgings, cracked paths and shabby appearance of the gardens I was wondering what the condition of this area would be like, however it was pleasantly surprising. The cages were very well maintained and the selection of interesting birds had an abundance of space, toys and food to utilise.

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Children were running around, and each bird had a description of when they came to the island, and where they can be found – very educational and family friendly! 

All-in-all it is a nice place to ponder around with a delightful cafe which hosts spectacular views, however my memories from 10 years ago of this place may have built up my expectations. However, our quest for the most beautiful gardens in Madeira to wander through is still ongoing.. 

With Kindest Regards,

Hector xoxo

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