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Gardens in the Costa Blanca Region: the Jardines de Montforte and the Valencia Botanic Garden

by Carol Hawes
photographs by Alan Hawes

Photographs to illustrate the article published in The Mediterranean Garden No 80, April 2015

Carol describes two quite different gardens in Valencia.

About the  Palacete de Monforte she writes:
“Near the attractive neoclassical mansion the planting is very formal, with many intricate hedges forming patterns (to be viewed from above) and some fine marble statues.”

The Palacete de Monforte and its most intimate garden

“The gardens of the Palacete y Jardines de Monforte were created in the mid-nineteenth century. The 12,000 m2 plot was an old orchard, outside the city, and in one corner a small summer residence was built, from which the carefully created vistas and garden features could be enjoyed. nearby there is a rosaleda, with colourful roses in beds edged with clipped evergreen hedges, leading to a long, shady, bougainvillea-covered pergola against an original outside wall of the garden.”

The shady bougainvillea-covered pergola

“… among rocks and old intertwining tree trunks, is a cool fern-filled grotto.”

The fern-filled grotto below ancient yuccas

“A large marble-edged pool is encircled and shaded by weeping cypresses and grey-green casuarinas, which give it a very cool and sombre aspect.”

The dark waters of the shady, marble-edged pool

About the Valencia Botanic Garden Carol writes:
“The beneficent climate of Valencia allows plants to grow extremely well and some trees have reached astonishing sizes. We were amazed by two soaring multi-trunked Brachychiton discolor.”

The soaring trunks of Brachychiton discolor

A fine Archontophoenix cunninghamiana in flower

“An iron-lattice shade house (umbraculo), rebuilt in 1990, features attractive displays of shade-loving plants. Ferns, orchids, bromeliads and carnivorous plants each have their own small glasshouses.”

The spacious modern shade house (umbraculo)

“…in the large area dedicated to drought-tolerant plants there are interesting collections of agaves, aloes, cacti, euphorbias and other succulents together with some very unusual flowering trees.”

A rare drought-tolerant tree Dichrostachys cinerea flowering amongst aloes
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