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Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, Madiera

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  • designer: Jóse Berado, Eleuterio Soares
  • owner: Jóse Berado Foundation
  • garden style: Portuguese-Oriental
  • size: 21 aces [8.5 ha]
  • climate: mediterranean
  • location: funchal madiera

[source: 1001 gardens you must see before you die]

It is very unusual for me, possibly, to go on holidays and then – for a break of sorts – to visit gardens…? It’s not really.

The island of Madiera is quite an intriguing place when one sees what is happening to the land on this small island [i believe we in Ireland had a similar situation some time ago]; Planning aside, horticulturally this entire island is a dream-land for the plant lover, botanist and garden enthusiast.

But, my review is of The Monte Palace Gardens or The ‘Jardim Tropical da Quinta do Monte Palácio’ and aside from the slightly touristy, yet worth it, cable car journey up and the timber sleigh down, they are absolutely stunning, breathtakingly beautiful and so worthwhile visiting.

The gardens themselves date back to the 18th century but the works on turning the ‘land’ into gardens of merit actually only started in 1987. If you do visit, I would suggest going twice as every path splits into two or three different directions and so one doesn’t ‘really’ get to see everything.

For the plants person there are over 100,000 plant species; For the architect, the buildings are simply amazing; For the garden lover it is paradise and if you ever wanted an oriental themed garden – this is were you should look for inspiration. If you’re not an uber-garden lover then it is simply relaxation in it’s finest form. My pictures probably don’t do it justice enough.

I try to visit a garden in every county and country I visit. Not all of them appear here. These gardens however would be up there with the very best of them.

pink! giving berth at bloom 2008 [7]

Award winning landscape architect, Peter Donegan, is at it again. This year his show garden ‘Pour L‘amour de Jeux’ (For a love of the game) in Bloom 2008 will feature a 1957, 11 metre, pink, three storey pleasure cruise boat!

Building on the success of No Rubber Soul his award winning large show garden in Bloom 2007 where he featured a 1965 Morris Minor, split in two, no less, Peter decided to go bigger and brighter for Bloom 2008 and prove that dreams do really come true and if you put your mind to it you can do anything.

Peter’s mind will certainly need to be focused on the morning of May 8th as the pink, 3 storey, 11 metre long, 3.5 metre high pleasure cruise boat sets sail from Ballyboughal onto the M1, M50 and into the Phoenix Park where it will be berthed for the duration of Bloom 2008.

Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd was set up just eight years ago and in October 2007 Peter was presented with two national awards by the ALCI (Association of Landscape Contractors of Ireland) and most recently received the National Amenity Quality Award in recognition of standards achieved under the Bord Bia Landscape Quality Programme.

Photo Opportunity

Event: Bright Pink, 11 metre pleasure cruise ship prepares to berth in bloom 2008
Route: Ballyboughal, M1, M50, Castleknock Gate, Phoenix Park
Date: 8th May 2008
UPDATE: TIME: 4am – 6pm [no later due to traffic/ OPW] departure and arrival

Photo Opportunity

A 1957, 11 metre long, bright pink, pleasure cruiser shall sail down the M1 and M50 on May 8th heading for its berth place at Bloom 2008 in the Phoenix Park. The imaginative, award winning, landscape architect, Peter Donegan has designed a large show garden including the boat for this year’s event entitled ‘Pour L’amour de Jeux’ (For the Love of the Game).

The three storey, pink, 11 metre long, 6 metre high pleasure boat will cruise from Ballyboughal, onto the M1, M50, Castleknock entrance into the Phoenix Park where it shall take up residence until the end of Bloom 2008.

Peter’s large show garden in Bloom 2007, ‘No Rubber Soul’ received a Silver Medal and featured a 1965 Morris Minor.

Contact Peter on 01 8078712 www.doneganlandscaping.com