Tag Archives: cacti

The Jardins d’Essais: Rabat’s Historic Botanical Gardens, Part IV, Aquatic Garden and Succulents

The city of Rabat, capital of Morocco, is a Unesco World Heritage site, and the Jardins d’Essai Botaniques, literally meaning Gardens of Botanical Trials, was classified a national heritage site in 1992.

These gardens were created between 1914 and 1919, under a joint initiative of the sultan  Moulay Hafid and the French Protectorate. They were designed by one of my favorite garden architects, Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, best known for the Rose Garden and the Iris Garden of Bagatelle outside Paris, but who created gardens in Spain and Morocco in addition to his city planning work as a French public servant, laying out the plans for the modern cities of Morocco.

The gardens were reopened by the current King in 2013, following extensive renovations after years of neglect. They include over 650 species of plants, including rare varieties of tropical, sub-tropical, and succulents, and an arboretum.

The Jardins d’Essais are separated by a road into two distinct gardens.  the western side includes the Moorish garden and museum, while the eastern garden is a bit larger and more formal, with distinct garden areas for various types of plants.

Jardins d'Essais, Botanical Gardens, Rabat, Morocco

Because there is a good bit to see here, I am dividing this into several posts, and this is the final post featuring the Aquatic Garden and the Succulents and Cacti Garden.

 

Both of these gardens are set off the main promenade which is the axis for all the different theme gardens such as climbers, roses, palms, etc.

The aquatic gardens, much like other areas of the gardens, are still a work in progress.

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Casa del Patio in Cordoba: Vertical & Container Gardening Ideas

Nothing distinguishes the Casa del Patio from any of the other houses tucked away in a quiet side street of this old Cordoba neighborhood.  It is only when stepping inside that one is transported to this unexpected green oasis. The building itself is only a series of meandering little cottages, quite modest on their own, but the residents, many of them artists and craftsmen have transformed them into a wild and lush haven of greenery.

Cordoba is famed for, and prides itself in, its patios and courtyards. It hold a Fiesta de los Patios once a year in May, during which prizes are awarded for the best patios, and many private buildings open their doors for visits once a year on that occasion. Case del Patio is one such venue, and never fails to garner top rankings in the Festival.

The residents rival in ingenuity to create the most creative visual displays in container gardening and vertical gardening, with mass groupings of containers hanging from every wall and filling every patio with bougainvilleas and other climber, perennials, flowering plants, cacti, succulents and even palms.

In this second post on the Casa del Patio, I am featuring more great vertical and container ideas.

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Madrid’s Royal Botanical Gardens: The Succulents Greenhouse

The Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid cover eight hectares in the heart of the city, next to the world famous Prado museum. They were designed in the 18th century (1781) during the age of Enlightenment as part of a remodeling plan for the Prado area under Carlos III.

The gardens boast an amazing 30,000 plants, divided amongst smaller themed gardens such as the rose garden, the vegetable garden, the fruit garden, all laid out in squares along the central intersecting alleys. There is also a fantastic complex of greenhouses at one end, as well as a large pavilion and a long arbor covered in many varieties of grapevines.  It is laid out on four terraced levels.

With such large and varied gardens, it would be impossible to cover it all in one post. In this post, I am featuring one of the more modern greenhouses, housing the gardens’ succulents collection. Note the use of vertical gardening on the very tall interior walls, as well as the catwalk along the top joining this greenhouse with the subtropical/tropical one.

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