Reviewing visits: The Sóller Botanic Garden, with the PHS group

Winter is a less active garden visits activity time, there is time to relax, review archives and post about what happend in past months. I am now taking the time to go over my archives and revisit some projects to share them with you.

This post is about the tour from last April with a group of Californian garden enthusiasts, members of the PHS, lead by award winning landscape designer Katherine Greenberg, an expert in Mediterranean gardening, who in that travel was also presenting in Spain her new book Growing California natives.

The group spent two weeks in Majorca and Minorca in the Balearic Islands, touring gardens but also experiencing local gastronomy and handcrafts.  I accompanied the group and documented some of the visits, which were rich both in experiences and encounters.  Many of the most interesting gardens for in creativity, inventiveness, and experimenting with sustainable gardening are difficult to find since they need to be away from the coastal touristic developments, so this tour and visits were a complete surprise and a great pleasure to enjoy.

Following the post about the Jardin Botánico de Sóller (Sóller Botanic Garden, ths post is a review of the visit with the group to the JBS, a real jewel in the Sóller valley, a landscape considered annatural orchard of orange and lemon trees, that was isolated by the surrounding mountains and quite closed to to the rest of the island till almost the beginning of the twentieth century, when the progress of the train  now 100 years old, connected the valley to the capitol Palma. Giving the history and ideal setting, it was a very interesting decision to create a botanical garden in this area, because it opened the possibilities to research in different Mediterranean botanical environments: arid, mountain, meadow, coastal, etc., and show natural collections of the geographical region.

The JBS is young, was created in 1985, and small in scale, but so well designed that offers a perfect idea of the what the Mediterranean environment is about.  It is also a very important center for research in conservationism and is collaborating in projects with other botanical gardens, such as Royal Botanical Gardens Kew in London (UK)

The images here show the itinerary of the visit lead by the curator Magdalena Viçens.  Enjoy the visit!


The group, maps and some stories abot the place and collections

Plants from coastal areas,

Dorycnium fulgurans,

Very informative signage not too much disturbing,

The traditonal pond with the aquatic plants,

  Arbutus unedus, a very appreciated drought tolerant species, with tasty fruits, also used for liquors,

A traditional irrigation system: canes between the stones,

Medicinal plants in stone beds,

Vegetables are used also to organized the design,

Fantastic pergolas provide much needed shade in summer, 

The cactus garden and one of the traditional architecture buildings