The Gardens of Madeira
For centuries the island gardens of Madeira were at the crossroads of the world: as a halfway house between the tropics and the old continent, Madeira received plants from far-flung empires and accommodated ideas from both north and south. Its streets and squares are filled with magnificent jacarandas, flame-trees, and rosewoods, while its waterways are covered by trellises of bougainvillea. This book opens with an introduction describing the discovery and development of the island and its earliest gardens, the role of Portuguese aristocrats and British wine merchants in creating the country estates known as quintas, and the extensive travel literature of early tourists. The book then delivers essential background information on how the climate and landscape of Madeira have allowed the island’s unique flora to flourish. The gardens themselves are divided according to type, public or private, historic or modern, and all 24 are in or around the capital, Funchal. A few non-garden areas have been included to introduce the wild flora and landscape of Madeira, certainly of interest to garden lovers.
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