Tessa Spanton SWA Artist, tutor, writer


Welcome to my blog.
This is where I write about some of the things that inspire my work,
news of exhibitions and works in progress

Friday, 5 February 2016

Gardens at Vila Porto Mare, Madeira

 A magnificent banana plant near the entrance

I love flowers, seeing new varieties, growing them myself and  painting them.

In January I joined a garden tour led by Cindy at Vila Porto Mare in Madeira. I had visited and admired the garden before but was amazed to learn more about the diversity of plants growing there.

We were told that there are 45 varieties of palm trees there, more than at the Botanical gardens.
The veteran Washington palms look as it they are trying to get taller than everything else.

The land was once a banana plantation and there are still lots of banana plants in the garden. Part way round we were given a silver banana to eat. These are small, sweet and delicious and grow on a much taller plant.
I saw papayas, starfruits, tiny pomegranates and sugar cane as well as vines.
We were all given some seeds to take home and I was given a cutting from a sweet potato plant. Sweet potatoes are grown a lot in Madeira and added to bread. The flesh is usually a white colour.
Thanks Cindy for a most enjoyable visit.

At the garden of Vila Porto Mare one can find 106 families, 355 genera, 460 species and 555taxa (species, subspecies and cultivars), numbers that place it in the EXCEPTIONAL CLASS OF TAXONOMIC RICHNESS.
for more about the garden click here

A Monarch butterfly feeding on a native Madeira plant Bloodflower (Asclepias curassavica)

a beautiful poem amid the plants in a border

                               Clerodendro flaming glory flower


Sugar cane



A scented lantana, I hadn't realised till I looked at the label that it is a verbena

The following photos of orchids from the orchid garden are from a previous visit. Some of the orchids that have been decorating the hotels are brought here to flower again.

Click here to see a video about the garden

1 comment:

Angela Curror said...

Beautiful. I love the banana flower - gorgeous colour!