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A 200 years old exotic garden

There are 1500 species of camellias at Quinta do Palheiro Estate Garden, and some varieties of which are 200 years old, all growing side-by-side in an endless riot of color with hundreds of other exotic flowers and indigenous plants, in a total area close to 12,000 square meters.

The Camellias paradise

For 5 months every year camellias reign supreme at the Quinta do Palheiro Gardens, from November until April. These bring together some of the most exotic species in the world. The estate dates from the beginning of the 19th century, built by the Count of Carvalhal, who was also responsible for bringing to Madeira some of the rarer species.

The first examples, around 200 years ago, found an excellent place from which to flourish. They coexist alongside hundreds of other species of flowers and trees, hailing from places as far a field as Japan, Australia, or Africa.

The ex-libris of the Quinta do Palheiro gardens is the famous Alameda das Camelias created at the beginning of the 19th century by the Count of Carvalhal. At that time, the count was the mayor of Funchal and introduced the Japanese Camellia to the island, choosing the high areas of Funchal, 500 meters above sea level. At that time, it was a very important meeting point of high-society and the estate included among its famous visitors European Crowns.

At the end of the 19th century, the Quinta do Palheiro estate changed of hands and the Blandy family, of English origin, dedicated themselves body and soul to looking after the garden, following in the English tradition of keeping gardens generation from generation.

And this right up to today and that is why some species are over 100 years old.

Quinta do Palheiro Estate Gardens receive many well-deserved prizes such as the “Relais & Chateaux”’ Best Garden Trophy in 2006.

The camellias are an important part of the estate’s ocean of flowers. The Lady’s Garden is one of the most see areas with its chapel dedicated to St John the Baptist, surrounded on all sides by camellias of various colors, or the Barranco do Bavio (The Wild Ravine), from where one can appreciate the view over the Bay of Funchal and from which camellias reign supreme.

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