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News

Launch of the book Terra Nostra Garden

Tourism
 - 23 October 17
Launch of the book Terra Nostra Garden

On October 21st, the Portuguese and English versions of the book Terra Nostra Garden had their public launch in Furnas, São Miguel Island.

The most emblematic Azorean botanical garden, part of the Bensaude Group, was the backdrop of this ceremony led by Mónica Bensaude Fernandes and the author of the book Luis Mendonça de Carvalho, biologist and PhD in Plant Systematics and Morphology.

The book, sponsored by Patrícia Bensaude Fernandes, serves as a tribute to the whole history of the garden, as well as to her father, Vasco Bensaude, the main driver and promoter of it, who sees his legacy perpetuated today by master gardener Fernando Costa.

Created in the late 18th century by Thomas Hickling, an American who had a deep love for the Azores and Furnas, the Garden was acquired in 1930 by Vasco Bensaude and since then it has been an icon for all the islanders and a required stopover if you are in São Miguel Island, for locals and tourists.

Vasco Bensaude, in his entrepreneurial vision, enriched Terra Nostra Garden and made it available to all who wanted to visit it, sharing the beauty and rarity of the Garden and the magnificent thermal Tank with 38ºC/100ºF water. He also built the adjacent Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, the most awarded hotel of the Azores Islands and also a point of reference for those who visit Furnas.

Recognized as one of the main flora collections in the Azores archipelago, Terra Nostra Garden is known in botanical circles for its vast and unique collection of Camellias with around 800 cultivars, the Flower Garden, among others, as well as rare species rare which find outdoor life in the Garden as the case of Victoria Cruziana.

"In the south of São Miguel Island lies a sleeping volcano with a crater 6 kilometers/3.6 miles wide and bathed in green slopes, covered by dense forests.  In the center of this idyllic landscape is the Terra Nostra Garden - the oldest botanical garden in the Azores archipelago.  Full of secular trees, the garden is home to shaded woods of palm and bamboo, colossal ginkgo trees and collections of unique plants in Europe and among the top in the world, such as the cycad collection, plants whose origin dates back to the Jurassic period (200 million years), camellias, Malaysian rhododendrons, tree ferns and giant water lilies (…).

Hospitality which has always been this property’s brand is still its calling card today and visitors are invited to explore the forests, paths and ponds, where peaceful nature invites us to do some introspection.  At the same time, the unique thermal outdoor swimming pool, also known as the Tank, one of the emblems of the Azores, gives the garden a mystical quality reinforcing and complementing the unique experience the garden offers all its visitors.”

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