TERRA NOSTRA GARDEN with new highlights in its gardens

10 May 19
TERRA NOSTRA GARDEN with new highlights in its gardens
Located on São Miguel Island, in the Azores, in the center of Furnas valley, Terra Nostra Garden is an icon of this island and a mandatory stop for those who visit São Miguel.

Part of the Bensaude Group’s heritage and home to a diversity of unique flora in the Azores, including one of the most complete collections of camellias in the world, in 1994 Terra Nostra Garden created a garden dedicated to the endemic and native plants of the Azores archipelago, and today, you can still find plants that were part of the original garden.

In 2018, the Terra Nostra Garden team, taking into account the exponential increase of visitors from all over the world, residents and school groups, decided to expand, renovate and enrich the existing garden with new species in order to contribute to a greater knowledge of the diversity of species, awareness of the importance of its preservation, and demonstrate that the native flora also has ornamental value capable of beautifying any garden.

In a small, triangular, flat area of about 300 m2 (3,229 sq2), until then forested with four endemic species and some bromeliads (Bromeliaceae), a new space was created inspired in the natural landscapes of the islands, where the team tried to recreate, using only endogenous materials, habitats characteristic of the existing plants.

In the new garden, you will find a smaller, flatter, arid area, covered by black lapilli, representing some warmer coastal areas where endemic species such as Azorina vidalii (HCWatson) Feer, Euphorbia azorica Seub., or Limonium vulgare Mill., a native species. Then you will come to a more irregular zone, where different terrains were created that aim to characterize medium and high-altitude zones where pastures, small hills and valleys are common, and dense and humid forestation zones, with a greater quantity and diversity of shrub species and herbaceous plants.

The Endemic and Native Azorean Garden of the Azores has 42 endemic and native species and subspecies of the Azores Islands to date, divided into 28 botanical families, many of them protected by the Berne Convention and the Habitats Directive, such as Euphorbia stygiana subsp. Stygiana, Juniperus brevifolia (Seub.) Antoine, or the Frangula azorica V. Grubow.

It has been a constant challenge to cultivate and adapt plants that develop and reproduce naturally in microclimates and altitudes that are very different from the reality of Terra Nostra Garden (at an altitude of 200 m/656 ft), but it is our intention to further study these species and we will start with the help of entities such as the University of the Azores, with methodologies which will allow us to propagate them right there in order to meet the internal needs of the garden and to contribute effectively to their preservation in the Azores.

This garden redesign can be visited at Terra Nostra Garden in Furnas every day of the week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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