You could be forgiven for perhaps not noticing that winter has suddenly slipped away on the Ligurian coast. Apart for the occasional chilly moment and the odd day of gloomy grey sky - the winter didn’t really arrive and now we are in March you need to be quick to make the most of spring; with temperatures of 21 degrees forecast for Mothers’ Day I think we could possibly be about to waltz into summer !
The Giardini Hanbury just over the border from France in La Mortola, Italy, are looking fabulous. The succulents have all plumped up again after the baking heat of last summer and are putting out tremendous flower spikes of colour.
The citrus trees are still lit up with oranges, grapefruits and gigantic lemons and the incredible cactus are bursting forth with new growth and vigor.
March is a great time to visit - the garden is fantastic for children and we always have a magical time in this little piece of English history on the Italian coast.
Brief History of the Hanbury Gardens
The Hanbury Botanic Gardens of La Mortola were founded in 1867 by Sir Thomas Hanbury, assisted by his brother Daniel who created his garden of exotic plants which carne from all parts of the world. Until his death in 1907 Sir Thomas helped the inhabitants in every possible way from La Mortola to Ventimiglia and even as far as Alassio and gave his name to the Istituto Botanico of the University of Genova. His great interest in the botanical world encouraged him to donate some land near London where the famous Wisley Garden was founded of the Royal Horticultural Society. When Thomas died, his work was carried on by his son and lady Dorothy who were both garden enthusiasts The Hanbury Botanic Gardens were sold to the Italian State in 1960, which are at present being managed by the University of Genoa; whilst the Faculty of Science is concerned with the scientific side, the Superintendence for Architectural and Environmental Liguria Estate covers the maintenance of architectural buildings and structures.
The history of the garden and the man who created it.
La Mortola: In the Footsteps of Thomas Hanbury By Alasdair Moore Book Offer
Artist: Joanne Short
Holding her painting: “Royal Plants at the Hanbury Palace”
Size: 12 x 12 inches
Medium: Oil on canvas
Courtesy of Gallery Monaco