Jardin Exotique de Monaco

On our return to Nice airport Phil and I decided to stop off in Monaco to see the Jardin Exotique. The story of Monaco’s Jardin Exotique begins with one of the principality’s municipal gardeners, Augustin Gastaud, who had amassed a collection of cacti and succulents. Prince Albert, enchanted by Gastaud’s large and unusual collection, hired the municipal engineer Louis Notari to create a magnificent ‘hanging’ cliffside garden in which to permanently display the plants. Notari’s chosen spot for the gardens was a steep cliff face with an extraordinary view out over Monaco and the French and Italian Rivieras. The site had the perfect microclimate; sharing Monte Carlo’s temperature range of 12 to 24 C the site is sheltered from north winds on one side but open to the east and west winds, bringing rain and sun respectively. Notari adorned the cliff face with large steel-mesh and concrete ‘boulders’; around these bridges, vaults and belvederes were built, adding character and providing a labyrinthine route around the garden enabling visitors to see each plant from almost every angle imaginable. Although Gastaud’s collection formed the basis of the planting in the garden, it wasn’t until Dr. Marcel Kroenlein became director in 1969 that Jardin Exotique’s cacti and succulent collection really began to expand and to become of international importance. Dr Kroenlein went on a number of plant hunting expeditions and has added over 2,000 plants to the garden. Today the Jardin features over 1,000 species of cacti and succulents, including an impressive collection of euphorbias, aloes, ferocactus, mammillaries, gymnocalysiums and pilosocereus.

IMG_3157 IMG_3163 IMG_3167 IMG_3178 IMG_3179 IMG_3196 IMG_3212 IMG_3224 IMG_3228 IMG_3230 IMG_3248 IMG_3261 IMG_3264 IMG_3268 IMG_3272 IMG_3277 IMG_3280 IMG_3288 IMG_3289 IMG_3293 IMG_3294 IMG_3306 IMG_3311 IMG_3320 IMG_3326 IMG_3329 IMG_3331 IMG_3333 IMG_3343 IMG_3346 IMG_3359 IMG_3369 IMG_3372 IMG_3385 IMG_3398 IMG_3400 IMG_3403 IMG_3406 IMG_3420 IMG_3421 IMG_3426 IMG_3431 IMG_3434 IMG_3439 IMG_3445 IMG_3448 IMG_3457 IMG_3463 IMG_3477 IMG_3488 IMG_3493 IMG_3497 IMG_3498 IMG_3500 IMG_3504

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: