Updated: Nov 19
It is definitely a corner of paradise in the urban space of Monaco and the perfect destination for flora lovers, especially for those who are fond of succulent plants. The Jardin Exotique de Monaco (Monaco Exotic Gardens) offers an extraordinary variety of vegetal species from the four continents overlooking the Princely rock from a privileged perspective. This exceptional biodiversity and cultural heritage has recently attended the 22nd edition of Folie'Flore Floral Show held at Parc Expo in Mulhouse (Alsace region, France) from the 6th until the 16th October 2022. The event had a real success counting about 156,000 attendees. Monaco Exotic Gardens showcased a unique setting named "Monaco, between land and sea". Plant and aquatic element merged to create a checkerboard, embellished with 3D images as if he were in the heart of the desert.
This year's renowned French plant showroom were focused on trees, cacti and rare orchids showcased in a temporary garden exhibition of 10,000 m2 where light and water made characterised evocative environments. This exquisite project, led by André J. Campana, Deputy Mayor, Delegate to the Exotic Garden, involved a year’s work to define every detail and a two-month preparation to fix it, involving twenty-seven plants as well as important logistical tools to transport them. The outcome results from the coordinated work of five gardeners. The exhibition of rare species presented by the Exotic Garden was truly appreciated by the organisers, the audience and the local press as well as all 'succulent lovers'.
The attendance of the Jardin Exotique de Monaco also revealed the willingness to continue in designing amazing gardens under a long-lasting Monegasque legacy aimed at giving emphasis to its rich plant heritage. Despite the prolonged closure of the iconic due to major restoration works.
Monaco Exotic Garden: tradition for the green has deep roots.
Monaco Exotic Garden was conceived in late nineteenth century contemporary at the birth of the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco Ville. Augustin Gastaud, head of the Saint-Martin gardens at that time, started developing his passion for succulents largely from Mexico. The passion for knowledge, exploration and science pushed Prince Albert I of Monaco to take an interest in the project immediately. A garden entirely dedicated to cactuses and related species took shape soon after.
In early twentieth century, its ideal location is found (currently preserved). A steep rocky land overlooking the Révoires district with a small observatory at the top. The choice is successful for the extremely dry weather conditions ideal for this type of plants. Louis Notari, skilled engineer of public works, was charged to forge the garden, following a planned tour itinerary. After about twenty years from kicking off (1913), the work is completed after having carefully transplanted the existing succulents, originally placed in Monaco Ville.
The Gardens are then officially released on the 13th February 1933 in the presence of Prince Louis II of Monaco. Known originally as the "Hanging Gardens" because of its shape, it was then renamed "Exotic Garden of Monaco" in 1940's.
The Grotte de l'Observatoire (Cave of the Observatory), in memory of the observatory that once existed, is an integral part of the site, being discovered in 1916 and opened to the public in 1950.
The Exotic Gardens, including a botanical centre for plant cultivation and research, welcome a wide variety of succulents coming from remote drylands like United States (South-Western areas), Mexico, Central and South America, South Africa, Middle East and Arabian Peninsula. ***
To know more about Monaco Exotic Garden please visit: Jardin Exotique de Monaco
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By Maurice Abbati