Discovering Mallorca: Botanicactus
Botanicactus, on the outskirts of Mallorca’s quaint little town of Ses Salines, does what it says on the tin. That is, it’s a large botanical garden with an even greater collection of cacti, and was a true highlight of Easter’s recent weekend of new discoveries on this island of plenty. The collection of plants is indeed so great that it covers some 150,000 square metres of land and features some 12,000 incredible cacti with a staggering 1,000 different species.
Entering the cactus garden, ringed within an expansive Mexican style tiled-wall, made for an experience quite unlike any other I have had before. This shouldn’t be a surprise, for I have never before been surrounded by such a vast collection of these spiky species, and when cacti grow so huge and tall, and with such an eclectic mix of varieties, the overall effect is to wander into an alien like world, a planet unlike the earth we know so well. The extremes of shapes and colours, all covered by hostile spikes and poisonous looking flowers feels fictional, menacing, and yet immeasurably beautiful.
What struck me most of all was the beauty of the layering – the complex strata of different species set over and infant of rolling hills which had an overall effect of lavish abundance without equal. Seeing those cacti towering above us, I was unable to believe that these gardens had only been founded some 26 years ago. That just goes to show what some rich Mediterranean soil and a little Mallorcan sunshine can do. Fingers crossed it has the same effect on the cacti we installed on our terrace last autumn…
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