Gardens - Malaga

 
Mediterranean flowers flourish in Malaga. © Michelle Chaplow
Mediterranean flowers flourish in Malaga.

Málaga City

There is a large collection of tropical and sub-tropical ornamental plants in the park on 'La Alameda' in the centre of Málaga City. It has some spectacular palms such as the Washingtonias near the Customs house, excellent examples of large Kentias, as well as Arcantophoenix and Caryota. Araucaria. It also has the best Encephaaloaartos laurentianus of the peninsula, a Spathodea with large orange flowers, a Pandanos with countless stilt-like roots and the enormous Taxodius.

There is also a very rare tree the bottle tree - Chorisia insignis in the Muelle de Heredia, not far from the lovely Ficus retusa in the Avenue of La Alameda which contains a curious date palm with nine trunks.

The are also some beautiful gardens worth visiting in La Alcazaba, Puerta Oscura and the Gibralfaro.

Just outside Málaga City

On the outskirts of the city on the road to Alhaurin de la Torre are found the oldest gardens in the area named El Retiro de Fray Alonso de Chirriana, or El Retiro for short. The pond and Bishops Orchard dating from 1669. The most interesting gardens are La Sirena with a splendid avocado tree and the garden of La Cascada and Ría with the lovely avenue of cypresses. El Retiro is now privately owned and is no longer open to the public. For interest you may Click here to read a back issue article on El Retiro in the Absolute Marbella Magazine.

La Cónsula gardens date from the 19th century, they surround a recently restored building and are noted as the most sober gardens in Málaga, they do contain some lovely old trees.

North of the city on the road to Antequera we find the Hacienda de San Jose. It dates from the 18th century with its outstanding royal palm tree (Roystonea regia) brought from Cuba.

Finca de La Concepción is also on on the road to Antequera, it has an impressive collection of palm trees, where the most remarkable one is the Chilean Palm (Jubaea chilensis). There are also some fine specimens of Ficus and many sub-tropical flowering plants including Strelitzia nicolai which stands over four metres high and the Alpinia cerumbet with its large flowers. Recent marketing efforts by these Gardens and ease of access have increased their popularity in recent years.

 
Mirador Historico in Jardin de la Concepcion with a magnificent view over the city of Malaga. © Sophie Carefull
Mirador Historico in Jardin de la Concepcion with a magnificent view over the city of Malaga.

Costa del Sol

In Málaga and the province the private gardens here are considered to be the most spectacular in Spain in particular for the tropical and sub-tropical species. The Costa del Sol has countless examples of modern gardening in particular the gardens at Puente Romano and the Marbella Club. Many of the new residential developments are now being built with considerable gardens and more environmental consideration than has been shown in the past. The La Zagaleta Golf and Country Club is a prime example of this.

El Calvario park in Marbella and the Bonsai Museum have been designed around a rock garden theme by renowned landscape architect Miguel Angel Vico.

In all the small towns and villages there are easy to find small public gardens in abundance with many attractive sub-tropical species.

The small fishing town of Estepona has seen a huge increase in the number of small public gardens and planted areas. One of the towns slogans was once "Estepona - all a garden".

Ronda

The gardens of the Alameda del Tajo over the gorge in Ronda are interesting. So are the gardens of the Reina Victoria Hotel. Only recently restored and now open to the public are those in the Casa del Rey Moro which were designed in part by Forestier. They were recently featured in Vogue magazine.

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