La Mortola – Living and working at the Hanbury Botanical Gardens

This our first blog from our 3 month stay at the Hanbury Gardens on the French/Italian Coastal border

The long hot route to Italy!
The long hot route from Norfolk to Italy!

Now a little walk down through the garden to see some of the wonders of Hanbury and some of the work we have done so far..

Above the entrance to Hanbury the Chinese symbol for 'Happiness'
Above the entrance to Hanbury is the Chinese symbol for ‘Happiness’
View down through the garden to the Palazzo
View down through the garden to the Palazzo

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Cactus and Palm section
The Succulent and Palm section
Scented plant walkway leading up to the Palazzo Terrace
Scented plant walkway leading up to the Palazzo Terrace
A very spiky job on a very hot day! Renovating an old cactus bed on the Palazzo Terrace
A very spiky job on a very hot day! Renovating an old succulent bed on the Palazzo Terrace
The cactus don't mind being baked in the sun, waiting to be replanted
The plants don’t mind being baked in the sun whilst waiting to be replanted
A window onto the romantic wilderness of the large summer roses
A window onto the romantic wilderness of the large summer roses
Echiums looking stunning in May
Echiums looking stunning in May

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Sunbathing residents of the garden
Sunbathing residents of the garden

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Fabulous garden for creature watching. Cricket laying eggs in one of the historic walls
Fabulous garden for creature watching. Cricket laying eggs in one of the historic walls
Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican Fleabane)
Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican Fleabane)
Romneya coulteri (Californian Tree Poppy)
Romneya coulteri (Californian Tree Poppy)
Acacia x hanburyana
Acacia x hanburyana

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View back up the garden from The Meadow
View back up through the garden from The Meadow
Accra sellowiana (Pineapple Guava or Feijoada) These striking flowers should turn into delicious little fruits later in the year although the buds are proving popular with the Blackbirds
Acca sellowiana (Pineapple Guava or Feijoada)
These striking flowers should turn into delicious little fruits later in the year although the buds are proving popular with the Blackbirds
Hibiscus 'Fireball' (Swamp Mallow)
Hibiscus ‘Fireball’ (Swamp Mallow)
At the bottom of the garden this building houses an old olive press from the original garden
At the bottom of the garden this building houses an old olive press from the original garden

 

The biggest job for us so far is to renovate the Salvia borders at the bottom of the garden. They form a well established collection of Salvias from around the world grown on the terraces of the former kitchen garden
The biggest job for us so far is to renovate the Salvia borders at the bottom of the garden. They form a
well established collection of Salvias from around the world grown on the terraces of the former kitchen garden
Kate drawing out a plan of the beds
Kate drawing out a plan of the beds
Imogen adding compost to help the new Salvias, the soil is the hardest we've worked with so far, it has to be chiseled away with a small mattock!
Imogen adding compost to help the new Salvias, the soil is one of the hardest we’ve worked with so far, it has to be chiseled away with a small mattock!
Salvia lanceolata.
Salvia lanceolata.
Salvia viscosa
Salvia viscosa
Salvia pomifera
Salvia pomifera
Salvia leucantha
Salvia leucophylla
Salvia semiatrata
Salvia semiatrata
Salvia canariensis
Salvia canariensis
Salvia scabra
Salvia scabra
Salvia chamaedryoides
Salvia chamaedryoides

From the Salvia terraces down to the sea, unfortunately not accessible from the gardens but gives you an idea of the setting.

View from the beach at the bottom of the garden towards Menton (France)
View from the beach at the bottom of the garden towards Menton (France)
Some of the local sea creatures, so far spotted Hermit Crabs, Anemones, red Starfish and an Octopus!
Some of the local sea creatures. So far we have spotted Hermit Crabs, Anemones, red Starfish and an Octopus!

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Well that’s the first six weeks of our stay, it’s probably going to get a lot hotter and the flowers even brighter for the next six.

 

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3 thoughts on “La Mortola – Living and working at the Hanbury Botanical Gardens

  1. It all looks really stunning and an amazing place to work! I am glad your nomadic adventure is working out well for you both.

  2. We were pretty pleased with our garden until we saw these photo’s. truly amazing!!!
    When are you publishing your first book ? , can I order one now.
    We are on holiday in Cornwall and then going to the Scilly Isles to see the Tresco gardens.
    Give our love to Kate
    Lots of love
    Take care
    Christine and Dave

  3. Wonderful pictures Imogen….so very Mediterranean. Just like my garden! Greetings from the Costa Blanca

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