Culti-Vate Explores #004 Jardin Exotique

by Culti-Vate

IMG_1962 copyAutumn has appeared, that chill is in the air and the nights are slowly drawing in. So to hold on to summer for just that little bit longer I wanted to share with you a recent trip to the Mediterranean where Culti-Vate explored the wonderful Jardin Exotique in Monaco. IMG_2031 copyIMG_1999 copyThe Exotic garden opened its doors to the public in 1933 and its wonderful array of succulent plants have been growing on this hill top coastal spot ever since. So as you can imagine some of the succulents and cacti were huge! The garden hosts a wonderful collection from around the globe, with cacti from Mexico, Central America and South America and various succulents from areas such as Eastern Arabia & South Africa.

IMG_1976 copy0105IMG_2013 copyWhen walking along the meandering pathways around the garden it is hard not to be wowed by the size and scale of some of the cacti, towering above our heads and creating cacti archways! You do have to mind where you step though, avoiding any prickly overhanging plants!

IMG_1983 copy04IMG_2010 copy03IMG_2021 copyThe Agave’s were amazing, there were at least twenty of varying sizes throughout the garden. Each thick fleshy leaf was at least two to three foot in length and a foot wide! It is incredible that something requiring so little water can grow so large!

The photo below is of an Agave or Century plant in full bloom, its panicles (flower stalk) can reach up to 8 meters in height with clusters of bright yellow flowers. The Agave can be perennial or monocarpic, meaning it flowers only once at the end of its life. The Agave originates from Mexico but is now cultivated around the world. The appeal of the plant for me comes from the architectural form of the panicles and flowers produced by the Agave that creates an unusual silhouette against the vivid blue sky of the Mediterranean.IMG_2022 copy

If you ever get the chance to visit this exotic garden, or any for that matter, then do! It is well worth it, you really are transported into a tropical exotic world! It felt like we were wandering around a garden in Mexico.

This is also Culti-Vate’s entry for the RHS Gardening Blogs 2013 competition. The RHS blogs competition is about finding some of the most exciting and interesting gardening blogs out there, whether you are a gardener or not! A panel of judges will pick a shortlist of 10 finalists with a public vote deciding a winner! So cross your fingers that Culti-Vate is shortlisted!

RHS Gardening Blogs Competition