Jardi Botanic de Barcelona

This is probably my last post from Barcelona as I am sure people are getting bored of the subject.  But I am ending on a horticultural note.  On our second morning we took the blue tourist bus and got off in the Montjuic area where we had a nose at the Olympic Stadium before making our way to the Jardi Botanic de Barcelona.  Now I have to say that this wasn’t my best idea since the temperature  was around 28C at only 10am.  I tried to convince us that it would be cooler in the garden given its location on the side of the mountain overlooking Barcelona but I don’t think I convinced anyone including myself.  The fact that we were the only visitors also indicated that this was probably slightly mad.

This botanic garden was opened in 1999 and replaced the old botanic garden which had to be relocated to allow for the Olympics.  The gardens cover 14 acres and as you can see from the photos the structure is created with wide sweeping concrete paths.  The gardens concentrate on plants which grow in mediterranean areas in Europe, Chile, Australia, South Africa, California.  I think the concrete paths and the location of the garden on the side of the mountain really helped to simulate the environment the plants grow in.  The harsh concrete also exaggerates the structure of some of the plants.

The gardens are set out in zones for each geographical area and all the plants are labelled although I did spot at least one which I am sure was wrong.  I’m not that keen on tender plants especially as I don’t have much space to overwinter plants but it was fascinating to see a whole range of plants I wouldn’t normally encounter here in the UK.

Encephalartos natalensis

Encephalartos natalensis

Parkinsonia aculeata

Parkinsonia aculeata

Cereus hildmannianus

Cereus hildmannianus

There were a few plants I recognised such as lavender, cardoons and aeonium although the aeonium looks nothing like mine and it just shows you how different plants can grow in their natural environment compared to how they grow in our  gardens in the UK

Whilst the temperatures weren’t ideal for garden visiting it was worth the trip just to see such different plants.

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11 thoughts on “Jardi Botanic de Barcelona

  1. A botanical garden visit is always a must on a city-break. At least for me it is. And you’re right re the aeoniums. I guess that is how they grow naturally – without all the attention (and water) I give mine. D

  2. I’m not sure about aeoniums.. I’ve seen them growing in various different temperature zones and they have never looked like those but much like the ones I grow. Would have been tempted to accidentally take a cutting. I’m not at all bored with your Barcelona postings so if you’ve got any more pics etc. keep them coming

  3. Hi Helen, this is a botanic garden I’ve been wanting to visit for ages, I just haven’t found an opportunity of going to Barcelona, you’ve re-awakened my desire to see all the Mediterranean climate plants; so thank you so much for your impressions of the garden. What differentiates Mediterranean climates is that they have summers with drought for 2,3 or four months and cold dry winters with rain usually in spring and summer; that’s why many are hardy in the UK in winters that aren’t too wet but will die almost immediately if the temperature falls and the soil is wet. Thanks again for sharing your vist. Christina

  4. and a third vote for more Barcelona. Have never been there – but it is somewhere on my bucket list, Cycad with cone and seeds is a horticultural achievement. Errrm that IS what my Aeonium looks like. Is it the legginess that surprises you? I need to trim the rosettes off. Replant them and discard the unwanted legs ( which would sprout again if encouraged).

    • Yvonne – NZ – Aeoniums quite popular in dry parts of gardens in Auckland – they are frost prone so don’t grow very well further south. They do go leggy and best to chop tops off and replant and discard the leggy bits and roots. Snails seem to like them also so can look a bit chewed up if not vigilant. I go out at night with a torch and stomp on snails that are eating my hostas etc. For some weird reason my daughter who lives at Kare Kare in the Waitakeres towards the famous surf beach of Piha doesn’t have a snail or slug problem!! She lives on a 20acre bush section with mostly native plants. She wasn’t happy once when I gave her some pots that had slugs hiding on them! She is a landscape gardener who mostly specializes in NZ natives. My gardening genes got through!

  5. Yvonne – NZ – How sculptural! I have enjoyed your ‘trip’ to Barcelona – thank you. Did you know the main designer for completing the Gaudi Cathedral is a New Zealander based in Melbourne. We saw an amazing documentary on it. Hope not too wet to come home to. We are having floods in the northern and western part of the South Island. Just wet (tho’ not saturated) and cold here! Please – we are ordering fine weather for you over the Olympics!!

  6. Plants from the Cape region are well-suited to conditions in California gardens and have become popular in horticulture. A large number are of ethnobotanical importance. Demand for medicinal plants from the wild threaten many species with extinction.

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