They came from across the world; from the arid American south west, Mexico, Morocco, the Canary Islands, South Africa, and Madagascar and of course the arid landscapes of Latin America, including Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil.
Collected with passion and some degree of obsession, these striking and sometimes very rare cactus and succulents now call a small Andalusian mountain village home.
We’d headed out for an early afternoon beer and tapas and had meandered past Alozaina to the village of Casarabonela. There, just before you enter the village dating back to well before the Moors, is a wonderful Botanic Garden (Jardín Botánico de Cactus y Otras Suculentas ‘Mora i Bravard’).
It’s the first time we’d seen it open and we have enjoyed a personal tour with qualified Biologist Carmen Segura. She’s clearly very passionate about the garden and is able to describe with great knowledge the hundreds of cactus and succulent species in the garden.
It was once a private collection brought together over many years by a couple from the Canary Islands.
Now it is housed in a purpose built Botanic Garden supported by the local village town hall.
I must say that the garden is truly stunning; beautifully designed and exceptionally well maintained. As well as the terraced garden, there is a large hot house with a number of unusual and more delicate species.
There is also something quite surreal, looking across a stony, sand arid garden filled with cactus, with a typical Andalusian ‘Pueblo Blanco’ village and verdant mountain in the background.
I love plants and also one really like semi arid and desert landscapes – I’ve enjoyed many trips to the American South West, with its unique red and ochre landscape punctuated by towering centenarian cactus. Here in Spain we have some wonderful desert landscapes in Almeria, and of course the Canary Islands have superb habitats for these unusual prickly plants.
Jardín Botánico de Cactus y Otras Suculentas ‘Mora i Bravard’
Ctra. A-7275, km 0.5
Tel: (+34) 952 45 60 53
Price: 5 euro – includes a drink in the café – so we got our cold beer as well!