On our recent cruise across the Atlantic from Southampton to Miami, Madeira was our last port of call, before heading out across the Atlantic ocean. We docked in the capital, Funchal, on a beautiful, sunny November morning. Here I am standing on the dock side by the ship! Just kidding. Can you imagine setting sail across the Atlantic in this little wooden ship?
This is the second time we have visited the island and we knew exactly how we were going to spend the day. We walked into town and picked up a public bus which goes up the hill to the Jardim Botanico da Madeira.
In 1891 the Reid family built their home, Quinoto do Bom Sucesso, on this piece of land on the hilltop high above the city of Funchal. It was later acquired by the government and opened to the public as a botanical garden in 1960. Besides being a research institute and seed bank the gardens showcase many of the over 900 endemic species from the surrounding group of islands.
In the more shaded upper levels water is channeled into pools which support ferns and other water loving plants. There is a marked contrast between these upper terraces and the lower, more sun filled terraces.
These cactus, agaves and aloe have adapted well to their new home. Many of them were sending out their blooms. It was only when we visited California this January that I realized just what a spectacle those blooms would be when they flowered.
Below the cactus garden an area of topiary reminiscent of our trip to Levens Hall in Cumbria.
On our previous visit I failed to identify this gorgeous vine in full flower along one of the walkways. This time I made a point of getting the name.