Barking Up All the Right Trees At Tenerife Palmetum

From the seed of an idea to fully bloomed botanical gardens, it took 20 years to transform a landfill mountain into an oasis of colour, featuring 2,000 species of plants at the southern entrance to Santa Cruz.

Splashes of colour from lake based blooms, cascades of frothy pom poms from palm trees, bulging bundles of berries and figs, and even a mangrove swamp. All this was harvested together from as far as the Caribbean, Americas north, south, and central, Asia, and Australia.

Five years on from the 2015 opening, I returned to find everything in the 12 hectares garden was lovelier than ever. The well planned layout guided me gently through the different zones. A river meandered through, linking two lakes complete with waterfalls. The water theme reached its crescendo at the partly covered central Octogona lagoon.

It´s difficult to imagine all the accumulated rubbish beneth your feet. The seven mirador viewing points reminded me of the park´s setting, and benches under leafy shade allowed me to gaze over Tenerife´s capital or out to sea. Although the dedicated team of gardeners keep a low profile, the wildlife caught my eyes and ears from time to time. Birds and ducks are drawn to the gardens, those in the middle of migration are joined by rarer species and natives.

The detail, devotion, and ecological value of the Palmetum are outshined by the sheer visual joy on offer. Few would Adam and Eve such a project could take place near a busy port, and refinery, but this garden of eden is a blooming wonder. The Palmetum opens every day and has disabled access and toilet facilities located on the site. Adult entry was six euros (half for residents) on my visit. You can check out the full updated offers at the multi language website.