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Madeira – An Island of Flowers, Or Is It?

During a Madeira Days Conference, held in São Vincente, criticisms were raised about the state of public gardens and the islands escarpments.  The issue was raised by Pedro Spínola who stated that although Madeira may be regarded as the island of flowers, the actual state of our gardens is shameful.  He went on to say that gardens are being mismanaged due to ignorance and used dragon trees as an example. He said that dragon trees cannot be planted in the middle of a lawn as lawns need to be watered all year round, while dragon trees have a very different watering requirement.

Concluding, he added that it is important that we learn from those who know what they are doing, rather than a short-term gung-ho approach.

Weighing in on the argument, Geographer Raimundo Quintal added that “In Madeira, we have a diverse indigenous flora.” He continued saying  “here in the North, I can’t understand why the islands’ beech is not used for hedging.  Instead we use imported conifers who are affected by all sorts of diseases.  We could use dragon trees in dry areas as ornamental plants. I remember the descent from Garajau, where the conditions are perfect to make an endemic species garden, and we could easily replicate a ‘dragoal’ as seen in Porto Santo and Caniçal.”

Samantha Gannon

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