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Irrefutably connected to Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, Terra Nostra Botanical Park is the Ex-Libris of Furnas.
The bicentennial botanical gardens were created in 1780, when Thomas Hickling, the American Consul on S. Miguel Island, decided to have his summer home built in Furnas, which he named Yankee Hall.
However, it was in mid-XIXth century that these gardens, which first occupied 2 hectares (4 acres), underwent an incredible development, initiated by its subsequent owners, the Viscounts of Praia and later the Bensaude family.
Acquired in 1848 by the Viscount of Praia, the gardens had its first expansion: the water gardens were created, the dark tree alamedas and the first flower bushes were planted, and Yankee Hall was rebuilt into the Casa do Parque - Park House.
After 1872, the second Viscount of Praia continues his parents? work, namely beautifying the house, amplifying the gardens with the help of specialists, both English and Portuguese, who designed and built the serpentine canal, the caves, the avenues lined with Boxwood trees and trails filled with orange trees, non-existent today.
It was also during those years that the more emblematic trees were planted, which still stand massive and tall today, once imported from North America, Australia, New Zealand, China and South Africa.
In the 1930s, Terra Nostra Botanical Park, owned at the time by Vasco Bensaude, who viewed the park as an essential complement of the then recently opened Terra Nostra Hotel, is once again amplified to its present size of 12.5 hectares or 30 acres.
Vasco Bensaude had such vast knowledge of botany and gardening, that he hired Scottish Gardener John McEnroy to help him recover the botanical park. Simultaneously, Casa do Parque ? Park House is also renovated, along with the iron water swimming pool, and an extension of works involving the pathways, ponds and plantations of the gardens.
The conservation work and care of the grounds have been maintained throughout generations of the Bensaude family, and the most recent initiatives have been the construction of gardens, specifically designed for collections of endemic species, ferns, cycads, and annual flowers and plants. The camellia garden itself encompasses more than 300 varieties in existence at the Park.
Indulge yourself and discover the magic and beauty of Terra Nostra Botanical Park.
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