Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valencia's 19th Century Gardens, Monforte - Viveros

Valencia's 19th century Gardens

The old center of Valencia offers charming diversions for garden lovers: In contrast to the contemporary aspects of the Turia gardens, demonstrating the precision of Bofill's Modernism, or Calatrava's innovative 'City of Arts & Sciences' buildings that manifest the breadth of the engineer/architect's expertise, visitors to Valencia bask in historic parks and flower-filled promenades. 
Monforte Gardens
Stepping out from the designated old quarter, via the Puente de Real, one enters Viveros by crossing to the right bank of the old river bed. Valencia's largest garden landscape, it's the site of the former Royal gardens; the palace long since destroyed. With rose-draped pergolas, aviary, and Paleontology Museum on the grounds, Viveros  is a perfect spot to take a cafe break and engage in people-watching.

On a more intimate scale, Monforte Gardens presents an achingly romantic, mid-19th century design of clipped orange trees and manicured parterres. In this atmospheric setting, venerable, age-old trees provide shade from the intense sunshine, giving way to grottoes of moss and lichen encrusted rock. In a satisfying convergence of fountains and filigreed ironwork, stroll amid an allee of classical sculptures, and feel refreshed, pausing at a pond shaped like a water-lily.

A bit further along, the 19th century Paseo de la Alameda is a leafy, Moorish-inspired walk running adjacent to the old river bed. Delight in the ancient stone stairways, and asymmetrical layout of flower-filled beds and borders.


  1. Alice:
    Who would have thought I would find the greatest garden tour guide imaginable! Absolutely stunning gardens..... now if I could find the ruby slippers.... I'm only three clicks away! Where are we off to next? I only have a week and a half before the nursery starts up for another season!

  2. I too am slightly envious...the only places I have been is to some gardens throughout Canada as far as Ontario, and to the Powell Garden in Kansas City. When I win the lottery....in the meantime, I shall enjoy travelling via you.

  3. Glad you could pop by for a visit! Alice

  4. Alice,

    I've just completed adding you to the roll. Sorry for the delay but I'm doing it all on my own. One day I'll have interns and assistants to help.

  5. Do you have, like, the best job in the world, or what??? This garden is spectacular and your prose is a perfect complement. I love moss and lichen encrusted stone and stairs, that antiquated look that flawlessly sets off nearby plantings. Can't wait for the next tour! Grace

  6. Awsome photos of these gorgous gardens Alice. It's wonderful to be able to visit spots like these from the comfort of my armchair!