Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. It has a rich and varied terrain, from jagged mountain peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana in the north to patchwork fields edged by drystone walls of the central and southern plains, all surrounded by dramatic cliffs and sandy beaches. Under Moorish rule for three hundred years, Mallorca is now part of Spain, with strong Catalan ties. About one fifth of the population comprises British, German, Swiss and French expatriates, some of whose exceptionally beautiful gardens are included in this tour alongside those of Moorish influence.
During our stay in Mallorca, the staff of the Hotel Santos Nixie Palace looked after us all extremely well, pampering us with drinks on the terrace overlooking the sea and a delightfully relaxed dinner on at their bay side restuaruant.
Day 1 - 17th May 2019
The first garden on arrival in Mallorca after a quick look round the wonderful cathedral in the heart of Palma, was Writers Block which we visited by special invitation. The owner, Lord Archer, has written his most famous and best selling works whilst in residence, working 4 hours on 4 hours off.
After seeing this amazing garden we settled into our rooms at the Nixie Palace Hotel.
Day 2 - 18th May 2019
The day started in the cool and tranquility of Jardines de Alfabia. In 1229 King Jaume 1 rewarded his ally, the Moor know as Benhabet, with a large estate, in gratitude for his help in conquering the island. Benhabet created the lush terraced garden in the Arabic fashion that continues to impress.
Later we visited the Jardí Botànic de Sóller, a centre for conservation and study of Mediterranean flora, which was an excellent introduction to the local flora, including the native boxwood, Buxus balearica. Mallorca, like so many other countries in Europe, is under attack from the box tree moth and caterpillar.
Free time and lunch was taken in Valldemossa a beautiful small town with a former monastery, which was the one time home to Frederic Chopin and writer Geroge Sands.
The late afternoon and evening dinner was spent at Biniagual, a private hamlet lovingly restored, with contrasting gardens and producing excellent vintage wines, which we were able to enjoy with our wonderful evening meal.
Day 3 - 19th May 2019
We split into two groups to visit, so that we could do a guided tour of Palma and visit the amazing garden of Camilla Chandon: a hidden retreat of tightly clipped silver and green Mediterranean shrubs.
The group met up for lunch at the beautiful location of Hotel Son Claret with its stunningly looked after gardens, again showing off plants that can be clipped even in the heat of the island.
Day 4 - 20th May 2019
Two more gardens before returning to the UK.
In the morning, Son Muda, the home to Helene & Christian Lindgens who are developing an ambitious and wonderfully intriguing white garden which is dotted with sculptures by local artist Pedro Flores.
After a relaxing lunch at Cal Reiet we visited a private garden before heading to the airport.
Thanks to Boxwood Tours for organising this trip on behalf of EBTS UK and to Sally Beale for being the most excellent tour leader with the assistance of our own wonderful Charlotte Maclean. Sally enjoyed our company so much she was going to join up, but we beat her to it, offering her a years free membership for having looked after us so well.