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Hanbury Botanic Gardens

Listed under Gardens in Liguria, Italy.

  • Photo of Hanbury Botanic Gardens
  • Photo of Hanbury Botanic Gardens
  • Photo of Hanbury Botanic Gardens
  • Photo of Hanbury Botanic Gardens
  • Photo of Hanbury Botanic Gardens
  • Photo of Hanbury Botanic Gardens
  • Photo of Hanbury Botanic Gardens
  • Photo of Hanbury Botanic Gardens
Photo of Hanbury Botanic Gardens
Photo by Donna Dawson
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Hanbury Botanic Gardens, just on the France/Italian border. The gardens were created by Sir Thomas Hanbury, who when holidaying on the Cote D’Azur, was struck by the beauty of Cape Mortola and he began buying up the land in the area which eventually amounted to 18 hectares. In 1867, on purchasing this property, that English gentleman, with the help of his brother Daniel, a distinguished pharmacologist, began to rule the destiny of what would become of the world’s most important botanic gardens. Daniel died in 1875; Thomas followed him in 1907 leaving his son Cecil as his heir. Cecil’s wife, Lady Dorothy, carried on after World War I. During World War II the garden became subject to cannonade attacks, passing troops and vandalism. In 1960 she sold the garden to the Italian State and it was run by the International Institute of Ligurian Studies. They could not keep it up and it was then entrusted to the Genoa University where it remains to this day.

The gardens are quite unique in as much as the plants have dictated where they want to live, which is very evident when looking at how healthy and happy some of those plants are. The entire ensemble is kept in a natural environment that encourages the complete biological cycle. The botanical gardens were created with the help of different expert botanists and pharmacologists, with an early emphasis on pharmaceutical plants. It includes the Japanese Garden, the Australian Forest, succulent plants, the Garden of Perfumes, and the collection of Roses.

As seasons change, the gardens display a range of colors and forms such as only nature can offer. The site is dramatic, the plant collection exotic and the variety of paths, pools, fountains and garden structures are simply delightful.

Sir Thomas Hanbury had started something…while his ambitions were with the science of gardening, his botanical garden at La Mortola, was reproduced - out of imitation or as a mark of esteem - practically everywhere in the gardens along the western Riviera.

For further reading on the Hanburys, please visit

Written by  Donna Dawson.

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