Madrid, Spain – Royal Botanical Garden – Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid

The garden has many formal and themed plant beds

This garden is located next to the Prado Museum. I’m glad we visited first or we might have been too tired to see it after the museum. One of my rules, if it is sunny, visit the garden first…!

I would have loved to visit in spring or summer. Most of the garden was settling down for fall and not much was blooming. The trees and plantings that cannot grow in my cold Michigan garden were still wonderful and it wasn’t crowded.

This garden of about 20 acres at one time held 30,000 plants and 1,500 trees. I’m not sure of the current count. In the 1980’s it was refurbished to appeal more to the public, rather than house plant collections. There is a minimum fee…3 Euros…but I think it is worth it. 

Spanish history exhibition on photgraphic panels

An exhibition of several photographic panels displayed the touching, happy and sad history of Spain. This panel shows a photo of a traditional dancer.

Jasmin mesnyi - large pendulous branching shrub with fragrant yellow flowers in spring

This weeping shrub is a large example of a Jasmin mesnyi. I would have loved to see this covered in yellow blooms in spring. I will bet the hummingbirds go nuts when it blooms!

Platianus orientalis 'Acerifolia' - Common name Asian plane tree

This is a gorgeous old specimen, isn’t it? Wow, they are said to grow 90 feet tall and this is all of that or more!

Don’t know how old this tree or the other plantings are, but the garden was sarted in 1755 by King Ferdinand VI. Compared to U.S. gardens, that is OLD!

Another fantastic tree that could be original, since they can live over 500 years is this Elm. This is one of the oldest specimens existing in the world. There are a couple more in England and one south of Bordeaux, France over 650 years old. Typically the tree was planted in the center of town as a meeting place. This tree is nicknamed “trousers” because of the shape of the two main trunks. 

Elm - Ulmus minor - nicknamed "trousers"


The towering trees in this garden make for a very quiet walk…seemingly through a fantasy forest…

Tall and stately...maybe Cedars...?


 An adorable little shop was located just inside the entry gate. I can imagine my gardening buddies swarming like bees on this place…

Gift Shop at the Royal Botanical Garden, Madrid


I wish I had more time…I wish I had more money…oh well…

Gimungous Lady Banks Rose - Rosa banksiae


My husband, Rick gives you an idea of the size of this Lady Banks rose. I only wish I could see it in bloom. This is the second time I have seen one of this size…once in England…and never in bloom.

This rose is not for the average garden! Holy moly…it grows vigorously to gigantic proportions…covering trees and structures. Blooms are yellow in late spring…not very fragrant and it has no thorns. If you live in the Midwest, forget it…it is a zone 8 hardiness rose.

Short fountains found throughout the garden

Don’t know why these fountains were built. They barely gurgle a little bit of water, but they are all over the gardens. Maybe the water has decreased through time…don’t know…

I think these are Lycoris squamigera - magic lily


The pink flowers I think are called magic lilies or resurrection lilies or naked ladies. These names originated because the leaves do not come with the flowers. The leaves come up in the spring from bulbs, die down through the summer, then suprise! They need full sun and very good drainage and are said to be hardy to zone 6 and possibly colder.

Lastly, the grand Villanueva Pavilion with stately palms and greenhouses, sits on a high terrace overlooking the garden. What a way to end this visit.

Villanueva Pavilion

 Buenas Noches, (Good Evening)

Sandie Parrott

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