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#378
Madagascar
Keymaster

“All the poets, all the friends of nature have been seduced by the charm of Antananarivo, a city full of flowers, spread out largely over its granite hills, pink at dawn, and more golden at sunset. Some have sung it in harmonious verse, others have never ceased to admire the splendor of its gardens and its beautiful foliage of secular trees “(Dr. Henri Poisson, botanist, 1950s).
If a thriving horticultural industry develops from colonization, it can not be overshadowed that in the time of Merina royalty, dignitaries and wealthy families introduce into their vast properties the most beautiful trees of the country and cultivate with care the roses , Carnations, hydrangeas, fuchsias and a wide variety of begonias with colorful foliage. Jean Laborde himself created in Mantasoa beautiful gardens and the first zoological park of Madagascar.
“But it was mainly the Reunionese and the Mauritians established in Madagascar who brought and developed the cult of the flower, reminding them of the natural splendours of their islands. “
At the Botanical Garden of Tsimbazaza at the end of the dry season, the splendid rockeries offer visitors the rich scarlet or yellow gold palettes of Aloes and Kalanchoes. Visitors or tourists arriving in Antananarivo for the first time, are literally dazzled, especially on Friday, by the profusion of flowers offered to the buyers of the great market of Zoma. In May and June, it is queen-daisies, gaillardes, zinnias with hues
The pink, red or white cosmos, the gleaming golden tags and the warm tones of the carnations mixed with the suave emanations of the violets admired there, and in December, roses and dahlias sumptuous.
Besides indigenous plants (orchids, acanthaceae, ferns, palms, etc.), the majority of the flowers of France are cultivated on the Central Highlands. Roses, gladioli, carnations, verbena, immortelles, larkspurs, lilies, poppies, bluets, geraniums, begonias … form multicolored expanses in the suburbs and suburbs.
“The dead, led to the field of eternal rest, have their coffin disappearing under enormous crowns and clumps. The cemetery of the capital does not appear as a sinister necropolis but offers the appearance of a large sunny park, enamelled with brilliant colors and fresh shade. The avenues, the squares are adorned with massif
The year and the management of Parks and Gardens cultivate without ceasing, on a vast ground, the plants necessary for the decoration of the squares and the boulevards. “
Besides, in every private house, however modest, one always sees a few flower-beds. “Enter one of these welcoming residences, you
To meet a plant collection that would make the joy and, perhaps in some cases, the despair of a botanist. “
According to Dr. Poisson, the orchids here live in the open air and generously offer clusters of strange flowers with perfumes as varied as subtle. “Besides a few rare rarities of the great Eastern sylve, adapted to the changing climate of the Emyrne, one notices well-known horticultural species in the greenhouses of France, brought long ago from India, Ceylon, Reunion Island, Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya and even America. “
Here you can see the comet, the largest orchid in Madagascar known at the time, with its dull white stars and long green spurs. It is replaced in January by another almost similar, originating from the rocks of the Imerina, as well as small orchids of curious forms, “exhaling in the evening a delicious smell of vanilla or orange”. Among the few skilled horticulturists and the Botanical Park are the two magnificent species of the Sainte-Marie Island, Eulophiella Roempleriana and Eulophiella Elisabethae, so rare and so sought after in the greenhouses of Europe.
Another, crimson red with opulent spikes, coming from America (Epidendrum O’Brienianum) is
Become definitively Malagasy, adapting itself to all the soil, all supports and all climates, vigorous and blooming all the year, mixing with the autochthonous species. In the shady and well-sheltered parts of the winds, the Queen’s Orchid (Calenthe warpuri) blooms at the beginning of the year, which forms vast, violet lawns in Ankaratra, in Manjakatompo. Then you can admire beautiful species of phajus and gastorchis as well as disa of terrestrial ferns, where epiphytes neighbor with roses, azaleas, hibiscus, gardenia, franciseas or white or pink frangipani. Near the basins, one notices arums, montbrétias, gladioli …
“In this charming city, everybody loves flowers and the resulting trade becomes every day important. “