Western Liguria´s mild climate has favoured the development of wonderfully luxuriant gardens, which have attracted the interest of botanists and gardeners from all over the world. In the 17th century already, a series of hanging gardens – still almost unchanged today – were built on the walls of Ventimiglia.
Further botanical advances came with the arrival of Thomas and Daniel Hanbury, who devoted themselves to acclimatizing tropical plants from the four corners of the earth in nearby Mortola, thus founding the now famous botanical garden.
In neighbouring Bordighera the Hanburys’example was followed by Clarence Bicknell in the garden of the museum that he set up.Today you can still admire a uniquely impressive specimen of the Ficus macrophylla.
Another garden, created by English aristocrats and later developed by Daniel Hanbury, is the one that surrounds Villa Pergola in Alassio, today restored to its original glory by the landscape artist Paolo Peirone.
The British passion for botany led to scientific studies involving prominent figures such as Italo Calvino and Eva Mameli with the creation of the “Orazio Raimondo” experimental horticulture centre in San Remo.
All this encouraged a thriving flower-growing business with a series of hot-houses and outdoor nurseries, such as the Asserreto nurseries and the Pallanca botanical gardens.