Cactus Garden

Beez Neez
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Wed 26 Nov 2008 20:08



We jumped up on Wednesday 26th put out some washing, did a couple of chores, then off on our second day with the car. Route planned to "do" the north of the island. Past the airport again out on the main road to:



The Cactus Garden was the last Centre of Art, Culture and Tourism of the Cabildo of Lanzarote designed by César Manrique, although he was preparing this project since the 70's, the centre was only finished in 1991. Bear (on right of photo) dwarfed by his surroundings.
When you look at the first photo it could just be a close up of a smallish chap, then I sit down next to them.
By 1973 the artist had already restored the mill that ornaments the limits of the Centre, he had the idea of changing some semi buried volcanic monoliths into the main sculptures of a beautiful garden seen below.
The view from the mill to the sea, I found another chap, the monoliths set into ponds.
The Cactus Garden is an excellent example of how to recover a deteriorated space because it was built on an old quarry of volcanic ash extraction, also known as "rofe" or "picón" and used by the peasants of Lanzarote to cover the crops and keep the night humidity.
This spectacular botanical garden shelters 9,700 types of cactus from more than 1,420 distinct species originating from America, Madagascar and the Canaries; gathered together by the late expert botanist, Estanislao González Ferrer. Just a few species seen above, each is labelled with name and country of origin.
The intention of this and the creator’s other works, is not educational but aesthetic and recreational. It is certainly that. Bear and a few thorns, the caretaker up the ladder, I liked the cleaners job, to sweep the stones level. Bear and a furry friend and a cactus laying down tired.
Some views.
The cochineal is an insect, a peculiar parasitic beetle whose female lives off a certain type of cactus known as the “tunera”. The natural dye carmine is derived from the hand-picked larva which is used in the textile and cosmetic industries, and was especially prized in the past before the discovery of synthetic dyes. Bear and these huge, spiky examples of tunera. We were lucky to see one in flower and one preparing to.
The singular dome shaped shop design and the bar with a mural by Manrique above the bar's counter also stand out, Bear in the attractive bay window, the stair hanging ornament of metal and glass. I loved this staircase with its clean lines, use of wood, glass with plain white walls. 
Novel "ladies and gents" logos. The garden also has a small restaurant with terrace, ideal for relaxing during a day of sightseeing, and a gift shop with handicrafts, take your entry ticket and get a complimentary cupper.
Location: Between Guatiza and Mala.
Phone Number: +34 928.52.93.97
Opening Hours: 10am to 19pm
Services: Bar, from 10am to 17pm.    
Prices: 5€ per Adult. Childrens between 7 and 12 years 4€.
All in all a great fest for the cactus lover, I loved wandering about the terraces. Spectacular wild west scenery, but, black sand I tell you it's not right. Don't start.