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Will the Exotic Garden reopen in 2022 after the most important works ever undertaken since its opening?

The Exotic Garden, an emblematic cliffside historical site is scheduled to partially re-open in June 2022, after further delays in renovations, just in time to celebrate the centenary of the death of Prince Albert I. However, certain municipal officials are pessimistic about the scheduled re-opening, saying that more delays are expected.

“The Exotic Garden will be closed in 2021 due to renovation and safety work,” states the garden’s website.

But when exactly will it reopen? According to municipal officials, the princely government has not yet allocated any sum of its 2022 budget for further works. To date, no companies have been selected for further work. If no budget is allocated until 2023, that may push back works until 2024.

In late 2019, the Municipal Council unanimously validated the use of 1.16 million euros from the Municipal Financial Fund (2020 amending budget). 660,000 euros for securing artificial rocks and 500,000 euros for the replacement and repair of the four footbridges, due to be repaired by March 2021. To date, the phase of demolition of false rocks in the Exotic Garden has been completed.

However, the footbridges have not yet been replaced. Without the reconstruction of the footbridges, no passage is possible in the garden, therefore no opening of the site, even partial, is possible.

Current renovations

These are the most important works ever undertaken at the Exotic Garden since its opening in 1933. Renovation began in May 2020, coordinated under the leadership of François Lallemand, Deputy Mayor, and Benjamin Marchal, Head of Department. Initially planned for completion in early 2020, the work was postponed due to lockdown and turned out to be much more complex than expected, for several reasons. First of all, because the initial work carried out between 1913 and 1933, when the Garden was created, was never listed or documented. Workers therefore had to discover how the site was constructed at the time. The topography of the garden on the cliff side also makes it particularly difficult to transport machinery and materials as well as remove rubble.

During the ongoing delays, a small team of gardeners is currently present on site for the daily maintenance of plants. The Exotic Garden contains thousands of species, some of which are centuries old and care is taken to protect the plants as much as possible.

Botanical Centre remains open to public

In spite of all the delays, not all is lost, as visitors can still take advantage of visiting the Botanical Centre.

“New in the Malagasy greenhouse: Before going on Christmas holidays, some gardeners have added little wonders in the Malagasy greenhouse… come and discover them at the Botanical Centre,” states the Exotic Garden on social media.

And for those who would like visit the gardens virtually, the Exotic Garden posts a daily photo on their Facebook page, a fun way to learn the stories behind each plant in the garden.

The Botanical Centre is open Tuesday to Saturday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Visitors can also book a guided tour on Saturdays at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. (+ 377-93-15-29-80), which includes insider anecdotes and stories about the plants during a stroll of about 1h30 in the greenhouses and shelters of the Botanical Centre.

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