From the moment you arrive at the Cactus d'Algar Botanical Garden, you get a taste of what awaits you inside.

We had arranged to meet Pepe Perez, the owner of the Botanical Garden.   His brother Vicente is in the ticket booth and while he advises Pepe of our arrival we take a look around the small souvenir shop at the entrance/exit .

When we  finally meet Pepe, a cheerful elderly gentleman with a big smile, he is the epitome of happiness. This, he assures us,  is the result of working for years on something that he loves and believes in. pepeperez

As we stroll through the cactus garden Pepe tells us that it hasbeen open since July 2001 and at that time it was about half the size it is today. Since then he has continued to invest the earnings on landscaping the garden and cultivating, although he insists there is a lot more to do in the future.
You can see that Pepe is proud of his garden, as he points out the paths, stone walls, benches and fountains that he has built . A plumber by trade, he shows us the first drip irrigation system he installed and confessed that at first he didn’t appreciate the cactus plant.
We asked him if there was one plant in particular that stood out and he showed us a Pasacana which has mutated, a cristata with an unusual flower and another ten plants.

“I talk to the plants” he confessed “ To all of them. When I notice that they are not thriving, I´ll ask them what's wrong. When I replant them I give them encouragement and if they die I get upset,. It's not the economic value, they are like children to me. People say that cacti look after themselves , that they don't require water. Well if you don't water them they have to survive, but for them to look beautiful, you must care for them so are healthy and don’t get any fungus or mites.cactusalgarjardinbotanico

What are peoples' reactions when the visit the garden?
They're usually very surprised that the garden is private and congratulate me on my work.

How long does it take to view the garden?
It depends. If you take the main paths, one hour to one and a half hours but to fully appreciate it two hours.

What do your family think of this?
(He laughs) My family think I'm mad, but in reality they love it.

While we are chatting a lady visiting the garden approaches us, congratulates Pepe and asks him when are all the cacti in flower. Pepe explains that there are so many cacti from different parts of the world that they do not all flower at the same time but the majority are in bloom in April and May.

Do you have a regular clientèle?
On average we have between 30.000 to 40.000 visitors a year, many of them have been before and return with friends.

Do you have a favourite place in the garden somewhere that you feel most at ease?
Yes – and he led me to a beautiful tree shaped fountain.

Any future plans?

“What do you think? “ He replied as he led us to an unfinished area with no paths and detailed his designs and plans for the area. I have a lot of ideas and this encourages me to improve and keep on working.

It is evident that Pepe has many plans in his mind to improve the garden, his garden.

We would like to thank Pepe for the guided tour he so kindly gave us and to wish him success in his future projects.

Cactus D'Algar
Jardí Botánic
Callosa d'en Sarrià (Alicante)
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GPS: 38,6523º N - 0,091º W
Telephone + 00 34 96 588 10 95
Mobile + 0034 616 94 90 05

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