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Pamplemousses garden - History

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Pamplemousses garden - History

Postby stefan » Thu Sep 18, 2003 9:01

The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden, formerly known as ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, PAMPLEMOUSSES covers about 37 hectares.

It is found on the site where Mahé de Labourdonnais, the famous French Governor who once lived at Mon Plaisir, created a vegetable garden. He brought in water from the nearby Rivière des Pamplemousses for irrigation by erecting the stone work of " Canal de la Villebague ". Afterwards, the Garden was run to cultivate medicinal and other useful plant species for the "Compagnie des Indes".

In 1767, Intendant Pierre Poivre took charge of the Garden. He introduced spices viz nutmeg, clove as well as many ornamental trees. His objective was to create an acclimatisation garden of incomparable richness and beauty which took shape within a few years. He left in 1772 and passed the task to Nicolas Céré, his neighbour and collaborator from Belle Eau Estate. The latter created windbreaks to protect the trees as well as a fish pond where the Giant Amazon Waterlily ( Victoria amazonica ) is now grown and admired by nearly all visitors to the Garden.

After a long unstable and difficult period ( 1810 to 1849 ), the Garden was restored by James Duncan through the introduction of numerous palms, conifers, bougainvilleas and attractive plants among which are Petrea, Gardenia, Azalea and Camelia.

As from 1913, the administration of the Garden was entrusted to the newly created Department of Agriculture. Various plants have been introduced, so much so that now there are some 800 species of plants of which 80 are palms. There are over 8000 magnificent specimens of plants in the Garden and they are well worth a visit.

In 1987 , the Garden became known as the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden, after the beloved first Prime Minister and later Govenor General of Mauritius. He was very fond of this Garden which is found in the constituency where he was on several occasions elected as a Member of the National Assembly, then known as Legislative Council. His funerary monument ( Samadhi ) is found near the Chateau de Mon Plaisir and a Commemorative Monument consisting of a fresh water pond crowned by a lotus flower with the inscription : " In Beloved Memory of the Father of the Nation"

source: Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden

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