The Jose do Canto Garden is a beautiful family owned Victorian style botanical garden located in the heart of the capital of Ponta Delgada right next to the Palace de Santa Ana; the residence of the President of the Azores. A garden started in the 19th century by wealthy landowner and aristocrat Jose do Canto on the land belonging to the holding of his wife D.Maria Guilhermina Taveira Brum da Silveira in 1845.
Jose do Canto loved his island and although studied at a young age in Paris and Portugal once he graduated he made it his life’s work to bring Sao Miguel into the next century by funding many charities and implementing new agriculture standards throughout the island, modernizing and introducing thousands of new trees and plants to the region adding to that the production of tea and pineapples both now staples of the Azorean culture and industry.
The garden starts at the large gated entrance where you pay a couple of Euros to enter the garden and where you are given a map of the various locations on the estate. There are a couple of building on the estate including the former residence of Jose do Canto -a modest family palace he created which now still belongs in the family of his heirs and is used as a small boutique hotel and private manor home.
Once considered one of the finest private botanical gardens in Europe in the time of Jose do Canto as mentioned in various European gardening reviews and circulations since it included over 6000 varieties of trees and plants from around the globe all planted and maintained with the ot most care.
The garden has attracted world leaders to visit on their cross Atlantic voyages over the last century in a half, from the last King and Queen of Portugal to Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt all who mentioned their experiences in their memoirs or personal diaries. The death in 1898 of Jose do Canto left his large holdings to his heirs which divided the large botanical garden to what it currently is today which is 6 hectares leaving the other half of the estate to heirs that decided to make it private.