The South of Sardinia hides a green oasis in Pula, a must for lovers of travel and gardens, a beautiful park of about 2200 square meters, replete with an extraordinary collection of exotic plants, a labour of love by Giancarlo Gallia, the owner (hotelier but also experienced traveller), helped by the loving daily care of Signor Venanzio, the Gardener of the Lantana Hotel.
Surrounded by total peace, hotel rooms and apartments of the Lantana Resort overlook the garden, shaded by palm trees, olive trees, prickly pears, banana trees, orange and lemon groves and other fruit trees, amongst shrubs of colourful and fragrant flowers. In the green area one can find wider communal spaces, alternating with more intimate and peaceful corners, part of the various modules offered by the residence, and connected to the main hotel building.
The corner of the Islamic garden with the citrus grove is an intimate and joyful place, rich with Mediterranean colours and fragrances. The garden acts as a junction between the hotel and the apartments of the Residence and it can be crossed via a colonnade over the centre of a double pool inspired by Tunisian architecture (Nabul) in which a blade of crystalline water lazily flows.
At the apexes of the square pool we find beautiful varieties of lemon trees, originally grown on the slopes of the Etna volcano, while at the sides of the rectangular tank, there are orange trees and mandarin trees from ancient cultivars.
Over the years, this collection of typically Mediterranean plants has been gradually enriched with specimens from distant continents, many of which were brought here after our trips around the world. Among the different botanical varieties present today, there is for example a beautiful specimen of Chorisia Speciosa (Ceiba speciosa), a tree of South American origin with large and colourful flowers, the result of an exchange with Felci Arboree plants (arboreal ferns) which was agreed with the Botanical Garden of Cagliari about 20 years ago.
The area is covered by more than 100 palm trees of 14 different species which offer beauty, peace and relaxation to all those who stay here. The plants are arranged to provide shade and give prominence to their different shades of colour: from the grey-green with silvery reflections of the Brahea amata (blue palm tree from Mexico) to the dark green of the cameropo bushes (Chamaerops humilis), to the lighter green of the groups of Washingtonia filifera (Californian palm tree) Cycas and Phoenix dactyliphera, or of the Kentya grove.
Some other specimens placed in a strategic position in the palm grove stand out in their importance and grandeur: a valuable Trithrinax campestris with four trunks, on whose base was planted a dwarf Lantana wreath with white flowers to prevent contact with the sharp thorns of the trunk; a Saw palmetto and two rare Ravanea rivularis (palm trees of the rivers) from Madagascar, at the backdrop of the restaurant area. Further on, one can find an example of the Australian Areca Palmata, a species usually only widespread in our latitudes as an ornamental houseplant, while Archontophoenix alexandrae (King palm) and Phoenix roebellinii flourish alongside the solarium and the pool.
When you walk in the park along the “life path”, to reach the play area, or simply to retire to your room immersed in nature, you cannot help but admire the colourful borders of the Lantana camara, with flowers that bloom all summer in bright red, yellow, purple, and orange colours, symbol of the hotel.
Lawns and walkways are dotted with flower beds and flowering bushes of Hibiscus syriacus in different colours and with different patterns of streaking, of Plumbago auriculata with blue flowers, Inga Pulcherrima with its fluffy red petals (mimosacea that are very uncommon in Sardinia), Cestrum Nocturnum, Datura, and Strelitzie Augustee with its orange blossom, which colour and perfume the whole area.
These plants, along with all the other botanical varieties in the park, are looked after with the utmost care by our Gardener who is equipped with the latest and most silent technologies currently on the market (here too the property spared no expense!). Thanks to the robotini tosaerba Ambrose (mini lawnmower-robots) in fact, it is now mathematically impossible to disturb the peace of our guests during the daily cleaning operations or the mowing of the lawns.
In order to please and give greater comfort to our guests, we have in recent years installed an eco-friendly automated system of perimetric pest control, which keeps away all kinds of mosquitoes, and has allowed us to drastically reduce the presence of these annoying insects in the green spaces overlooking the rooms and the apartments.
From the bars and the pool one can also admire over 200 square meters of our beautiful collection of cacti and succulents, which also includes the rare Euphorbia Pallanca, brought here years ago directly from the Pallanca Gardens in Liguria, and a specimen of Echinocactus, which is well over 50 years old.
The magnificent specimens of Plumeria Rubra Madeira (commonly called Frangipani or Pomelia) come from our beautiful garden and were donated to the botanical gardens of the Capital City in the 90s. In summertime, when the sun goes down, the sweet, unmistakable note of this species, with its fleshy flowers, inebriates the whole hotel park.
This is a destination to be most definitely included in your trip to Sardinia, for a visit and or a stay, a special treat for lovers of gardens and botanical collections.
Photocredits: Jole Soddu e Silvia Orso