THE GARDEN NOW

IT'S AUTUMN AT THE GARDEN

TIEMPO DE BAYAS Y HOJAS CAIDAS

HISTORY | DECADENCE AND REVIVAL: 20TH CENTURY

The Garden suffered the historical events of the first half of the 20th century: the colonial wars, the Civil War, the post-war period and the flood of 1957. During this period of decline the director was Francisco Beltrán, who took care of maintaining the collections and exchanging seeds, as well as keeping a record of the plants grown there; however, all this was lost under water during the flood. The next two years witnessed the tasks involved in recovering the Garden, removing the mud and cleaning up. In 1962 Beltrán died and Ignacio Docavo took over the directorship.

The first steps taken by Docavo focussed on recovering the buildings in order to rehabilitate the library, the herbarium and the seed bank. Outside, only the large trees remained, and the shade-house and the greenhouses had fallen into great disrepair. The Catalan gardener and landscape designer Juan Pañella was appointed to remodel them, with a view to creating a shaded garden and a tropical garden. Later, Pañella also directed the creation of a garden with succulent plants.

Also under Docavo’s directorship the teaching activities recommenced; first, with the practical demonstration classes in Botany run by the School of Sciences and, afterwards, those run by the schools of Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences.