Thursday, May 5, 2011

Buskett Gardens

Buskett, in Rabat, Malta is the only woodland area in Malta and is overlooked by Verdala Palace.

Buskett Garden is Malta's only large area of woodland. It was planted by the Knights Hospitaller as a hunting ground. It lies next to Verdala Palace, in a valley, just inland from Dingli Cliffs. Buskett has vineyards, oranges, olive and lemon groves, and is heavily wooded with native, hardy species such as Mediterranean pines. You can stick to the pathways lined with ivy-clad stone walls or venture off into the woodland. From autumn to spring you are bound to find plenty of interest, from wild flowers, natural springs, and woodland creatures. The wood leads up hill to the more formal gardens of Verdala Palace.

The Verdala Palace is perched on a hilltop overlooking Buskett Garden. It was built by Grand Master Hughes de Verdalle in 1588 as a summer residence. Following restoration, this elegant building now serves as the President's summer residence. The palace is not open to the public, but it does offer a notable landmark visible clearly from Dingli Cliffs, towering as it does over Buskett woodland.

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