Blog: Marimurtra alive

Setmana de la Ciència a Marimurtra

Celebració de la Setmana de la Ciència 2018 al Jardí Botànic Marimurtra

La Fundació Privada Carl Faust organitza jornades de portes obertes i visites guiades amb sistema de taquilla inversa Jardí Botànic Marimurtra en motiu de la Setmana de la Ciència

Com cada any, la Fundació Carl Faust se suma a la Setmana de la Ciència oferint unes jornades de portes obertes que tindran lloc els diumenges vinents 11 i 18 de novembre. Tenen com a objectiu apropar el Jardí Botànic Marimurtra a tots els públics per tal que els visitants puguin gaudir de la riquesa del seu patrimoni botànic, arquitectònic, paisatgístic i humà.

A més a més de les jornades de portes obertes, la Fundació Carl Faust aprofita la Setmana de la Ciència per donar a conèixer el jardí botànic de la Costa Brava a través de la visita guiada El rebost del Jardí Botànic Marimurtra’, que es va estrenar en la passada edició de la Setmana de la Ciència 2017. Aquesta visita posa en valor la multitud d’éssers vius que habiten Marimurtra i com es relacionen entre ells. Tracta temes de gran rellevància pel jardí com la feina que s’està realitzant a l’horta ecològica del jardí, cultivant plantes que curen plantes; el compostatge natural que s’elabora a Marimurtra amb els propis desfets del jardí i que novament serveixen per nodrir les plantes; o els ocells que viuen al novembre al jardí i com s’alimenten. Aquesta, fomenta la conscienciació de la importància d’aprofitar els recursos naturals per al desenvolupament de la tasca que es realitza al Jardí Botànic Marimurtra, i obre les portes a nous plantejaments que garanteixin la sostenibilitat del medi ambient.

Les visites guiades es duran a terme els dissabtes 10 i 17 de novembre a les 11.00 h i cal reserva prèvia trucant al 972 33 08 26 o enviant un correu a marimurtra@marimurtra.cat

Els temes centrals de l’edició d’enguany de la Setmana de la Ciència són, d’una banda, el patrimoni cultural, amb motiu de la celebració de l’Any Europeu del Patrimoni Cultural que promou la Unió Europea; la figura i l’obra de Pompeu Fabra, amb motiu de la celebració dels 150 anys del naixement del lingüista i gramàtic català, celebració promoguda per la Generalitat de Catalunya; i la figura del prestigiós físic nord-americà Richard Feynman, amb motiu de la celebració del centenari del seu naixement, promoguda pel Grup de Comunicació i Divulgació de la Nanotecnologia, EspaiNano.

La Fundació Carl Faust és la propietària i responsable del manteniment del Jardí Botànic Marimurtra. En els seus estatuts s’hi estableixen els seus objectius fundacionals que són: “la protecció i el foment dels estudis de biologia mediterrània, especialment en botànica, […] cercant la cooperació i les relacions internacionals en benefici, tot plegat, de la recerca i de la divulgació científiques.”

La Fundació Carl Faust va ser mereixedora el 2009 de la Creu de Sant Jordi i el Jardí Botànic Marimurtra està classificat com a Bé Cultural d’Interès Nacional per la Generalitat de Catalunya.

Autumn in Marimurtra

The spirit of autumn has flowed over Marimurtra with earthy colors, oranges and reds. Some species stand out over the rest in this season of the year.

A botanical garden is a living museum, which is transformed with each season, with autumn being one of the most special. The transformation of a species is part of its life cycle, and seeing the process of changing through the seasons is an enriching experience ; highly recommended! Below we present some of the most outstanding species from this autumn.

Cycas revoluta is a very majestic coniferous species. Did you know that cycads are one of the most ancient groups of plants on Earth? They existed with the dinosaurs. Within this female cone, the seeds of the plant are hidden. Beware the leaves, they are very sharp – discouraging even for a hungry dinosaur.

Murtra (Myrthus communis)Myrtle (Myrtus communis) and strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) are splendid with their fruits. In Marimurtra, seeing the fruits of these two species is a clear symbol that Autumn has arrived. Both fruits are edible, but beware of strawberry tree ones, they say that if you eat too many you can get drunk!
Did you know that Marimurtra took its name from the Myrtle?

Protea neriifoliaOne of the most prominent blooms of this month is Protea neriifolia, noted for the hairs it has on the ends of its petals. This wonderful flower is used to complement bridal bouquets, as it adds a lot of personality.

Finally, autumn is the beginning time in which many species of palm trees bear fruit. If walking through Marimurtra, you smell a very sweet aroma, most likely it will be wafting from piles of fruits that have fallen from the palms.
Those are some of different flavors and colors, awaiting your visit to the Autumn Garden.

Jornada de Jardins intel·ligents: una ocasió pel debat i la innovació

La jornada de Jardins intel·ligents debat sobre solucions innovadores i disruptives de la tecnologia en el món de la jardineria i la botànica

Jornada de Jardins Intel·ligents | Jardí Botànic Marimurtra | Fundació Carl Faust
Xavier Verdaguer, durant la seva conferència inaugural

Més d’una cinquantena de participants van assistir a aquesta Jornada organitzada per la Fundació Carl Faust
Aquest passat dimarts dia 25 de setembre va tenir lloc al Palau Robert de Barcelona la Jornada ‘Jardins Intel·ligents. Drons, blockchain, IoT i smartgarden al servei dels jardins’ en la qual la Fundació Carl Faust, organitzadora de l’acte, va obrir un debat amb el sector tecnològic més avançat i disruptiu sobre les noves oportunitats que es poden donar en el sector de la jardineria i la recerca en la botànica. La jornada es va encarar a propiciar oportunitats que es puguin convertir en solucions que poden prendre diferents formes, com ara projectes start-up, projectes de recerca acadèmics o fins i tot spin-off.
La jornada la va obrir Xavier Verdaguer, expert en processos d’innovació, que va presentar un marc teòric i pràctic general en el qual es pugui donar un procés de propostes creatives i disruptives. Partint de la seva experiència, a cavall de Barcelona i Silicon Valley, Verdaguer va compartir amb l’audiència les reflexions i conclusions acumulades durant tota una carrera dedicada a la innovació al font de projectes com Imagine Creativity Cente (https://imagine.cc).

Jornada de Jardins Intel·ligents | Jardí Botànic Marimurtra | Fundació Carl Faust
Taula rodona sobre oportunitats i innovació

A la segona part de la Jornada, el propi Xavier Verdaguer va moderar una taula rodona en la qual també van participar Jordi Barceló, de l’empresa Modpow (www.modpow.es), Bartolomé Olivares, de l’empresa IoTLabs (www.iotlabs.io), i Rafael Vidal, professor del Grup de Recerca de Xarxes Sense Fils de la UPC. En aquesta taula rodona s’hi van exposar algunes de les propostes tecnològiques més interessants i innovadores que es poden trobar en aquests moments al mercat orientades al sector de la jardineria i gestió d’espais verds, així com també es va obrir un debat sobre el paper de les Start-Up en els models d’empresa actuals, del paper dels centres de recerca com a facilitadors de creació i disrupció, etc. La taula rodona també va estar oberta al públic en tot moment, que va participar-hi parlant de les seves pròpies experiències en la utilització de la tecnologia en el sector de la jardineria i la botànica, així com aportant reflexions i preocupacions de temes que aquests sectors tenen actualment sobre la taula a l’espera d’una solució que podria venir de la mà de la tecnologia.

Al final de la jornada, Pere Condom, en nom de la Fundació Carl Faust, va exposar la voluntat d’aquesta de que el debat iniciat amb aquesta jornada continuï viu i avanci cap a la generació d’un espai de reflexió, de creació i de facilitació de l’entrada d’idees innovadores en el sector de la jardineria i la botànica.

Jornada de Jardins Intel·ligents | Jardí Botànic Marimurtra | Fundació Carl Faust
Foto final de família. De dreta a esquerra: Bartolomé Olivares, Jordi Barceló, Pere Condom, Rafael Vidal, Pere Cabot, Xavier Verdaguer i Josep Borrell

One hundred years of the purchase of the first lands of Marimurtra

We don’t know when Carl Faust, the founder of Marimurtra, visited Blanes for the first time. It’s likely that it was in the middle of the first decade of the last century. He was in his thirties then, and used to take group trips to different corners of this land, usually to high mountain areas, but also along the wild Costa Brava, that dazzled and captivated him. In a letter written in 1947 he told his friend Josep Cuatrecasas, “what people see now, I already saw on my first visit“. And that was how, in 1918, at a time when business was going very well and he was beginning to think about what his future would be like, he decided to buy an initial piece of land from which the botanical garden would eventually be born.

On January 14, and before the notary Joan Coma y Cirés, he bought, for 150 pesetas, a “piece of vineyard land, in part, of third class, and uncultivated part, located in this municipal area and called San Francisco, of space, a little more or less twenty-four areas eighty and one centiareas. It is bordered to the North by the road that leads from this town to San Francisco, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea, to the East by José Vieta and to the west by Mariano Verdaguer. This was an old vineyard that, probably due to the phylloxera plague that had ravaged Catalonia twenty-five or thirty years previously, had been left unproductive and was now partially barren.

Perhaps barren from a viticultural perspective, the place was however quite special: a space of rock and sand inclined towards the sea, with a moderate thermal variability, protected from the north winds, with low salinity and a high relative humidity. Such characteristics that I would share with the other farms that, from the following year, I would acquire and so form the totality of the current garden, and that would make Marimurtra the ideal place to grow plants that, until then, had not been obtainable in any part of Europe.

Marimurtra continues to develop its sustainable gardening practices; now preparing its own fermented organic fertilizer:  Bokashi

The word Bokashi is Japanese, meaning fermented organic matter. It’s a type of fertilizer produced by aerobic fermentation of organic materials, via heat generated during decomposition.

Josep Sauleda presented this innovative method of preparing fertilizer by Jairo Restrepo to the last meeting of ‘Bad Gardeners of Marimurtra’, and with his help, we have applied it to the Gardens.
This biological fertilizer promotes self-sufficiency through the use of what nature itself provides, without requiring any chemical additives. In this way, a natural, ecological and sustainable fertilizer is ensured that enriches the soil biologically, transforming it from an inert substrate to a fertile, living soil.

In order to produce the Bokashi for Marimurtra, the following ingredients have been used: heather remains and rice husk flour as carbon sources; chicken manure from our resident flock of Catalan heritage chickens, cow dung; and ordinary garden soil, clay and rock meal.
Water with beet-sugar molasses is added until a homogeneous mixture results. Then it is covered with a tarpaulin and allowed to ferment. Since it is an aerobic process it must be stirred often to keep it oxygenated.
The fermentation is relatively rapid, taking between 15 and 20 days. It’s a fast-performing fertilizer that provides a large quantity of microorganisms to the soil.

Additions to Marimurtra’s cycad collection

Marimurtra Botanical Garden is expanding its collection of cycads thanks to collaborators Javier Garcia Pua and Simon Lavaud

The recent exchange with Javier Garcia Púa has offered Marimurtra the opportunity to acquire a very valuable specimen for the garden’s collection of cycads. A hybrid of the palms Jubaea chilensis and Butia odorata was exchanged for the cycad Encephalartos lebomboensis, a native of South Africa like most cycads. This species is in danger of extinction and is at risk of disappearing in its wild state.

Two specimens of Dioon merolae and one Macrozamia mountperriensis were also purchased. With the help of cycad specialist Simon Lavaud, these specimens have been planted in different strategic areas of the Garden.

Dioon merolae is also in danger of extinction. While the two new specimens are relatively young, specimens more than 500 years old have been found. You can determine their age by the length of the trunk, or stem. To know the sex of the plant, you must await its cone-shaped inflorescence. Males and females look different.

These species add value to the collection of cycads, which continues to increase in variety and number of species, with the aim of guaranteeing the survival of this genus, as many cycad species are in danger of extinction. The collection at Marimurtra is fast becoming one of the most important collections of cycad in Europe, with acquisition of new species included in the garden’s budget.

Innovating the detection of Red Palm Weevils

As always at Marimurtra, we work to ensure sustainability of the environment. Recently, an innovative system created by IoTrees, has been implemented to detect Red Palm Weevils (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) which attack our palm trees. The new system consists of seismic sensors that are placed in the palm and detect the sounds weevils make as they chew their way towards the growing point or ‘heart’ of the palm. (Unlike other plants, palms have only one growing point, and if that is destroyed the palm cannot re-grow, and it dies).

marimurtraThis small insect is the culprit behind the deaths of thousands of palm trees every year in our country, and milions worldwide. The weevil has become a real plague that affects a large number of Communities in Spain, especially those located in coastal areas, and its pace of expansion has been unstoppable, and seemingly as well, the damage caused to the palm trees. The larva is the life stage that really causes the greatest damage to the palm trees. After hatching, they feed on the soft inner tissues and new growth of the tree, and it is at this moment that death begins for the palm.
In the Marimurtra Botanical Garden, a total of 4 palm trees have died due to this insect and, in order to avoid future attacks, an innovative and environmentally friendly system has been sought to help identify sufficiently in advance the specimens that suffer from this plague.

The sensors have incorporated a system that detects seismic movements. When they detect a match for a sound wave pattern coinciding with the sound of a weevil biting the palm stipule, it sends a signal to a mobile device, warning that that palm is being attacked. It is able to detect a larva of only 1 cm in length, which allows a very early detection of the attack to guarantee the survival of the specimen.

marimurtraA seismic sensor is placed in the stipule of the palm tree. In this way, it is able to detect all movements that occur in the palm tree. Its system of detection of the weevils is very effective and innovative, since it excludes the natural movements produced by the wind or the rain, but zeroes in on the movement and the vibration of the weevils chewing the palm.

In this way, the death of any specimen can be prevented by early detection. Once detected, we provide a treatment with plant extracts to eradicate the pest before it is too late. In Marimurtra, no chemicals are used and the treatment is done with Neem (Azadirachta indica) vegetable oil.

The most awaited bloom of the year in the Marimurtra Botanical Garden of the Costa Brava is now in full glory

Drossanthemum floribundum carpets the stone blocks bordering Marimurtra’s ‘Steps of Epicurus’ with a waterfall of pink.

The 81 Steps of Epicurus are one of the most significant constructions of Marimurtra, structured in 9 different levels of 9 steps each, the stairway is famed for tits majesty, for the stunning views provided, and for the color offered by the Drosanthemum during Spring. Due to its visual delight, Epicurus’ Steps during full flower has become one of the most representative images of the botanical garden on the Costa Brava.
Escales Epicur Marimurtra
Also known by the common name ‘Midday Flower’ or Queen’s Hair, this is a classic species because of the multitude of pink flowers it provides during its ephemeral flowering. Native to South Africa, and thus well adapted to wet winters and dry summers, it is commonly used in Meditarranean gardening as a living carpet. Drosanthemum’s leaves are covered with water cells and this makes them glisten as if dew-covered or freshly watered, the flowers are a pale pink color and unfortunately its flowering lasts approximately 3 weeks, between March and June. In addition, they are a great source of pollen collection by the pollinating bees of the Garden.
Drosanthemum Marimurtra

They are given the common name of ‘Midday Flower’, since they require a lot of sunlight to open up. Therefore, sunny days are ideal to enjoy this species, and especially when the sun is in its most perpendicular to the Earth, at noon. On cloudy and rainy days its flowers remain closed. The genus name Drosanthemum is derived from the Greek for dew, drosos, and flower, anthos, referring to the glittering appearance of many species. Their abundant flowering inspired another common name, ‘Queen’s Hair’, while the scientific name ‘floribundum’ is from the Latin for “many flowered”.

In addition to their botanical content interest, the Epicurus’ Steps mark the promise of love between two people. In the Marimurtra Botanical Garden weddings are held, and the spectacular descent of the bride takes place on these majestic stairs. It is a unique moment and the beginning of the path to the exclusive ceremony at the Temple of Linnaeus.

‘Fan of Marimurtra’

Last March the Carl Faust Foundation organized the photographic contest ‘H2oMarimurtra’ on social networks on the occasion of the celebration of World Water Day. The winners were awarded with the ‘Fan de Marimurtra’ card, a new project that offers visitors the chance to enjoy an annual fee to visit the botanical garden of the Costa Brava.


This project arises from the demand of some visitors that want to explore the Garden in its different stages and see how it evolves throughout the seasons of the year. A garden is a living museum that is related to the immediate physical environment and that it is connected with the changing factor of nature. Thus, the evolution of the collection of more than 4,000 species from five different continents of the Marimurtra Botanical Garden it is magic for the eyes: in the spring, most of the Mediterranean flowering species can be observed, but in winter , there are many species that reach their peak of splendor, such as aloes, euphorbiae or cactus.

The ‘Fans of Marimurtra’ will be able to acquire their accreditation at the Botanical Garden Marimurtra store. It costs € 30 and allows you to visit the Garden as many times as you wish for a natural year from the time of its acquisition. They are personal and non-transferable.

You can contact marimurtra@marimurtra.cat or at 972 33 08 26 to acquire the cards ‘Fan de Marimurtra’ or for more information.

Water in Marimurtra Botanical Garden

Marimrutra Botanical Garden benefits from new projects themed around the importance and benefits of water

Water is an element of nature, integral to natural ecosystems, fundamental for reproducing life on the planet. It is indispensable in making possible the development of biological processes.

At Marimurtra Botanical Garden, we are very aware of both the need and importance of water: not only for the hydration and nutrients that it offers to the Garden, but also in a visual and sensory sense. We have begun a series of changes in our water systems and devices.
On the operational side, the Garden’s rainwater catchment system has been rehabilitated to optimize our use of water. Recovering the knowledge and practices of our ancestors, using basic materials and tools, a mechanism has been created to keep the rainwater and the underground water from being lost, we use this very efficiently, to the last drop.

La mina del Jardí Botànic Marimurtra
Botanical Garden Marimurtra’s mine

Therefore, at a time when there is an increasing scarcity of water resources, the improved efficiency achieved thanks to the collection system will provide significant environmental and economic benefits. Our irrigation supplies will gain from the 1.402.373,4 liters of collected water per year.

On the experiential side, we recognize that ‘water is life’ and the sounds produced by its movement helps to create a healing sensation of peace and calm for the visitor. The sources of the Garden are an essential element in this process, especially at the landscape level.

Marimurtra will create a new space of peace and relaxation through the fountains installed in the third garden: with the addition of three pumps, water will be able to circulate throughout the space. This will create the relaxing atmosphere, while being on-hand for some irrigation. By circulating continuously, stagnation is prevented, and mosquitoes are prevented.

Recognizing the importance of water for sustainability of the environment, Marimurtra Botanical Garden is organizing a photo contest on social networks (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) in which the main theme is water in Marimurtra.

Express yourself with the hashtags #h2omarimurtra and #marimurtra and share with us your creative perception of the water inside the garden. The contest will be active until Sunday, March 25th at 11:59 p.m. The 5 most original photographs will be selected, of which 4 finalists will be awarded and one winner. The winner can enjoy an annual subscription to visit the Marimurtra Botanical Garden, a breakfast for two in the garden’s café area and a gift from a selction of Km0 craft products from Marimurtra.

Liven up and do not let your opportunity escape!

Check the contest rules here.