The Hanbury Botanical Gardens (GBH) are botanical gardens. GBH have a prevailing character of acclimatization, that means that they host many plants belonging to different climates that have been or are gradually adapted to the Mediterranean climate, together with plants from different other countries and spontaneous of the place.
GBH are not simple gardens or public gardens. Unlike other gardens where the perception of aesthetic, formal or chromatic aspects is most appreciated, GBH privilege, while seeking harmony in the landscape, respect for the naturalness of the life and reproductive cycles of the plants.
The removal of the leaves, sheaths and dry inflorescences that persist in nature for more or less long on plants is a risky act for the health of the plants themselves. In the case of palm trees, the prevalent opinion is that it is preferable to let these dry parts spontaneously fall because they protect the apical meristem ("heart of the palm") from the elements and because the tools used for removal easily transmit agents of disease ( mycosis, bacteriosis).
Keeping in mind what has already been expressed above, there are several reasons that justify the parched appearance of some specimens. For example, in the summer some aloes seem to curl up, but this also occurs in nature. The visitors should then take the opportunity to appreciate and deepen their knowledge on the ability of some plants to survive in very arid climates, becoming flourishing again as soon as the water becomes available again.
The reasons are manifold:
1. Weeding should be done exclusively by hand and the scarce availability of resources and staff prevents weeding all the flower beds; alternatively the mowing, although occasionally practiced where possible, still ends up favoring a few really invasive species.
2. Not even chemical or mechanical weeding, repeated several times, would guarantee the eradication of the most invasive species. In some cases, errors of this type have been made, the negative results of which are still visible to the east, in the lower part of the GBH.
This recurring question-affirmation does not have a solid foundation, it is based on an in-depth historical knowledge and is "urban legend" or pure slander.
Because the protection and enhancement of the cultural heritage of the GBH require a careful management, and an extremely expensive continuous maintenance. The resources made available by the University (with over 20 people employed, mostly gardeners or technicians), by the Ministry of Education, University and Research, as well as contributions from the Region and other bodies are not sufficient. The GBH budgets are public, available on request, and the contribution of the entrance tickets covers only a very small percentage of the expenses, varying annually around 5-10% of these.