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Jardin de Orquideas, Sitio Litre An open garden in tenerife

calle botanico

puerto de la cruz



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Latest photos of Jardin de Orquideas, Sitio Litre

  • IMG 6040
    By Longlegs
  • The Central Fountain
    By Longlegs
  • The Food Chain
    By Longlegs
  • Nelson's new skin
    By Longlegs


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the mansion was built in 1730, and it seems was originally a convent. In 1774 it was purchased by a Mr. Archibald Little, a British merchant whose family owned the house until 1854, (thereby the name Little's Place, in Spanish SITIO LITRE).
in 1856 the property was bought by a Mr Charles Smith whose family have owned the house right up until 1996.
Many famous personalities have spent time in Sitio Litre, either as house guests or simply as guests at the numerous garden parties given in the magic garden.
Amoungst the most famous house guests were William Wilde, the father of Oscar Wilde, but possibly the most famous of all was Marianne North, the well known botanical painter, who lived in this house for two months in 1875, she is remembered in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, where all her 832 paintings are on show.
Many of her Tenerife works were painted in this garden ( "Mr Smith's Garden")and are displayed here to show that even after so many years the garden is practically the same.
Party Guests were numerous, but to name only three, we can mention Sir Richard Burton, who passed through Tenerife on two occasions between 1860 and 1863. Many years later Agatha Christie and her daughter Rosalyn were on holiday in Puerto de la Cruz, the year was 1927 and she had just divorced her first husband, she was so inspired by the gardens that she wrote one of her novels, basing the plot in Puerto de la Cruz "The mysterious Mr Quin".
The first of all these guests should not be forgotten, he was one of the worlds most famous discoverers and botanist. The Famous German explorer Alexander Von Humboldt, he was the guest of honour at a party given for him on June 23rd 1799 by Mr. Archibald Little.

The house is still a private residence, but the owners have decided to open the garden to visitors, so they can savour this "Vision of Eden", and view the largest collection of Orchids in Tenerife. Sitio Litre now hosts an English run Cafe where it is still possible to enjoy real English Tea and a home made Scone in the shade of the oldest and largest Dragon tree in Puerto de la cruz.
Visiting Sitio Litre is a must for all who venture to the Canary Islands.

5 May, 2009

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