Discovering the natural treasures of the Mediterranean at Saleccia Park

Discovering the natural treasures of the Mediterranean at Saleccia Park

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Saleccia is a name that immediately evokes the iodized nature of seaside landscapes, for anyone who knows the Corsican language a little. Located in the north-west of the island of beauty, on the Balanin coast, Le Parc de Saleccia occupies the heart of an old agricultural estate of 90 hectares, one of the last areas of the Balanin coast not yet urbanized. Abandoned for years, devastated by successive fires and then destined for urbanization, Saleccia owes its rebirth to a family attached to its land and to the conservation of its heritage. We met Isabelle Demoustier, director of the park since its opening in 2005, who passionately told us the wonderful story of this Mediterranean garden, one of a kind.

The Saleccia park went through many obstacles before being born, tell us its story!

My grandparents, originally from Saint-Etienne, bought this former agricultural estate in 1951 for one of their sons, who ultimately never cultivated it. A few years later, there was talk of building a subdivision and a supermarket on its site. My father, a gardener by training, having fallen in love with the island at the same time, finally decided to take on the management of it to convert this seaside estate into a veritable "garden of delights". A long process of cleaning and rehabilitating the plants followed in order to rehabilitate the site and repair the damage caused by negligence and various fires. Over the years, my father has taken on the crazy challenge of growing back many trees that have long been neglected. The olive trees, cypresses and pistachio trees were gradually redeployed, and the maquis has regained its former splendor. It was at the end of the 90s, during a family lunch, that we asked ourselves the question of the future of Saleccia ... to finally embark on the adventure of a park open to the public.

What do the gardens of Saleccia look like today?

The heart of the park is home to a collection of typically Corsican and Mediterranean plants. The hundred-year-old trees rub shoulders with the multiple varieties of fragrant plants that make the beauty of the island: myrtle, rosemary, arbutus, phylaine or immortal intertwine around a dedicated course. Around this space gravitate several concentric circuits each having a different theme; The visitor thus traverses the valley of oleanders, which presents more than 50 varieties of which some were created by my father, the romantic path where the roses accompany the curious in an olfactory walk, the paths of the olive tree, the garden of the four colors and the wild path, along which maquisard plants grow. We are proud to be able to show the public this set of plants, while respecting the original nature of the land: Saleccia is today the only landscaped park open to the public in Corsica!

Do you have other projects for the park in the near future?

There is no shortage of projects, just like field work! We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year and have just received the "Remarkable Garden" label. The bird observatory started a few months ago will soon see the light of day, and we are also planning the creation of a Moorish-style garden with an orange grove, climbing plants and oriental pergolas. My father and I have dozens of other possible accommodations in mind… but everything in its time!
The park is open from April 1 to October 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. //www.parc-saleccia.fr/

Watch our video: treating an oleander

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