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THE ECO GARDENS

We came to the Azores to restore a 100-year-old estate, including gardens to showcase the beauty that is So Miguel, the “green island.” This is an on-going process that will take years and involve 1,000 new plants on the estate. The gardens are a sanctuary for many animals, including birds, bats, field mice and hedgehogs (which can be rescued and safely released on the estate.) Bee-friendly pollinating flowers are mixed with native varieties. Beehives will be placed onto the grounds in 2024.

The property has a complete ban on pesticide usage or any GMO seeds/crops. Composting facilities are currently being built to help further enhance the estate‚Äôs eco-grounds. And finally, our Free-range chickens…  We get wonderful eggs each day, and our ladies eat all the leftover foods, meaning that we are as close as we can be to a zero-waste food property.

The Gardens

Guests staying on the Eco Estate are welcome to join us for a tour around the gardens. We will share with you our plans for the grounds and show you the highlights and some special plants that we have growing here.

Azores carrots

Farm fruits

On the grounds of the estate we grow fruits year round. From strawberries and figs, to heritage varieties of oranges and lemons. We are also growing Japanese plumbs, 3 types of avocados, finger limes, yuzu lemons, guava, rhubarb and bananas.

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Orange Trees

We are replanting the orange groves with a heritage variety of oranges that would have been grown on the estate in the 1800s. This shows guests what the fruits would have been like in the days of the citrus trade with the United Kingdom, and the riches that they created.

Oranges Azores

The Botanical House

The Eco Estate highlights local produce grown both here and on the estate. Our botanical house is the start point for many of the plants growing here. Join us to see some of the native as well as more exotic species that we have.

botanical house @ the solar branco eco estate

Free range chickens

Our chickens are all free range and live naturally and very happily in our orange grove. The help to keep bugs under control around the trees and their poop is natural fertiliser for our vibrant oranges. We just love chickens!

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Hedgehog Rescue

You are welcome to check out the Hog Seasons Hotel in the field but we are afraid to say our spikey guests are a little shy and prefer their privacy so are rarely seen on the grounds during the daylight hours.

Found a Hedgehog on Sao Miguel by the side of the road? PLEASE CALL: +351 919 076 779

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Wildlife ponds

The estate boasts 3 wildlife ponds. Each designed to support and help the local wildlife thrive. The ponds support flies, bees, dragon flies, frogs, birds, hedgehogs, bats and birds.

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Saving Our Bees

There are 18 species of bees in the Azores. These pollinators are an indispensable natural resource in agriculture and for a healthy ecosystem. In short, we need bees and we need a lot of them. The grounds of the estate were unloved or simple cattle grazing land.

flowers at the solar branco eco estate

Azores Gardeners Group

With over 100,00 square meters of land, there is plenty of gardening to do and while everything grows in the Azores, there are challenges with the wind, bugs and the rain. So much rain. With this in mind, and plenty of successes and failures, we created the Azores Gardening group on Facebook. Join us for plenty of advice, jokes and photos of the beautiful gardens and plants that we have here.

Azores gardeners