The Malta Independent 13 June 2024, Thursday
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Ambjent Malta completes first phase of the restoration of St Philip’s Garden in Floriana

Friday, 26 May 2023, 13:20 Last update: about 2 years ago

Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli reopened the upper part of St Philip’s Garden, in Floriana after Ambjent Malta completed the first phase of the restoration of this historic site, dating back to the 17th century.

St Philip’s Garden, located next to the Argotti Garden, is one of five gardens in Floriana that together form the Malta National Botanical Garden, which Ambjent Malta is gradually restoring in line with a long-term plan. Minister Dalli reopened the upper part of St Philip’s Garden, a green open space of approximately 7,000 square meters, along with Ambjent Malta Director General Herman Galea, National Botanical Garden Steering Committee Chairperson Ray Azzopardi and the Floriana Local Council, led by Mayor Vincent Borg.

The €1 million works by Ambjent Malta included the restoration of the Knights’ bastions surrounding the garden, the polverista, and the Fountain by Alof de Wignacourt, dating back to 1622. Originally located in St. George Square, Valletta, this fountain was moved to St Philip’s Garden during British rule.

Ambjent Malta workers installed new lighting and underground automatic irrigation systems, replaced the concrete surfaces of pathways with hardstone paving, and installed new railings.

While this garden already has an abundant variety of trees and other plants added throughout the years, Ambjent Malta has further enriched its biodiversity by planting more than 520 trees that are typically found in different Mediterranean habitats, following the plan of the National Botanical Garden.

The next phase of works at St Philip’s Garden will include the restoration of the main entranceway and the Sally Port, which connects the upper and lower parts of the garden. Additionally, there will be interventions to improve accessibility for everyone, along with more trees and plants, electrical installations, paving, and other improvements.

Minister Miriam Dalli thanked the workers for their work in this historic garden and stated that the Botanical Gardens project is giving a new lease of life to these places of recreation in the heart of Floriana.

“Through this ongoing work, we are fulfilling the government's primary commitment to open more green open spaces and revive existing ones, making them greener and more family friendly. In this garden, we can truly appreciate nature in a place with centuries-old history, as Ambjent Malta’s restoration works are enhancing its architectural splendour. I look forward to the continuation of this extensive project which will ultimately lead to the creation of Malta’s National Botanical Garden, with its rich biodiversity, spread over five historical gardens,” said Minister Dalli.

Ambjent Malta employees and members of the National Botanical Garden Steering Committee were also present for the opening of St Philip’s Garden.

St Philip’s Garden is open to the public every day, from 6am to 8pm between July and September, and from 6am to 5pm during the rest of the year. For more information follow Ambjent Malta on Facebook and Instagram.

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