The stunning Camellia Park was inaugurated in Locarno in 2005 on the occasion of the International Camellia Society World Congress (ICS), which was attended by participants from all over the world. Since its opening the park has become an international attraction, thanks both to its landscape value and to its precious botanical features. At the time of the inauguration 500 camellias were planted and the vast number of species present guarantees, in principle, a flowering period of 9 months.
The Parks and Gardens Service is mainly responsible for planting and maintenance of the park and cultivates and propagates camellias in its nurseries at Locarno Monti. With the help of knowledge acquired during the ICS Congress and thanks to the Swiss Camellia Society, the Town Council gardeners have been able to further enlarge their already considerable collection, exchanging rare species and collaborating with growers from Italy, Germany, Belgium, the USA and China. The second stage of the works was initiated in 2007 and comprised the creation of several key structures and the extension of the park towards the more scenic area near the lake.
The largest flowerbed of the park, dedicated to perfumed species and camellias, has been created next to the amphitheatre, which will enable visitors to sit in the most panoramic point of the area. From the top a small stream runs down to feed the new pond, whose waters reflect an elegant pavilion.
The latter houses a series of information panels on camellias. Today, with the work almost finished, the Park is home to 850 varieties of catalogued camellias including about forty different species and ten perfumed hybrids. In addition to these, there are 70 as yet unidentified camellias, planted at the southern extremity of the public baths and 130 double camellias, which form a dividing hedge and are used mainly to provide cut flowers for the annual show held in spring.
The structure of the Park is that of a series of beds forming a kind of labyrinthine trail where visitors can happily stroll among these wonders of nature lulled by the relaxing sound of birdsong and waves lapping on the shore of the lake.
The park recently received the International Camellia Society Gardens of Excellence designation and is part of the Gardens of Switzerland network, which brings together the most beautiful gardens of Switzerland.
1 March - 30 September: 09:00 - 18:00
1 October - 28 February: 09:00 - 16:45
Free entry apart during the Exhibition Camelie Locarno, CHF 5.-