We'd read the recent reviews so we didn't expect everything to be in bloom (well it is November!) but there were many more blooms to see (and smell) than we expected. The benefit of going out of season is that it's lovely and quiet, so you can take your time admiring something without blocking anyone else's way, and there's still plenty to see. The layout is such that you don't have to walk up and down rows of plants that aren't in flower (unless you choose to) but are directed to those in bloom.
We had an enchanting time here and were so glad we visited - it was a perfect way to spend an afternoon.
The only suggestion that we would make would be to make the sign on the gateway easier to see - the "Private" signs are much more eyecatching than the Quinta do Boa Vista sign and initially detered us. On steep Madeiran hills you don't want to be retracing your steps, especially when you were in the right place in the first place! (This is on the gateway you reach when following the brown sign up from Rua Conde Carvahal).
There are mosquitos there, so if you're prone to getting bitten it might be worth wearing some insect repellent, although my husband I didn't have any on and we were fine.
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