Looking for hidden treasures of Maltese places of interests you should go to Floriana outskirts. There you will find a beautiful and silent Sa Maison Garden having wonderful sights at Pietta and Marsamxett Harbour. It’s quite possible that there will be no other visitors together with you and you will have a chance to enjoy the gardens’ picturesque sites by yourself, without any rush and vanity.
The garden was constructed in the middle of the 18th century by Chevalier Caille Maison to become a shooting lodge. Between 1842 and 1856 it was a residence of Lady Julia Lockwood. In that period the garden was named «il-Gnien Tal-Milorda», meaning «her Ladyship's garden». The Lady’s house was later demolished and the garden’s maintenance passed to military forces until 1903 when it was overtaken again, this time by the Civil Government.
The British Army used Sa Maison Garden as an observation post for Marsamxett port. As a mark of military presence in the gardens you can see regimental crests engraved in the stone walls of the setting. You will also find there a miniature castle model carved in Maltese stone which was dedicated to the 2nd Batallion of the Essex Regiment.
Being situated on the former fortifications, the garden has an unusual arrangement, with its terraces spreading on five different levels. Standing on its highest level, near the Knight's Gardjola watch tower, you will find yourself in the perfect place for 360 degrees view of all around territories, including gardens themselves and also the harbour and bastions. The amazing views over Ta’ Xbiex Yacht Marina you will see from this point are really worth coming up there.
Following steps leading to lower garden’s levels will take you to the ramparts where another wonderful view of Marsamxett harbour opens in front of you. You will see dozens of yachts moored in Ta’ Xbiex on the one side, and Valetta and Floriana’s characteristic fortifications – on the other.
The flora of the garden mostly consists of local varieties of plants, tall trees and palms. There is also a conservatory where you can find several varieties of potted plants. Despite the Garden is not that big it is a very nice and well-decorated place for walking around and enjoying the sea sights.