The property then passed to John Ernest Blandy (1866-1930) married to Elinor (American). Together they continued to run the estate and improve the gardens. Crops were cultivated including wheat, maize and barley with vegetables and fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries and the ordinary English stone fruits. Many varieties of citrus were also planted.
An extract taken from the book: Madeira - Impressions & Associations by Alan Lethbridge who visited the Quinta circa 1924:
Through the lodge gates that takes one back to an English country house, up a more intimate drive boxed in with camellias of every known shade and behold, the house, the new house, for the old one has long since been abandoned for more modern comfort. It is said that in the days of Portuguese ownership the steward was told to go and count the camellia trees and on being asked how he got on, answered "Sir, I have counted 9000 and I am tired, there are many more, so let us say that there are 10,000."
The estate then passed to Graham Blandy (1904-1972).
His wife Mildred (1905-1984) dedicated much of her married life to the garden. It was her home, her hobby and her abiding interest. It was she who made them famous. Together, they entertained many well-known visitors to the house and garden.
All this time Casa Velha continued unloved, derelict and shrouded in mystery. It was a great playground for children!
To learn more about the history of the Palheiro Estate choose a link below: