The plan of the Argotti gardens was drawn and formed on St James Bastion in 1720 by the Portuguese Knight Manoel Pinto de Fonseca who was elected Grandmaster of the Order in 1741. It was then that a Spanish knight, Ignatius de Argote et Gusman – from whom the name Argotti is derived – embellished them considerably and also built his palace which is still preserved to this day and a Mc barium which houses a rich collection of dried plants. The house was built with a low profile for defence purposes.
Many eminent Maltese Botanists were responsible for the Argotti during the 19th Century but it was in 1890 under Dr. Francesco Debono (Director) that these gardens became known as the Argotti Botanic Gardens. These Botanic Gardens, with their rich collection of a large variety of trees, and herbal shrubs and succulents are also a source of knowledge for students in their Botanic studies. Some of the trees go back to the time of the Knights.