Typical Problem Gardens in Spain.
Unfortunately many families purchasing properties in Spain do one of three things not appropriate for an enjoyable relaxed outdoor life in Spain -which is the main reason given by people for coming to Spain.
Replicate an English Garden in Spain
Develop a replica of an urban English garden characterised by a central lawn, straight paths and edges to flower beds and a drive/car standing area. The overall design driven by wanting to look out on an attractive urban landscape from panoramic windows on dull and rainy days, or when escaping inside to escape from the evening midges rather than on designing a garden to live in.
Design a Garden based on a Pool Resort
Develop a pool resort which is a replica of the hotel gardens that they used to stay in for a week or two a year characterised by the most visible part of the garden taken up by the largest pool and surrounding terrace possible with shade provided by large umbrellas, and generally no trees except for one or two in the boundary hedge to hide the house next door.
As many find that’s great for a couple of short holidays in the sun each year but it can become a monotonous never changing view from windows, sheltered covered terraces and from under the umbrellas.
And of course even in Spain the pool will probably be only used from May to October unless it”s heated and covered with a three metre high sliding cover. And then one has a view of a large greenhouse 365 days a year!
Develop a Tropical Garden
Attempt to develop a tropical garden like the ones they saw in Asia characterised by dramatic jungle type gardens of tropical flowering and fruiting bushes trees, climbing plants and orchids. This is possible in situations very sheltered from the scorching hot summer winds from Africa and the cold northerly winds from the north and which have a reliable water supply throughout the year.
Unfortunately such gardens lost many plants as a result of just a few nights of record breaking frosts during the winters of 2004, 5 and 6.
More Usable Lifestyle Gardens
Such a garden is likely to be driven by your vision of an open air lifestyle. A vision based on a detailed analysis of what your dream life in Spain will be and the ways in which your garden design needs to make that dream come true. The alternative is to install and use daily air conditioning and central heating and again live indoors looking out on an inappropriate hostile garden!
A satisfying garden is likely to be characterised by a balance of shady and sunny spots, mature trees within the garden as well as integral with the boundary hedge , internal as well as boundary windbreaks, the pool incorporated into one of a number of smaller connected gardens.
Attractive internal vistas as one wanders through the garden as well as the preservation of the best distant vistas beyond the boundary walls or hedge, plants appropriate to your summer and winter microclimates.
Allow space for some seasonal organically grown fruit and vegetables – it doesn’t require much space to be able to make daily harvests 365 days a year – and perhaps a corner run for one or two hens.
The above concept can be developed in very small gardens as well as in a larger space. We only have a 800 square metre garden. around the house but our integrated holistic approach to it’s development enabled us to soon acclimatise to the Spanish climate in a natural way.
Over the past twenty years we have learned much the hard way – there is no need for you to make the same mistakes. Happy lifestyle gardening!
More on Gardening in Spain Portugal Italy & Hot Countries
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- Growing Fruit in Spain, Italy, Portugal etc. – How to Succeed
- Holiday Home Gardening – Looking After Holiday Home Gardens
- Planning A Hot Climate Garden
- Spanish Gardens are Best for Spain
- Spanish Versus British Allotments – Allotments in Spain
- Spanish Versus British Allotments – Different Attitudes to Allotments in Spain