I’m currently residing in Spain and while I’m here, I’m taking the opportunity to visit the local gardens. So, I thought I’d share my tour with you virtually here. On Sunday, I visited Jardin Nazari in Velez de Benaudalla near Granada.
It’s an historic garden that was restored about three years ago. It is one of the last Nazarian gardens in Andalusia. So there is a lot of Islamic influence here, as in many gardens in this region of Spain.
Important Functions of the Garden
Gardens with an Islamic influence were designed to provide men and women with the five most important benefits of life:
- The spiritual – a vision of paradise on earth
- The aesthetic – it must stimulate the senses of sight, touch, smell, hearing to inspire us to be more artistic and create art
- The psychological – to help us to relax, contemplate, observe, enjoy and rest
- The botanical and scientific – to create a place for research (these gardens were chosen to grow new plants and spices brought from other continents).
- The nutritional – the Nazari gardens grow fruit, vegetables and herbs.
Water is the strongest element, coursing through every part of the garden in a different way. At the top of the garden is a natural water cascade which gushes down into a channel that carries water to areas in the rest of the garden.
What I loved about this garden is the intrigue and imaginative blend of old and new materials. Cut travertine stone mixes perfectly with old stone walls and it looks fantastic. The garden isn’t large but the meandering paths that lead you down a narrow staircase that’s been carved out of the mountainside add lots of interest. You never know what is going to be around the next corner.
Once you get to the lower level, there are caves and grottos that are filled with ferns, moss and a cascade of water that’s very refreshing to walk under on a really hot day.
If you are driving to the garden from the coast, I recommend you take the old road to Granada (A346) – the scenery is absolutely stunning.
Any Gardens You Recommend?
I would love to know of gardens anywhere in the world that you think are worth going to visit. Please leave your comments below.
Next week, how to choose the right plants – some cunning tips to help you know which plants will grow in your garden and which won’t.
More photos of this garden can be seen on my Facebook page.
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