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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Rachel Mathews
Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 30 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

    6 replies to "Garden Tour – Jardin Nazari, Spain"

    • Maria

      They are not exactly in your neighborhood, but if you like to travel there are some beautiful gardens in BC, Canada. One of them is Butchart Gardens, and the other is Minter Gardens. Both are located in BC and well worth a visit!

      • Rachel Mathews

        Thanks for the suggestions Maria. I do like to travel. I’ve heard of the Butchart Gardens but not the Minter Gardens, they look really nice.

    • We’re just over a bank holiday weekend here in Ireland and for June the weather wasn’t quite what we were hoping for. Bloom2012 in the Phoenix Park was an enormous success with approx 25k visitors yesterday alone. Today, Tues 5th June we awoke to rain as per the weekend just gone so your email (which I am only getting to read now) is my ray of sunshine on this grey miserable morning in Dublin. I think all the gardening fraternity will be rather depressed and exhausted this morning so I am happy to share on my facebook page and on twitter. Best wishes with the new book btw x.x.

      Ena Ronayne

      • Rachel Mathews

        Ah thank you Ena, glad this could help cheer up a grey day in Dublin for you. If it’s any consolation I woke this morning to grey sky – sea mist has covered the entire area which is unusual this time of year!

        Hope the weather picks up for you. Thanks for your wishes for new book – it’s going well so far!

        Rachel x

    • Jaden Meek

      Ohhh Im in loooove!! Im goign to spain next year, im so there!!
      Thanks so much for the blog!!

      • Rachel Mathews

        Hi Jaden,

        Thank you! I’m sure you’ll have a great time! You might have to ask directions for the garden as it is at the edge of the village. The locals are really helpful though and will take you to it if you get lost.

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