Mini gardens within gardens add interest and pleasure

MINI GARDENS: Several small sections can transform your garden

MOST gardens in Spain benefit from being designed as a series of interesting mini gardens.

Preferably each with its own soul and style, but integrated into an overall holistic landscape that enables great enjoyment the year round. If you have visited Cordoba you may remember the gardens of the VianaPalace.  Another large scale example are the gardens of the Alhambra or Alcazaba in Sevilla.

But you don’t need a large garden to do this.  Any house with land on four sides even if only four to six metres on one or two sides lends itself to five distinct gardens.  One on each side and a fifth under a covered terrace.  The latter can be attractive all year round with shade from the high sun in the summer and the warmth of the low winter sun.  

Such a terrace garden immediately integrates the house into the garden.

Success in having a number of integrated mini gardens is choosing what to have in each area and how you separate them. Possible types of mini garden include the following.

  • The pool or Jacuzzi garden surrounded by shrubs and trees to give privacy and a sense of being in a natural glade when cooling off or sunbathing.  Also this is a good way of hiding the pool away during the non pool months.  So many gardens are dominated by a pool in the most prominent spot in the garden where it adds no real interest.  Indeed, when we wrote ‘Your garden in Spain’ the then purist editor wanted us the leave out the chapter on swimming pools and Jacuzzis.
  • A summer flower garden.
  • A winter flower garden.
  • A Japanese racked chipping or water and rock based garden.
  • A shady garden under a square oblong or round gazebo.
  • A water garden with fountains and fish ponds.
  • A dry cacti and succulent garden.
  • A rockery or embankment garden.
  • A container garden with fifty to a hundred plats in containers of various shapes sizes and colours.
  • A specialist mini botanical or collectors garden.
  • A rose garden with a collection of climbers standards and bush forms.
  • A mini orchard with perhaps a secret garden hidden in the centre.
  • A vegetable garden planted in the soil or in raised beds or containers.

As we say in our writings, there is so much creativity required in creating a master plan for your garden before one thinks about what plants to buy and plant. Our book ‘Your Garden in Spain’ will help you on your way. We can be contacted on [email protected].

Clodagh and Dick Handscombe  www.gardenspain.com

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