Members of the oldest gardening club in Spain, Club de Jardinería de la Costa del Sol, held their 51st gardening awards ceremony this year. The founder and president of the club is Remedios del Río, who was also a judge. The judges were a group of professionals who were either landscape gardeners or have a background in art and design. Over the years, Marbella’s gardening culture has been growing more and more, and so has the number of participants in this important competition. We at Adarve were very proud of a project we carried out in Marbella’s Calle del Cerro Muriano, so we decided to enter this garden into the competition. We entitled the project “Jardín de la Luz” (“Garden of Light”) as it optimised on openness and sunlight. As luminosity was our objective, we placed white sand and pebbles around the garden and created nice clean spaces and straight lines to give the garden a minimalist look that was bright and uncluttered. Everything in the garden was strategically placed to not only offer beauty but also functionality. As the garden was designed with a minimalistic approach, there were very few shadows, thus making the whole garden appear illuminated. Remedios del Río was very impressed with our design and choice of plants for the garden and, to our delight, our “Garden of Light” won the best contemporary garden prize. We are very proud to have won this prestigious award as we have always prided ourselves on our contemporary design ideas.
Descriptions such as minimalistic, clean lines, monochromatic, and contrast in colours and textures come to mind when explaining a “contemporary garden”. However, I would like to add another very relevant word that will soon inevitably be used when defining a contemporary garden – and that is sustainable.
When asking a landscape gardener to design your garden you should insist that it also be intelligent and sustainable. This will definitely add extra value to your property and also allow you to save money on its maintenance. And what should be even more important is that you will be part of the trend towards positive change in mentality and bad habits.
Questions you should ask your designer include:
- Are the plants chosen suitable for this climate and soil? Because you want to save money on chemicals to help them survive…
- Could the plants chosen be changed for plants that also give us fruit?
- Can we have our own veggies?
- Can we have areas with sand and pebbles?
- Can we irrigate with rainwater?
- Can we use solar energy for the exterior lighting?
- Do we have an area for composting? This is extremely important, not only because of the money you save but also for the lush look your garden will have.
- Can we use the wood we prune for the fireplace?
- Are we planting close together plants that help each other, such as aromatics to keep bugs away and attract bees for pollinating?
- Can we have a water feature to attract birds?
It’s summer – and time to lighten up your garden. Most of your evening parties and dinners are outdoors so why not make this summer unique and lighten up your exterior space with new ideas. Depending on what elements we choose, and how we lighten them up, our garden will give us a totally different ambience.
If you are in a party mood I would definitely go for LED RGB changing colour. For example, you can very easily change your swimming pool lights to LED RGB and obtain a super fun water colour; or change a couple of garden projectors to pink, green or blue and make them your focal points. Led Strips are also useful and easy to install.
You can find garden furniture that lights up, but I suggest you choose carefully since some of them can become a little uncomfortable for the eyes.
Then again, if you are searching for a more romantic ambience, I would suggest you use some “star“ lighting, which until now has mostly been used during the Christmas season. Do not forget always to choose warm lights for this effect. Also, use natural lighting such as candles wherever it is possible to achieve a cosy atmosphere. If you find it difficult to choose where and what kind of lighting to use, do not hesitate to call me.
Get it right from the beginning and take good note of these tips if you are constructing your contemporary garden.
Main tip: look for detail in the construction. We are in the 21st century and we want little elements – but well finished. Use a metal separation between your lawn and pebbles or flowerbeds to keep each element in place.
White is definitely the colour! White flowers or white pebbles will give your space a fresh and clean ambience.Look for contrast between horizontal and vertical elements or types of leaves – long and round, dark and light green. We want every element to be seen.When choosing your plants look for those that are clean and easy to keep. I also go for the oriental look and choose plants such as papyrus and “giant bonsais” and all types of grasses. My favourite: Ophiopogum nigra.
If you have paths or stepping stones look for a way to light them up by installing LED strips under and along the sides. I personally find this is a fabulous solution: you can see them during the day and they give a super effect at night.
Published in Home & Lifestyle Magazine
Is your garden looking a little sad? Spring has arrived and it’s time to give it a little treat. Follow me and I will help you know where to start. The outdoor nightlife is beginning, so time to check your exterior lighting. RGB LED Lights are a fantastic solution to create a fun ambience in your terrace or garden. If you have a swimming pool you can surprise your friends by changing the colour lights. But be careful with the light up furniture: it sounds fun but you might not always get the right result. If you want to give your outdoor space a little Zen touch find a spot where you can spread some white pebbles and, why not, incorporate a sculpture or water feature. Blossoming shrubs… they are inexpensive and they really change a space. Check out Dimorphothecas: you will have them flowering until September and you can obtain them in many colours. And here comes my favourite: a vertical garden. You can find them in any size and hang them on terraces with full sun or shade, or even in interior spaces. It is also a good idea to work with a professional like myself to help you with the planting and choosing the right plants.