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The Albarda Garden: An Oasis of Sustainability

by Jordi Domingo
photographs © FUNDEM

For the full text of this article see The Mediterranean Garden No 53, July 2008

FUNDEM is a Spanish foundation dedicated to the conservation of the Mediterranean flora and fauna. Through this foundation, not only is gardening with autochthonous species encouraged, but also land is purchased with the aim of protecting it, thus contributing to a more sustainable future. To date, FUNDEM has secured the definitive protection of more than 300 hectares in the provinces of Castellón and Alicante.

FUNDEM’s Albarda Garden covers 50,000 square metres consisting exclusively of autochthonous Mediterranean plants. The advantages of working with these plants are numerous: the consumption of water is very low, as is the incidence of pests or blights; use of fertilisers is unnecessary; labour costs are reduced. The garden functions as a miniature ecosystem and constitutes a zone of sustainability which demonstrates the possibility of contributing to the conservation of the environment even in developed areas.

In the Albarda three types of garden landscaping coexist: a formal garden which surrounds the principal buildings, a traditional Valencian garden with Arab influences, and an area which recreates the wooded areas of the region and merges progressively with the surrounding landscape. There are also a shade garden, a rose garden, ponds, a stream, fountains, and (soon to be) a greenhouse of Macronesian plants.


Acanthus mollis


Antirrhinum valentinum


Asteriscus maritimus


Phlomis purpurea


Pond


Valencian garden


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