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11th Annual General Meeting 2005
Saturday 22nd October - Moratalla, Hornachuelos, Provincia de Córdoba
The garden of Moratalla, a mansion that has changed ownership many times since the 18th century, has undergone several stylistic transformations. Its eight hectares of gardens extending over a flat stretch of countryside, contain several different garden areas including the magnificent axis between the house and the main gates, designed and constructed in the years 1914-1918 by J.C.N. Forrestier. Older areas surround the house itself, for example the oval garden outlined by plane trees, with its central fountain, or the Fuente de Recreo (Fountain of Amusement) and the descent towards the woods; from a later period, the pond of Doña Eleonor as well as the Rose Garden and the gatekeeper's garden. In an earlier incarnation the garden had a less strict, more Romantic, character, with elements such as meadows carpeted with violets, which no longer survive.
The estate was recently sold and will reputedly become a hotel. One hopes that the character of the gardens will be preserved.
The ring of plane trees underplanted with myrtle hedges enclosing agapanthus
creates an atmosphere of reverence and calm.
The Forrestier avenue looking up towards the plane tree ring. The banks to
either side of the walk are raised and planted with an interesting variety
of trees and shrubs, now self-seeding at will.
The romantic garden.
Palacio, Palma del Río, Provincia de Córdoba
The present owners have done extensive reconstruction and restoration work on this 16th century building with its distinct additions and modifications over the years. Very recently it provided the setting for the film Kingdom of Heaven by Sir Ridley Scott.
The owner, an artist, painter and creative gardener, has concentrated on framing extraordinary vistas from all points, projecting beds of irises, orange trees, and aromatic plants against facades of the building and the surrounding ancient almoravid walls.
A bed of clipped Atriplex halimus and Tulbaghia clumps with a 'lollipop'
orange in the middle.
The ancient almoravid wall.
Finca, Lora del Rio, Provincia de Carmona
This estate was remodeled eleven years ago and converted to contemporary agricultural methods. An important activity is the cultivation of cotton. There are also extensive olive and orange orchards.
A large area of scrubland is protected to maintain the authentic natural elements of the whole region. Characteristic are the groves of Chamaerops palms, indigenous to this region.
The garden, which extends over 3 hectares, was started eleven years ago by the owners, both gardening enthusiasts. They keep adding new elements as their interest and knowledge increases, constantly combating problems of the soil and the climate.
The formal part of the garden is hedged with Duranta erecta
and uses traditional rolled yellow clay for paths.
Around the formal part the garden spreads with lawns and trees. Irrigation
water is pumped up from boreholes in the plain to artificial lakes, but on this
day soft rain provided the irrigation.
Photgraphs by Davina Michaelides and Alisdair Aird