Wednesday

SECRET GARDEN OF NIGÜELAS

You know how it is when you peer through the gates of a garden and you just know that you must see more. Somehow. By any means short of scaling the walls.

For many months I had craved the opportunity to enter the gardens of Jardin Muller in the village of Nigüelas

I had got as far as the locked gates. All I could see was a tennis court, horses, some beautiful dogs and what appeared to be a secret garden to savour.

The power of Twitter got me in.


Thanks to the lovely family who own this private garden, I was invited to admire what they see every day and Jardin Muller will feature in my book 'Gardens of Andalucia,' to be released in 2014.

Javier, Marissa and Fatima welcomed me and www.vern-on-spain.blogspot.com to visit and, as soon as the distinctive bells of Nigüelas church rang Noon, the wine came out.
What a splendid way to spend the day.

This is like the Generalife Gardens of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, only in miniature. Though not that miniature! You can get lost in these glorious gardens.


The vast chestnut tree is magnificent and believed to be around 500 years old. I loved sitting underneath it and taking in the splendour of the garden. There is lots to take in.

There are several mature examples of magnolia grandiflora in the garden. The lawns and hedges are well kept and the layout of the gardens offers something for those who like both formal design and those who , like me, enjoy wandering the more natural parts of a garden.

The wild flowers are particularly good in Spain right now, thanks to the heaviest March rainfall for 80 years.

The various fountains of Jardin Muller, in which the family of dogs like nothing more than to splash about, are well kept. The large statue at one end of the garden is believed to have come from Italy.


On my second visit in May the roses were out and the snow on the surrounding mountains had all but vanished. The spring is a great time to visit the Lecrin Valley and stay at www.lecrinlet.blogspot.com which is located a five minute drive from Jardin Muller, and twenty minutes from Granada city centre and the beaches of the Costa Tropical.

So having longed to go there for many months, I have now been so lucky to be invited into the grounds twice. I will be back for more.


If you are interested in organising a smaller or larger group visit through me, do get in touch by e-mail granadagardens@live.co.uk

And if you are planning a wedding, or need a venue to stage a special event, the website for Jardin Muller is http://www.jardinmuller.com/ on Twitter www.twitter.com/jardinmuller and they are also on Facebook.

Thursday

TEXANS SING IN THE RAIN




Another garden tour. Another day of getting wet. This must be the wettest spring we have encountered in the great Spanish city of Granada. It poured down today but the 19 Texan horticulture students we guided around gardens in the city were not too upset about getting wet.
After all, at home, they have seen almost no rain since last October. Incredible!
As they paddled around Spain, it was 86 degrees fahrenheit at home in Texas. But did they complain? No! They did not. What a lovely group of people.
We only wish we could have spent more time with them and in better weather.

The party was made up of keen gardeners from Lubbock and those from New Mexico. Many of them are studying horticulture at Texas Tech University.
After leaving our first garden which they described as "delightful" we walked through the Albaicin in Granada, but we all got soaked as the heavens opened.
But they marched on and broke into song. A chorus of "We're Singing in the Rain" lifted the spirits.

Walking through puddles in torrential rain are not the best conditions in which to walk around the gardens, but it does mean that the they are particularly lush at the moment. The plants are enjoying all this water.
Before we know it, we shall be walking around the gardens of Granada in 40 degree heat.

But, whatever the weather, we are here to make sure you have a fun, informed, relaxed and personal guide to the best green spaces in the city of Granada.
E-mail greenspain@live.com if you want to enjoy the gardens with us.