A garden at the foot of Monfragüe

The owners’ requirement was for a garden that would require not only minimal maintenance but also low water consumption, located around a farm building that had been converted into a temporary dwelling. By using a slate wall, an enclosed area for the garden was prepared along with a protected outdoors dining area that were integrated into the pasture landscape. The owner suggested the use of succulent plants such as prickly pears and century plants; most commonly associated with desert climates, in this area they grow spontaneously tempered by the Tajo River. Together with these architectural plants, we used the opposing softness of light masses of feather grass (Stipa tenuissima) dotted with valerian (Centranthus), that grow wild in every spare space. Lamb’s ears (Stachys bizantina), wallflowers, dianthus and lavenders also form part of this floral courtship. The result is a garden where the areas that are filled by vegetation do not form a pattern and evolve in accordance with the species’ requirements, a landscape in movement which each year sees small pathways open and close between the plants.