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Presentation Topics:

Secret GardenWalks: Europe
Wine Country Gardens
21st Century Gardens
Great Gardens/Great Plants

Historic Gardens

Alhambra & Generalife Gardens, Spain

Alhambra Palaces & Generalife Gardens .. Highlights

Generalife ROSE Arches Photo © Alice Joyce

An unforgettable profusion of roses and refreshing water features appear at every turn when you experience the beauty and brilliance of the Alhambra palaces and Generalife gardens on a Spring day.

Generalife Gardens / Architecture Vignette Photo © Alice Joyce

The wonders of this world heritage site are the high point of a journey to Granada, the magnificent capital city of Andalusia, overlooking the Sierra Nevada mountains, some 40 miles inland from the Spanish coast. In May you can expect the days to be wonderfully warm, with clear azure skies.

Generalife The Patio de la Acequia Photo © Alice Joyce

Patio de la AcequiaEl Generalife: The presence of water – so integral to Islamic garden design – represents a life source, nourishing the body and the spirit. The Patio de la Acequia, as shown, is named for the acequias or channels for the irrigation system, which supplied water from outside the walls to the palaces and gardens.

Muqarnas are the unique tiered ornamentation mentioned in a previous feature exemplifies the exceptional craftsmanship which emerges in the architecture of the Alhambra.

Granada Alhambra Modernist Concert Arena Photo © Alice Joyce

A fascinating example of a modernist architectural addition to the ancient monument, the new Teatro or concert arena is a space composed of hard-edge forms and stark planes. The Generalife’s lush arrays of evergreen trees, clipped shrubs, imposing sculpted hedging and garden rooms overflowing with scented roses tend of soften the effect of the contemporary layout.

9 comments to Alhambra and Generalife Gardens – Spain

  • The walls – stone or hedge – make a big difference, don’t they? Great photos!

  • Dear Alice, Such tempting pictures and description of a garden which, although I have yet to visit, has long been a great influence on my gardening style. I could forgo the roses – just to have the green and the water would be more than enough!

  • Hi Tatyana,
    The sense of enclosure of the walls: I think I see what you may refer to, as they add such a distinctive character to each space one comes upon. So glad you’ve enjoyed the photos.

    Edith,
    Although I visited at the height of the rose bloom, the marriage of garden structure and water to ornament and architecture is matchless at any time of the year. Tempting in every way.

  • Beautiful – looks amazing such beautiful colours and structure – love the fusion of traditional planting but within a quite a modern framework.

  • Beautiful gardens. I really enjoy the roses, the walls and the evergreens – so tall! Cypress?

  • I love the way the arch of the water from the water feature matches the arch of the wall in your first photo. The combination of the green of the hedges and the old colors of the wall is wonderful, as well. Wish I could see it in person!

    By the way, how do you find time to post on two great blogs? I am amazed!

  • Alice, these posts on Alhambra and Generalife gardens make my heart long to travel. Shame I don’t have so much as a passport these days!

  • This is somewhere I must go. Thank you for sharing all of these lovely locations around the world. And like Deb, I have to ask how you have the time to post on your travels? Marvelous!

  • Good morning!
    I’m enjoying your comments, but as Deb and Karen have posed the question, time seems to be in short supply lately.
    Stay tuned …. there are many more fabulous destinations in Spain to follow.
    Happy Springtime to all!!
    Alice