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The garden in winter
The garden in spring
The garden in summer
History of the garden

In the summer of 2003 we moved to a new house with a really great garden of about 1.200 square feet. Honour to whom deserves honour, the previous owners of the garden did a great design and maintenance job so I could concentrate on building the bonsai stand and detail plantations.

Summer 2003 will be remembered as one of the hottest summers in Europe and it was indeed a difficult year to start with a garden of this size without knowing it's water needs, trying to keep the lawn in shape and keeping at the same an eye at Spains water shortage, which will surely return soon if it doesn't rain enough this autumn and winter.

All the photos shown here, were taken in soon october after three days of heavy rain, so I will start the garden series in autumn, later on winter, spring and summer images will be included to complete a whole year.

The garden is sited in Madrid, Spain, where the mediterranean climate is very extreme. During summer, very high temperatures can be achieved (often over 40° Celsius) while the winters are normally quite cold (down to below -5° Celsius). In these conditions you are not able to choose all species of plants which normally grow in mediterranean areas as they might dry out in summer if they are not waterered enough or they could not withstand the very low temperatures in winter.

The advantage of cultivating gardens and also bonsais in Spain is the sun, omnipresent about 250 days a year, at least in the center of Spain where Madrid is located. A good growth is therefore insured if water conditions are ok. Natural rain volume differs a lot from year to year. Some years it rains a lot during autumn and winter with heavy showers in summer, the next two years are dry causing mean water shortage.

As seen in the photo above the garden has an extense lawn which must be watered twice every day (during summer) and even then it is very difficult to keep it green. Distinct species of lawn grew this summer as some species are more resistant against dry conditions than others. I hope for enough rain in the following autumn days ...

The whole garden is surrounded by a tall fence formed of arizonica trees which will be pruned in november to keep it in shape and sane.

Also in this garden watering is insured by a automatic rain system which can be programmed depending on the season and temperature.

Autumn is the moment to prepare the garden for the winter, some species should be pruned the next weeks. The soil must be enriched with a great amount of organic material out of the compost container. Specially in this garden it is quite sandy with no clay which could retain water.

What I will do next spring is to replant the left zone shown in the photo above, as it is partially shady and partially sunny what will permit to plant different species of flowers.

Above, the fishpond with a population of around 30 exemplars of comets, shubunkins and kois. It is surrounded with bambus, phormiums, typhas, dracena draco, juniperus and other species in different forms and greens.

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Autumn 2004

These photos were taken in autumn 2003, after three days of heavy rain and a very hot and dry summer.

In autumn the garden shows great colors in different grades of green in contrast with the white flowers of the yucca, the red berries of the pyracantha and yellow to orange fruits of the arbutus unedo which will turn red in the next weeks.

Gardens should always incorporate some romantic corners as the green bench shown above. It is very relaxing to sit on it reading a book or just enjoying the sun.

As said above, autumn is the season of great color contrasts. Leaves turning from light green to yellow and later to brown, other species now turn deep red as the acer japonicum.