Gardens for the Senses. The Spanish Gardens of Javier Mariátegui
It was not by chance nor by a trick of fate that Javier Mariátegui dedicated himself to gardening. He grew up among gardens. Both his grandmothers were gardening enthusiasts, one of them, the Marchioness of Casa Valdés, wrote the book Spanish Gardens, which describes the history of Spanish gardening from Roman times to the present day. This book continues to be a reference for all lovers of this particular field of history and art. This enthusiasm was passed on to him by his parents. From his earliest years he was making his own gardens, by reusing those plants discarded by his father. Mariátegui studied landscape gardening and design at the Escuela de Paisajismo y Jardinerìa Castillo de Batres in Madrid. Subsequently he worked in England as a gardener. Back in Spain, he established the Jardines de España nursery, which looks after and employs handicapped children, with whom he first started making gardens. For the past thirty years, he has created numerous gardens across Spain and in several other European countries. He has also published many articles on landscape-gardening topics in specialized magazines and a book on one of his gardens: El Jardín de los Tapices / The Tapestry Garden. Among the present garden architects of Spain Mariátegui plays an outstanding role. Even the Spanish TV has dedicated a monographic program to him and his gardens. It would be difficult to summarize in a few words the essence of Mariáteguis gardens, given the wide variety of styles, their versatility and numerous differences that perhaps becomes his “”signature””. His style is not dogmatic, he loves order and disorder, straight lines and curved, the wild chaos of nature as well as strict geometrical patterns, varied and single species of plants, colour and absence of colour. Moreover he enjoys bringing elements that clash together until they harmonize. Perhaps as a result of an intimate knowledge of the magic of water in Andalusian Moorish gardens, Mariátegui uses water as an essential element in many of his gardens. He makes it ‘work’ in all its forms; in pumps,in cascades, in constant gentle movement, or rocking in waves, in disperse drops or in silence like a mirror that adds the magic of its reflection.
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