Arts + Culture

Green Retreats

by Stephen Anderton

The garden: Generalife

A tree grows in: Granada, Spain

First planted: 14th century

Roots: After a few late nights in the Andalusian city of Granada (do the Spaniards ever sleep?), this oasislike shelter is oh so welcome. If imitation is the greatest form of praise, then the Generalife, attached to the Alhambra palace, must be the most praiseworthy garden on earth, for it was the seed of much of Europe's formal gardening, inspiring Tintinhull, Chute, and Walmer Castle in the U.K. The Generalife itself was directly descended from the ancient Persians' gardens with their four brooks running from a central fountain. At the Generalife's Patio de la Acequia, formality is at its simplest and best: a central canal, delicate fountains arching over it, and pots of brightly colored flowers. It's the archetypal inward-looking oasis garden, perfect for a hot climate, and not bad either for a modern-day visitor looking for a night off.

Tel: 34 902 441 221

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