Communal areas are important for fostering community spirit and having a beautiful garden area where residents can relax and enjoy the Spanish weather is a real benefit for everyone. However, gardening in Spain can be tough if you don’t want to spend money on full time staff to look after your plants and also want to minimise water use. Saving water is not just an environmental issue, it’s also a way to minimize community costs when you’re being charged on a water meter!
The greenest, most cost-effective way to garden in Spain is to use native plants which have evolved to cope with the dry weather and choose drought resistant varieties from other parts of the world. These plants, trees and grasses are still beautiful, but they take much less looking after and won’t use up too much of the precious water.
Here are some tips for community presidents in Spain trying to create a beautiful garden:
Lawns are very water hungry so if you’re designing your garden now, think about creating patio areas with seating which is shaded by trees, this will be a practical space and use a lot less water. If you do want a lawn area, choose the variety carefully and use hardy drought resistant grasses.
Protect your soil and lock in precious water by using mulch on top of the soil either an organic material or a permeable membrane covered by gravel or wood chip.
Plant more delicate plants in shady areas where they will not feel the full force of the sun.
Harness rain water that falls either with water butts or by re-plumbing any down pipes from the roofs to direct the water to the gardens.
Water your plants at night or first thing in the morning to reduce evaporation.
Know what you’re planting and choose the most drought resistant plants, as suggested by this really useful website.
Please let us know if you have any more tips on producing a healthy, beautiful community garden which doesn’t use too much valuable water. Comment on this post or send us an email via our Urbytus contact form with images and we’ll put it up.