Like many Spanish cities, Marbella is not short on shady spaces, a necessity for surviving the savagery of the searing Spanish sun. But thanks largely to the efforts of a corrupt former mayor, who paved much of the town in marble, Marbella’s parks are as grand as they are green, the many voluptuous tropical plants reflected double in the shiny polished pavements below, and curving elegantly over large ceramic-decorated fountains from which water arcs and spouts and dances whimsically all day long.
The central Alameda park is the gemstone in a series of green sprawling spaces, and has become an appropriate meeting place for Marbella’s locals and tourists alike. It’s various parallel avenues provide plenty of space for a refreshing perambulation, all paths leading to one of the parks two large fountains, while alongside the plants many a bench invites sitters to rest and imagine themselves sat in a richly verdant jungle.
Second only to the Alameda, the Parque de la Constitucion hosts at its centre a semi-circular open air theatre characteristic of those popular in Ancient Greece, while in the park surrounding it, a distinctly moorish feel envelops the fountains, paving and layout. I adore these gardens which, being slightly off centre, exude calm and lack crowds. Strolling between the tall shady cypress trees and besides lawns and flower beds, one could almost be in an English country garden – except for the key addition of sun.
I love Marbella’s park spaces, and more particularly the rich plump tropical and Mediterranean plant species which flourish there. Sitting beneath them I am reminded of an Henry Rousseau paintings albeit only metres from Marbella’s beach on one side and historic centre on the other.
Beyond the park, Marbella is a festival of floral colour and richly leafed greenery. I was struck by the sheer abundance of colourful flowers planted alongside roads and pavements, as well as the sheer volume of newly born leaves upon the trees (no doubt the result of an especially wet winter). I don’t think I’ve ever seen the town look prettier – and luckily my new camera was there to capture it all.
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- Marbella in May: a photography experiment (i) – my patio garden (daily-norm.com)
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