The Spanish Tourist Office is showcasing the mystery and romance of Galicia’s ‘Pazo’ gardens at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this July. Show garden designer, Rose McMonigall, shares her tips on recreating the look in your own garden.
The historic Galician Pazos are magnificent palaces famous for their exquisite architecture and extensive gardens, where formal design meets the untamed nature of Galicia’s landscapes.
Often mysterious and dripping with greenery, with mists enshrouding them in the cooler months, softening the edges of their often highly formal design, these gardens blend with a larger, more practical landscape, where the productivity of the land is as important as its aesthetic appearance. Vines tangle amid the ornamentation to yield harvests producing some of Northern Spain’s best wines.
“The climate of Galicia is very similar to that of the UK” says Rose, “and the plant life that thrives in northern Spain is not dissimilar to that which we enjoy here, so why not try to achieve the ‘Pazo’ look in your own garden?”
Rose provides her top tips for bringing a little bit of Galicia to Britain:
- The key to this indulgently romantic look is to embrace nature in your garden. A few ‘weeds’ here and there will add to the theme, so let nature do its thing. If there’s a balance between plants that you have bought and those that have self-seeded and introduced themselves, you are following the right path. Celebrate the true beauty of these wild flowers; after all this is a romantic garden…
- Go for green, in all its many shades. A limited colour palette with varied green shades and a dash of cool blues will evoke the mysterious, shady gardens of the Pazos. Edges should be blurred, so avoid neat lines and be led by the shape of the plants.
- To add instant impact, invest in specimen plants common to this beautiful part of Spain such as glossy-leaved camellias and delicate mophead blue hydrangeas, or climbing varieties. Both of these need acid soil, so if your soil is neutral or alkaline (you can check this with a pH tester kit bought at a garden centre), you’ll need to add ericaceous compost. Ferns and arum lilies will also complete the look.
- Garden furniture, stone features or hard landscaping should look as faded and vintage as possible. A stone bench with lichen spots, rocks covered in cushion moss or even a classic statue tangled in ivy or vine will add to the atmosphere.
- Encourage wildlife into your garden by creating a small log pile as a haven for insects and hedgehogs, and avoid sweeping up fallen leaves. If you want to really embrace the Galician look, build a small pond or water feature and add some marginal pond plants and water lilies. Local wildlife will love it and the sound of trickling water will really heighten the romantic vibe.
Spain’s exhibit at the show this year, ‘The Pazo’s Secret Garden’, by Rose McMonigall, celebrates Galicia, its Pazos, the camellia, and the distinctive Albariño wine of the region and provides an exquisite example of what your Pazo garden could look like.
Known as ‘the land of camellias’, Galicia is a renowned destination for lovers of the outdoors and garden enthusiasts. Camellias have become such an integral part of the region that visitors to Galicia can follow a dedicated ‘Camellia Route’; a journey that passes from northern to southern Galicia through 12 manor houses (or Pazos) and gardens where the camellia reigns in all its glory.
Covered in lush greenery, with some of Spain’s most idyllic, natural beaches; home to a number of buzzing, charming and characterful cities; one of the top (though lesser known) wine producing regions in Spain, famous for the delicious Albariño white wine; and offering up arguably the best seafood in the country, Galicia is a must-visit destination.
To purchase tickets for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, visit: www.rhs.org.uk/flowershows and for more information on Galicia or other regions of Spain visit http://www.turismo.gal or http://www.spain.info respectively
Notes to editors:
- There will be an opportunity to meet for 1:1 interviews with garden designer, Rose McMonigall, and the STO team throughout the show. Please contact the Rooster PR team should you wish to schedule a time to meet
- A more detailed description of the garden and the symbolism behind its design is available upon request, as is a full plant list and background on designer Rose McMonigall.
For further press information on Spain, please contact:
Natalie Garland / Melissa Hobson / Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8926
For further information on designer Rose McMonigall, contact:
Emma Mason PR
T: 07762 117433