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Spanish paradise: gardens of the Alhambra at the New York Botanical Garden

5/23/2011 10:25:00 AM

Travel to southern Spain in just an afternoon.

This unprecedented exhibition explores the collaboration of sublime nature and dramatic design that created an earthly paradise. Read the works of Federico García Lorca as you stroll the gardens surrounding the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, enjoy flamenco each weekend, and discover the food and culture of Spain. A complementary exhibition in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, Historical Views: Tourists at the Alhambra, features rare prints, historical photographs, watercolor drawings, and objects from the rich collections of the Hispanic Society of America, immersing visitors in the Alhambra's history and design.

The plants of the Mediterranean region flourish in strong sunlight and hot weather, and they are quite at home in the glasshouses of the Conservatory, especially during the warmer months. The intense summer light of New York, like that of Andalusia and the city of Granada, suits the plants in the exhibition, which are gorgeous, fragrant, and evocative of early European horticulture.

Medieval Spanish garden design is not often seen or easy to learn about in New York City, and related as it is to Roman villa, Persian, and Near Eastern garden design, this little-known subject is fascinating for everyone interested in Islamic culture or the history of gardens and landscape architecture. Medieval Spanish garden architects often endowed their gardens with a mirador, the Spanish word for window or a place from which to experience a view. We present this multifaceted exhibition as a kind of miradorlooking out to Medieval Spain, Islamic culture, and the Spanish landscape.

Web Site: http://www.nybg.org/

New York Times: Temptations Found in Gardens of Islamic Delight

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