Roaring Girl

The adventures of the yacht Roaring Girl wandering the seas.

12 August 2013 | Ipswich, England
17 July 2012
16 July 2012
10 July 2012
05 July 2012
03 July 2012
03 July 2012
03 July 2012
02 July 2012 | Shanghai (high up!)
02 July 2012 | Shanghai (high up!)
02 July 2012 | Shanghai (high up!)
02 July 2012
02 July 2012 | Shanghai
01 July 2012
01 July 2012 | Moganshan Lu, Shanghai

Gardens and open spaces in the Alhambra

23 July 2007 | Grenada
Hot!
The Alhambra must be fascinating to serious students of garden and landscape design. The rest of us can luxuriate in the lovely flowers and scents and the cool sight and sound of water. (By the way, if you´re reading this in chronological order, ie oldest first, this is one of 5 posts on the Alhambra, which could be read in any order, you might like to go the Contents page and decide.)
As you explore, you can trace the progression from the rigid formality of Hispano-Islamic Classicism, through the stately majesty of 16th century empire, the soft and multiple flowerings of 19th century romanticism and the re-imaginings of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
In all of these, water plays a central role. For the Moors, Paradise was very like a garden. Water is glorified and blessed, and the garden patios of the Alhambra bring these beliefs together. In the severe lines of the great courtyards of the Nasrid palaces, the pools are great rectangles of still water. They reflect and soften the hard edges, right angles and severe geometry of the courtyards, shimmering and colouring the entire space. Here water moves quietly, making only the smallest of whispers, giving cause to reflect on the bounty of Allah and the fragile thread on which life depends.
These evolve into ever more complex arrangements of plants and water. The Arabs loved the date palm, and many remain in Grenada. (In Cordoba, by comparison, the palms that were planted in the courtyard outside the Mosque were replaced by the orange trees which still grow there.) In addition, an early sultan installed a complex hydraulic water system, fed by the Acequia Real (Royal Conduit) which brought water from the Generalife into the waterless crag of the palaces and the fortress. In the gardens of the Generalife, this allowed the creation of the wonderful Water Staircase, down each side of which runs, at hand height, a rill of fast, cold water refreshing as you climb up from that palace to its highest view point.
The later gardens of the Catholics have more luxuriant planting, including many more plants in the water itself. Here we find lilies and reeds, the interplay of fish in the leaves, and overhanging branches bringing a different effect of light and shade. Their fountains became more elaborate than the earlier ones, and you can hear the movement of water in jets and streams.
By the nineteenth century the Alhambra (largely ignored for some 300 years) was 'rediscovered' by the Romantics. Gustav Doré made engravings and painters such as Mariano Fortuny, Owen Jones and Lopez-Mezquita recorded and fantasised about the palaces, fortress and gardens. Their works, even when distorted by orientalist romanticising of the past, are a valuable help to the archaeologists today. This is particularly important in recovering the magnificent polychrome on the stucco work, only fragments of which survive.
Their impact is clear in some of the planting, even much more modern developments such as the Cypress Walk.
In the 20th century some areas of the gardens were re-laid out, including the 'New Gardens' in the lower part of the Generalife. These were informed by all sorts of elements of the past, including, in 1951, a reinterpretation of an Islamic garden (designed by the architect Prieto Moreno). The picture is a fountain from that garden.
If we had a garden nowadays, we would rethink the whole design to learn from the tranquillity and inspiration of these outdoor spaces. These gardens manage heat and cold, provide spaces for gracious living, and are both a feast for the senses and a stimulation to the mind. For Sarah, who had the good fortune to live in the gardens of Stowe as a child, they would be yet another dimension to the long view that is required of any serious gardener.
Comments
Vessel Name: Roaring Girl
Vessel Make/Model: Maxi 120
Hailing Port: Ipswich
Crew: Pip Harris and Sarah Tanburn
About: Captain Sarah and Chief Engineer/Mate Pip moved on board in 2003 and finally made the break in 2006. Roaring Girl, launched in 1977, has already been round the world once, and has a lot more seamiles than the two of us put together.
Extra: These pages aim to bring you our adventures as they happen, as well as Roaring Girl's sailing prowess. And to show off Pip's silverwork as well.
Roaring Girl's Photos - Main
Pictures of the nuraghe Santu Antine at Torralba
4 Photos
Created 4 August 2010
Gullivette working the boat
5 Photos
Created 6 July 2010
The amazing site at Filitosa with statue-menhirs carved in granite
8 Photos
Created 3 July 2010
Pictures from the sanctuary on Corsica, at A Cupulatta
7 Photos
Created 3 July 2010
The tower on the headland and the rocks of Iles Sanguinaire on the northern edge of the Golfe d'Ajaccio
5 Photos
Created 20 June 2010
The walk from Girolata to the road
6 Photos
Created 20 June 2010
Pictures of the harbour and buoyage in the Port of Girolata
3 Photos
Created 20 June 2010
The rock formations on the coast of the Scandola Nature Reserve
5 Photos
Created 20 June 2010
Pictures of the anchorage and headland at Ile Rousse
6 Photos
Created 20 June 2010
Pictures of the coast walk around the Desert des Agriates
6 Photos
Created 20 June 2010
Landmarks and views from the tip of Corsica
14 Photos
Created 25 May 2010
Pictures from the hills on the north coast of Elba - see post dated 25 May 2010.
5 Photos
Created 25 May 2010
Pictures of the small marina in the town
3 Photos
Created 25 May 2010
A description of our renewable energy generators, particularly our demountable ampair 100. See detailed post of 19 May 2010.
4 Photos
Created 20 May 2010
Pictures of our pals, particularly a feast for Bichon lovers. See post of 19 May 2010
7 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 20 May 2010
Recording some of the more splendid dishes of our Itinerario Gusto, as described in the post of 19 May 2010
4 Photos
Created 20 May 2010
A large album of pictures showing some of the beauties of the island.
21 Photos
Created 20 May 2010
Pictures of the entrance to the Rade, the anchorage and the darsena. Relates to post of 19 May 2010
8 Photos
Created 20 May 2010
The old market of Rome is being abandoned to rot, while, right next door, a new one is taking shape.
4 Photos
Created 12 May 2010
Pictures from the basilica, especially the bronze doors from the ancient Senate and wonderful mosaic decorations
8 Photos
Created 12 May 2010
Pictures of passarelles (gangplanks to the lubbers!) See post of 9 May 2010
7 Photos
Created 9 May 2010
Pictures of Ostia, the seaside town of Rome. See post of 9 May 2010.
6 Photos
Created 9 May 2010
Pictures from the Capitoline Hill. See post dated 9 May 2010
6 Photos
Created 9 May 2010
The inside of the cathedral and the great piazza in front of it. See posts from 22 April 2010.
10 Photos
Created 25 April 2010
Detailed pix of the process of cleaning out the binnacle compass and filtering the oil. See post of 18 April 2010.
4 Photos
Created 23 April 2010

Who we are

Who: Pip Harris and Sarah Tanburn
Port: Ipswich