“A GARDEN IS A NATURAL SPACE; IT IS WHERE NATURE IS CONTAINED AND CONTROLLED BUT NONETHELESS NATURAL.” -URQUIJO-KASTNER
Renowned landscape architects make their living wrestling with this very dilemma: controlling the uncontrollable. However, it is in their attempt to harness nature that true magic ensues.
Meet Miguel Urquijo and Renate Kastner of Urquijo-Kastner Landscape and Garden Design Studio.
Their partnership, both personal and professional, has produced some of Spain’s most breathtaking private gardens. Ordered to a degree, yet seemingly effortless and naturalistic, landscapes designed by Urquijo-Kastner often evoke some sort of primordial state, as if the land had always been that way.
Their landscapes soothe the soul and live up to the couple’s belief that gardens should “give us pleasure and shelter by favoring our innate tendency to contemplate and heal the spirit.”
Come with us and visit some of their garden designs—from ancient Castilian olive groves near Avila and horse-filled pastures of Salamanca to cactus-laden foothills of Monfrague and palm tree terraces of Ibiza, an Urquijo-Kastner garden is distinctive, if not other-worldly.
On the outskirts of the ancient Castilian city of Avila, among centuries-old olive trees and their stylized companions, the cypresses, a young Mediterranean garden emerges with lively grasses and flowering species connected by stone walls, terraces, and magnificent granite boulders.
Among the rolling green pastures of Salamanca, Urquijo-Kastner transformed the landscape of a large estate by planting circular islands of lavender, sprinkled with roses and irises, in an oasis of greenery among the open, horse-filled fields.
Along the Tajo River at the foot of Monfrague, a garden of succulents was conceived to meet the owner’s need for low maintenance. Architectural plantings such as prickly pear and century plants are juxtaposed against feather grasses, lamb’s ear, dianthus, and lavender in a floral courtship.
For an island retreat on Ibiza, built on land that was once a rural farm, Urquijo-Kastner retained many native trees and planted drought-resistant shrubs, terraced throughout the property. However, surrounding the house and outdoor living spaces, they opted for more leafy plantings, providing a sanctuary of lushness and a welcome relief from the Mediterranean sun.
Visit urquijokastner.com to learn more
EXCLUSIVE ON THE MILIEU INSIDER
PRODUCED BY LESLIE NEWSOM RASCOE, MILIEU DESIGN DIRECTOR
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CLAIRE TAKACS & URQUIJO-KASTNER