Contributions of the 19th and 20th century rural villas in shaping the landscape of southeastern Spain

F. Medina, J. Ochoa
This paper studies the formation of the landscape linked to the construction of rural Villas during the 19th and 20th centuries in the periphery of the cities of southeastern Spain, linked to recreational use and the agrarian landscape. Many of these Villas remain until today with varying degrees of conservation, are of current interest because of the present rural tourism activities and new initiatives to agricultural land preservation. The garden appeared next to the constructions almost as an essential element, but in many cases in a very discreet manner resulting in very elementary spaces. All of them have a common element: the limitation of water for irrigation. This lead to the integration of agricultural lands that supported the Villas economically and making agriculture become an essential component of the landscape. Because of the importance of water resources, related elements became fundamental parts of the landscape (water drops, ponds, canals, etc.), which received an enormous positive perception in the semiarid environment. The layout of the gardens was designed by crossing orthogonal paths. This design is constrained by the surface irrigation system, which is reproduced in almost all the studied cases. Even when pursuing more "landscaping" options in woodland environments, mostly pine forests, raised paths over the crops was the solution adopted. Vegetation created romantic gardens and flourished walks embedded in an agricultural area of great environmental and landscape value that can currently be used for touristic purposes while enabling the preservation of these valuable landscapes and its architectural heritage.
Medina, F. and Ochoa, J. (2017). Contributions of the 19th and 20th century rural villas in shaping the landscape of southeastern Spain. Acta Hortic. 1189, 89-92
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1189.18
agricultural landscape, recreational, modernism

Acta Horticulturae