The dream of the Duchess
After acquiring the land where the garden is today, the Duchess of Parcent, Trinidad von Scholtz Hermensdorff, commissioned its design to the French landscape painter Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier. For its creation, it was inspired by the Hispano-Muslim garden and the geometry of French gardens. Today is an National Monument.
At the Casa del Rey Moro, the French landscape architect Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier wanted to create a garden for the senses based on his concept of "Mediterranean garden". It is a type of garden inspired by Hispano-Muslim art, reminiscent of the gardens of the Alhambra or the Alcazar of Seville; that integrates fruit trees and aromatic plants, adapted to the climate of Ronda to provoke sensations throughout the year; and that is organized through geometric parterres evoking the French landscape tradition.
Through three terraces with a small gap between them, Forestier organized the narrow space for the garden, which looks on the north side towards the Tagus. Brief staircases link each terrace to save this difference. And the water in movement is what unites them: in the upper terrace, Forestier installed a fountain that pours its water into a channel that flows until it empties into the pond of the lower terrace. This longitudinal canal, with avenues to walk on the sides, evokes the characteristic garden-garden of Islamic culture, traditionally developed in courtyards with irrigation ditches.
On both sides of the water channel are the flowerbeds, with hedges of cypress, boxwood and myrtle, cut out with geometric shapes, as is usual in French gardening. In addition to these plants, Forestier planned the planting of many others, capable of offering special visual and aromatic sensations of great beauty. Among them were the rosebushes, which have not been able to prosper because they are today in the shade of an enormous invasive pine tree. Also, laurel planters trimmed with spherical shapes, located at the foot of each staircase, or the enormous wisteria that, in spring, during flowering, offers a glittering spectacle of mauve color on the pergola.
The pergola is another of those elements that give continuity to the different terraces: it extends covering the entire south side and offering shade. To enjoy this shade, on the upper terrace there are several benches for resting, completely covered with tiles, in the style of the decoration of the gardens of Hispano-Muslim and Mudejar art.