(Contributed by guest blogger Cara Greenberg who is reporting from Spain.)
Ahhhh, Seville…city of Roman arches and Moorish tiles, churches and towers and labyrinthine streets. I’m in love with everything about colorful, civilized Seville, especially the street trees laden with oranges. It’s harvest time now; the city will ship them off to Britain, where they’ll be made into marmalade.
No matter that it’s mid-winter and 40 degrees, The cheerful orange trees are everywhere: in courtyard gardens glimpsed through iron gates as you thread your way through impossibly narrow streets, and in the exquisite, elaborate walled gardens that spread out behind the Real Alcazar, onetime palace of Muslim kings, which I visited yesterday.
In its 14th century heyday, the Real Alcazar’s gardens were sunken, according to our guide, so the royals could pick fruit without having to stretch. Centuries later, under Christian rulers, the gardens were re-done in formal Renaissance style, and so they mostly remain, divided into myrtle-edged beds filled with acanthus, agapanthus, jacaranda, elephant ear, magnolia, philadelphus, pittosporum and more, punctuated here and there by soaring date palms and columnar cypresses. But there are also strong elements of characteristic Iberian garden design: patios, terraces, and arcades edged with brilliantly colored tiles, with archways and iron grilles in the walls between each section offering glimpses of what’s to come, and drawing you in and on…
To read more about Seville’s gardens and see more pictures, go to casacara.wordpress.com.