The concern for the enhancement of xerojardineria -gardening with low water consumption- with native plant species is based on its importance from the ecological and nature conservation point of view, thus directly related to the foundational purposes.
Given the current situation in which a large part of the Mediterranean coast is occupied by urbanizations and residences with landscaped areas, the adaptation of these spaces to the ecological conditions of our environment is of vital importance.
In general, exotic plants are used for gardens, coming from distant countries, whose vital requirements are totally different from those provided by our climate, with the consequent excess in the consumption of water and other resources. The generalization of these exotic environments, denaturalizes our Mediterranean landscape and leads to the cornering, if not the disappearance, of native flora and fauna, causing important ecological imbalances.
In most cases, the choice of this type of exotic gardens responds to aesthetic trends that could be described as fashions, a generalized situation that inevitably leads to designing them in this way, as if it were their only alternative. FUNDEM promotes other gardening options, based on indigenous Mediterranean elements.
In this context, the Mediterranean garden of l’Albarda has been planned, with an area of approximately 50,000 square meters and created from exclusively indigenous flora, located in the municipality of Pedreguer, Alicante. It was initially owned by the founding president D. Enrique Montoliu and today it is mostly loaned to the Foundation. The aim for the future of the garden is to become the full property of the Foundation and to be managed on the public visit basis. Its natural and landscape quality has been recognized with the Master of Landscaping Award 2002, awarded by the Polytechnic University of Valencia.
With increasing frequency, visits are being carried out by people directly or indirectly related to gardening: professional gardeners, scientists, landscapers, representatives of different public administrations… The demonstration effect of this garden is of great importance, to the extent that its ecological criteria can be considered to have been exported to many other places.
These characteristics of public use and demonstrative quality require infrastructure works and maintenance of an environment which, moreover, is in the process of being extended, construction and provision of the necessary equipment for the reproduction of plant species, which in many cases are used for the first time in gardening, or the adaptation of spaces for the implementation of purely teaching activities, courses, practices, thesis…
Here are some of the advantages of creating a Mediterranean garden, an environment for sustainability:
- Reduced water consumption: due to their adaptation to the climate and soil, indigenous plants only need irrigation the first two years after planting. Then they can survive only with the water provided by rain, even in the summer.
- An economical garden: plants are bought only once, because in this favorable environment their reproduction is dynamic. The only work it requires is aesthetic ideas.
- It contributes to maintaining our landscape: it is very important to preserve our environment. If we introduce native plants we collaborate in the development of our flora, otherwise we could only find it in natural places spontaneously, spaces that are increasingly degraded and prone to disappearance.
- The garden is beautiful all year round: at each time of the year there are a number of plants that are ready to bloom, are constantly renewed according to the seasons.
- Its maintenance is environmentally friendly: it does not need the use of pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers…, all of them, and with inadequate use, are the most important cause of soil contamination. It is enough to have a pond where insects, birds, reptiles and amphibians can access: these will be responsible for restoring the biological balance.