Hello I am Rachel Mathews from Successful
Garden Design. Now in this video and the next few we’re going to look at small space gardening
and what you can do in really tiny gardens. So we’re here at a beautiful guest house
in the heart of the Lecrin Valley, called Casa Aire. And this is the owner of the guest
house, Anne-Muriel. Interviewee: Hello.
Rachel: Now this courtyard blew me away. I mean it’s just beautiful. What was it like
when you first arrived? Interviewee: Well, this was a room full of
mattresses and this was another room with a fire place at the end.
Rachel: So it had a roof to it? Interviewee: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Now this
was actually part of the big house. So that was three-story high and that was one story
with a fire place. Rachel: So it was quite a big decision then
to make an outside space when you know you’re taking a room away?
Interviewee: Well actually the good thing was that I went back to the original shape
of the house cause these walls are, are you know obviously original and they are outside
wall. So that was quite good. But that’s why I’ve kept the windows, cause they were
windows from the original.. Rachel: Oh so that the sort of archway-
Interview: No that’s new cause the walls collapsed, but these two windows were there
from, from the rooms that it was before. Rachel: Right, beautiful. And it feels like
it has very Moroccan sort of influence. Interviewee: Well, I wanted to move to Morocco,
but I couldn’t do that so and then I wanted to do house like Moroccan way, but the house
was too Spanish. So the only place where I could get a bit of Morocco in was on the outside.
We only live about thirty minutes from the Alhambra so it kind of makes sense.
Rachel: Yeah, well it ties in beautifully. So, are you one of these annoying people that
can visualize how something is going to look or did you sketch up on paper? How did you
go around, about planning it? Interviewee: Do you mind being that I am annoying?
Rachel: Yes. I there is lots of annoying people. I am not one of them. I have to put everything
on paper. Interviewee: No, no I kind of-
Rachel: So you can visualize? Interviewee: I visualized it.
Rachel: You’re very lucky. Very few people can do that. You know the mirror I think is
a stroke of genius. I mean it just doubles the space you’ve got here.
Interviewee: And also I’ve asked them, that was my big, it’s a bit of extravagant. And
then I wanted Roman arch, but that was the Romanian builders idea of a Roman arch. So
it’s all Romanesque anyway. But, no the, I had to put it at an angle so that when you
stand in front of it, you don’t see yourself. Rachel: That’s the genius part. Because-
Interviewee: But you reflect the jar. And the vegetation.
Rachel: You know when I suggest mirrors to people in sort of the Successful Garden Design
blog, the first thing they do, and they put it and it faces the house. Well there is not
point in reflecting, I mean this house is very pretty, but the average house in the
United Kingdom, they’re not that attractive to look at so it’s really critical to put
that angle in. Now that wall is a little bit an angle, but you put a little bit more of
an angle there. Interviewee: Yeah for degree. But basically
the idea it was to reflect the jar. Rachel: And where did you get that jar?
Interviewee: They were in the house. Rachel: It was ,really?
Interviewee: They were both. Yes. They’re, they’re wine jars.
Rachel: Wine jars?n Wow. Interviewee: Yes.
Rachel: That’s a party. And the other clever thing I like that you’ve done with this
garden is that you’ve created the privacy in the pool area, but you’ve done it in
a way that you haven’t blocked the view. So you’ve made the best use of space, which
is really good. Interviewee: Well, I need to trim that lavender.
And also keep plants, I try to keep plants in that so there are not so many colors. So
it’s a lot of blues, a lot of red to go with the walls or not. And, and a bit of orange
and yellow here and there, but on the whole the colors are fairly sort of similar. I think,
you know, if you have the small space, you can’t have too many colors. Otherwise it
looks garish. And it’s too, it takes, it detracts from, you know the general impact,
if you’re eyes are drawn to too many things. Rachel: But also you haven’t been scared
to do big things in a small space. You know that mirror is big, this pot is big and that
works well, that’s another thing. And we go
Interviewee: And we go Rachel: That’s the neighbors.
Interviewee: No he’s selling fish. Rachel: Oh he’s selling fish. Oh that’s
what that is. Oh well, it makes a change from the ice cream man. So yeah, that’s something
that often scares people having big plant. They thing everything’s gotta be tiny but
it hasn’t. You can have big dramatic plants, big dramatic features.
Interviewee: It’s just as long you don’t have too many.
Rachel: Yes, you’ve got it. Absolutely. You weren’t a garden designer in a previous
life, were you? Interviewee: No, I think I was an Egyptian
lizard, but that’s a different story. Rachel: That mosaic on the floor that I’ve
just spied. Was that an original feature? Or you had that put in?
Interviewee: I had that put in. It comes from Syria and got it on ebay.
Rachel: Really? Wow.It’s beautiful. Interviewee: It’s marble and well again
maybe it’s one too many things, but I love mosaic so I had to put it somewhere.
Rachel: So now I found this beautiful guest house. How many bedrooms do you have here?
Interviewee: Six. Rachel: Six bedrooms. And they’re absolutely
wonderful. And you’ve done them up, you’ve completely guttered the house and done it
up. Interviewee: Not guttered, I’ve kept the
structure, but I’ve redone everything. Rachel: You’ve redone everything, but it’s
a very traditional style that you’ve kept. It’s just beautiful. So now I found you
on trip advisor, but is there a website people can send you too? Or is there a best place
that people can go on? Interviewee: Well I’ve got my own, this
little house has got its own website. Rachel: Would you like to give the website’s
address? Interviewee: I would, it’s a big long-winded,
but Rachel: We’ll link to it on our video as
well. Thank you so much for telling us about your beautiful courtyard.
Interviewee: Well, thank you for coming to stay and liking it so much.
Rachel: Yes, I do. I love it.