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About2018-12-21T11:54:29+01:00

Our Vision: Developing People

Our Mission

create a sustainable, natural paradise in the andalusian mountains where we can provide a high quality resort for wellness and personal development. We want to have regular courses our guests can attend which all aim at improving the quality of life in an integral and sustainable way for years to come.

This will be a place where anybody who is creating some benefit for society through his or her work can come and stay. The whole complex will be built around supporting this activity.

We are also aiming to offer grants for a free residency.

We imagine a vivid, dynamic community of people that might otherwise never meet, working on diverse projects from business to arts or science, sharing different ways of looking at the world.

Companies can use The Garden for a retreat or workshop in a special and unique environment. You are also welcome to come and stay here as a tourist.

A Day in The Garden:

You look out of the window, you see a clear blue sky and a wide golden landscape. You take a cup of coffee to the veranda and are looking forward to the day because here you are free. The singing of the cicadas and the bable of the river floats through the air you smell the fragrance of wild rosemary and thyme. You can finaly fully focus on your project and follow your passion.

To clear your mind and take a step away from the book you are working on, you later take a walk along the banks of the river Turon. In the evening you sit down with a glass of wine and write inspired until late into the night.

Tomorrow you want to take part in the Yoga course and then relax at the pool, maybe you will eat dinner  in the ecological restaurant with the others.

You are in The Garden.

The Buildings

We will build nine individual chalets with large open kitchen/living room areas. A guest house with en suite rooms that can also be used for groups. All housing has wide views of the surrounding landscape and spacious verandas.

A seminar room, a workshop and an artist’s studio, a library, a rustic self-service bar/restaurant with a big communal kitchen as a meeting point, a natural swimming pool, a sauna and a Quiet Place consisting of a meditation room and a quiet garden will provide space for diverse activities.

There will be a workshop for manufacturing biological products from The Garden’s own agriculture, like soap from olive oil.

Sustainability

We will be creating an ecological cycle of sustainability.

  • Solar power will be the main source of energy. We will be able to produce so much we can even feed some back into the municipal grid.
  • Water will come from our own well that produces up to 6.000 litres of fresh drinking water per day.
  • Used water will be filtered and re-used for watering plants and flushing toilets.
  • Compost made from leftovers and the production of food will be used to fertilize the land.
  • Part of the project is to turn much of the 7 hectars of land into a self sustaining permaculture.

About Us

Dominic

I learned Spanish and building when I first moved to Andalusia as a teenager. After moving to Germany at age 18 I became a master carpenter and ran my own building business for several years.

One of the greatest experiences of my life has been helping to build and run a large Buddhist Centre in Hamburg St. Pauli. During that time I also became a skilled project manager organising Buddhist courses with several thousand participants and also big parties.

It has always been one of my goals in life to create spaces for people to come together, feel good and develop their potential. I believe that giving meaning to life through thinking of others and intelligently sharing the goodness we have is the only way humans will manage not to destroy each other and the planet with them.
Be committed, but don’t take life too seriously!

Heike

After finishing my education as an assistant tax adviser I decided to follow my love for languages and literature and studied literary translation in Düsseldorf. As a translator for Spanish and English, I have benefited a lot from places just like The Garden and have a good idea of what it takes to create an inspiring work environment that makes you feel at home.

For the past ten years, Dominic and I have been living in a big Buddhist Centre in Hamburg St. Pauli, sharing life with a great community of people. I was involved in planning and organising events and deepened my accounting and administration skills, which will be of good use in The Garden.

I want to support people dedicated to creating art and culture, I see how difficult it is becoming to make a living from it and find time and mental space for creative processes. I believe we need to slow down and see how rich we already are. That is why I want to build The Garden.

The Story behind The Garden:

Twelve years ago Dominic’s father Martin and his wife Diana bought this absolutely beautiful piece of land in Andalusia planning to create an educational resort for teachers and students. Now after returning to England they have to sell this jewel of a property.
We will carry on this idealistic spirit and continue on the path they have laid, bringing in our own ideas and motivation.
Supporting our project, Martin and Diana have offered to postpone putting the land on the market, giving us an unique opportunity to raise the necessary funds and fulfill our vision.

We both love Spain, speak Spanish and know what it means to build up and run a project involving regular guests as well as organising courses.

Our love, gratitude and respect for the free and humanitarian culture our western societies have created over the last several thousand years have inspired us to create a place where people can take a break from the hamster wheel of daily life and follow their passion in the amazing surroundings of The Garden. This will be a place where people can meet, slow down and concentrate on what is important to them.

We have been practicing Buddhists for 12 and 22 years and we feel that combining the inner and outer freedoms of these two different approaches is something to offer society at The Garden.

About the Land and the Area

The land is a 7 ha registered organic finca in the Andalusian foothills of the Sierra de las Nieves. The river Turón flows along it’s boundary. It has 420 olive trees, many over 300 years old. Almond and carob trees, lemons and oranges, pears, plums, figs, quinces, pomegranates and grapes. It is surrounded by reforested land and olive groves that cannot be urbanized.

The Garden is conveniently situated in the Andalusian mountains only 45 minutes from the city of Málaga, it’s international airport, and the warm waters of the Mediterranean. The authentic and picturesque Andalusian village of Ardales is only ten minutes by car (about 30 minutes walking distance).

The famous trail El Caminito del Rey is just around the corner, as are many beautiful places for short or long walks through very diverse landscapes, gorges and pine forests, along rivers, and over mountains.

The Garden commands views of the Sierra de las Nieves to the west, the Sierra de Caparaín to the south, in the east are the beautiful artificial lakes fed by the rivers Turón, Guadalteba and Guadalhorce, where you can go swimming and canoeing, and the mountains around El Chorro, to the north the historic ruins of Turón Castle.

The Garden is less than an hour’s drive from Ronda, Antequera, Málaga and the coast, two hours from Sevilla, Córdoba and Granada, and is therefore a convenient base for day trips. It has good bus connections with Málaga, Ronda and Sevilla. Both Bobadilla railway station and Santa Ana (the high-speed train) are half an hour away.

History

The area is also a treasure trove for those interested in archaeology and history.
There is evidence in the landscape of human habitation since man first lived in Europe. It is so rich a palimpsest that there are too many books and monographs on the various sites to mention them all. The Ardales Museum is a good introduction to the major sites.
Of particular note are the Palaeolithic cave paintings in the Cueva de Ardales (30 000 BP), the Bronze Age Necropolis de las Aguilillas (7 000 to 3 000 BP), and the Romano/Visigoth Medieval village remains near Peñarrubia. From the Moorish period the major sites are Turón Castle, Teba Castle and the Bobastro ruins.

Guests

We will have four categories of guests:
1. Work-retreat guests
2. Stipendiaries
3. Tourists
4. Companies and courses

Work-retreat guests
You are creating some benefit and enrichment for society during your stay. The Garden is for you!
You pay a contribution towards the expenses and can use the whole resort including the seminar room, workshop, artist’s studio, meditation room and much more.

Stipendiaries
Do you have a project or idea which you really want to accomplish but don’t find the space and time for? Write a book, paint a picture, compose music or design a new hovering car? Apply with your idea for a grant and stay at The Garden for free.

Tourists
Tourists are absolutely welcome and an integral part of The Garden.
Come and stay in a place of beauty away from the usual tourist hotspots but near enough to visit Andalusia’s great cities of culture and the beach within 45 minutes’ drive.
With your stay you are supporting The Garden’s cultural aspect and our work-retreat guests. We are looking forward to welcoming you!

Companies and courses
Companies and course organisers can book the whole resort for groups of up to 30 people.
We imagine yoga, art, literature and language courses, coaching or company workshops in a new and unique environment.