Murcia will keep the memory of al-Andalus alive through the creation of the city’s first orchard-garden, which will gather most of the different fruit trees, aromatic plants and flowers that used to decorate and limit the recreational villas of Ibn Mardanis, the Wolf King, who ruled the small kingdom of Murcia from 1147 to 1172. The determination of the City Councilor for Parks and Gardens, Adela Martínez-Cachá, and the collaboration and assessment of Huermur (Association for the Conservation of the Murcia’s Orchards), have led to the creation of this singular space that will reflect a time in which, according to that period’s chronicles, Murcia was highly valued for the fertility of its lands:
“Most of its land – wrote an anonymous traveler –, are surrounded by trees and orchards in a 12 miles distance. This allows you to walk under the trees’ shadows, with the singing of the birds and the running of the waters that lead you up to the city’s doors”.
More modestly, the city’s town-planning management has assigned a 9,000 plot m2 between the avenue Juan de Borbón and the road to Churra (close to the restaurant Torremolinos) for the design of this urban orchard where almost 400 trees, 2,256 plants and 629 bushes have been planted in these last weeks. Likewise, they have installed a 16 m2 irrigation plant, a playground, 54 benches, 14 bins and 82 street lamps.
The City Hall has included a visit to the Andalusian garden in its Environmental Program for school students, so that they can learn that different botanic species that amazed the Arab world. These included palm trees, peach trees, lemon trees, apricot trees, quince trees, and bitter oranges trees. There are, as well, fig trees, olive trees, carob trees, walnut trees, maple trees, hackberry trees, plum trees, kaki trees, apple trees, and medlar trees, millenary present in the Iberian Peninsula, and more exotic trees such as acacias from Constantinopla, privets and acacias from Japan, yellow bignonias, fan palms, and cypresses.
The orchard-garden has barely began to sprout, so the people in charge of its maintenance will have to work for hours until they the abelias, salvia, eremophilas, rose bushes, durantas, and other bushes begin to grow. They will also have to treat them well, so that the space becomes an authentic oasis. Grass, alfalfa, and cover and flagrant bushes such as mint and gazania, have also been planted.
The fruits harvested each year will be given to one of Murcia’s ONGs, according to Martínez-Cachá’s declarations, and the costs of its maintenance will be covered by the city’s gardeners. The city councilor publicly thanked Huemur for their contribution to the project, which counts with perennial plants, such as daylilies, centaureas, and thistles, as well as with paths to walk and practice sports. All designed, says the city councilor, so that the people of Murcia can enjoy an unforgettable park.