The Muslim, Islamic, Moorish, Oriental or Arabic landscape design styles are undergoing a new era. Influenced by the trend towards an increasing spread of landscape projects with natural planting, the fashion for their exact opposite has also grown. Ornamentality, precision, subtle relationships and an amazing sense of harmony of the Muslim garden offer a much more “fresh” alternative to fashion for simplicity than already bored French or Dutch trends. Calling on everything to search for meaning and using simple tools to create complex landscapes, the Arabic style opens up new horizons in the design of a colorful garden with an impeccable appearance in a minimal area.The Muslim style of the garden is the severity of lines and the luxury of plants.
In the Moorish garden, an extremely strict and straightforward form is softened and compensated by plants and details. From the symbiosis of elementary geometry and unrestrained gardening, an amazing sensation of luxury and abundance is born, which is not found in any other style of landscape design.
Such gardens do not seem boring: despite the simple structure, a special subordination between the individual elements reigns in them. Small details are connected in a complex system that creates a special mood and atmosphere.
Space, expansion of borders, a game with optical perception and a balance of mass and volume - all this is not for the Moorish garden. He relies on multiple stimuli, affects different senses at the same time, and creates a feeling of magical, fabulous detachment from everyday life.Squares, water, high walls or hedges are the hallmark of Moorish or Muslim gardens.
Muslim Gardens - Small Gardens
Moorish Gardens are limited-area gardens. Usually this style is chosen for the design of those sites on which it is simply impossible to break a garden of another style. Like the historical examples of the Muslim garden, the modern Arabic style suggests creating an oasis in a small area, but giving a full-fledged atmosphere of relaxation in an ideal corner.
You can use this style not only in small gardens. Large sections are divided into rooms or square-shaped zones, creating separate spaces from each other, in each of which they are looking for something new. You can arrange the Moorish garden as one of the areas of the large garden, decorated in other styles.
The garden, which is decorated in the Moorish style, regardless of whether the south of Spain or the Middle East inspire its creation, is always surrounded by high walls. Classic fences or green hedges, high lattices twined with vines - there is a choice. The main thing is to have a complete feeling of being closed from the outside world. Even if we are talking about the design of just a separate zone, it is still separated from the rest of the garden by a high wall.The arrangement of the Muslim garden always begins with paths and zoning.
The structure and basic elements of the Muslim garden
All Muslim gardens are built on squares. Even if a large territory of rectangular or irregular shape is formed in this style, the site is divided into separate square zones, one after the other, or the authentic Moorish garden is formed only in the square zone closest to the house, and the rest of the territory is played using other styles.
The arrangement of the Muslim garden always begins with paths and zoning. Thanks to them, they practice the principle of the four gardens, or chor-bagh, a symbolic embodiment in the garden design of the four sacred rivers that flow from the Garden of Eden and divide it into equal parts.
At the intersection of the tracks is the semantic and geographical center of the Moorish garden, the design of which is always paid special attention to. The square section of the garden determines its strict geometric structure, which does not change even in the original modern interpretation of the oriental style.
Each separate secondary square in the Muslim garden, if the size permits, can be divided into four more squares. In turn, a central water element or object of small architecture can be introduced into each “unit”, playing endlessly with squares and their variations. Arteries or paths can be laid diagonally, if the size of the garden allows you to play with symmetry in complex ornaments.
Paths in the Muslim garden always complete with a striking architectural element. An arch, a green tunnel, a decorative gate or false doors and gates should mark the end of each path and create a visual point of "fixation" of its length, complete the perspective.
The central part of the garden and each individual square is the most important element of decoration. In the geographical center of the square section, a water body is broken up or a recreation area is created, which will become the semantic center of the entire project.
The most popular design option for the central part is an expanded paved area, which contains a fountain, a pool or a decorative pond with a fountain. A square or round pond copes with this task. But there are alternative solutions - from the pavilion or the gazebo with lines that appeal to Arabic motifs to the placement of the rosary.Fountains and ponds of strict lines are a must in Muslim-style gardens.
Water in all its forms
Water plays a special role in the Moorish style. The idea of a blessed or paradise garden is emphasized in the Moorish style by the obligatory presence in the project of water objects that enhance the feeling of the oasis. The worship of water that came from the Arab culture has led to the fact that water bodies become the central starting point and an indispensable element of the design of any garden in this style.
The symbol of eternal life and purification is also introduced into the heart of the garden, beat off in the central element of each secondary square, laid along the axes and brought in as much as the budget can afford.
Canals, strict ponds, pools, baths, cascades, streams and other reservoirs allow not only to emphasize the geometry of the garden, but also to fill it with new meaning. In Muslim gardens, flat, paved or decorated with mosaics, with a mandatory strict frame, make the ponds flat, located almost at the level of paths or on a hill. A water drop and water fun, installing fountains or creating a natural movement of jets fills the garden with sound.
Water plants in Muslim gardens are not used, as are fountains in the form of sculptures. Only the pure play of jets is appropriate here.
Materials and colors of the Moorish garden
The materials in the design of the Moorish gardens are also determined quite strictly. Ceramics, glass, marble, painted concrete and all types of patterned paving and mosaics in such gardens should be present in as much as possible.
Ornamental laying of paths and platforms, mosaics in the decoration of strict ponds, complex variants of combined masonry with mixing materials should recreate the feeling you experience when entering the gardens and parks of Arab countries.
Preferred for the Moorish gardens are sunny, cheerful colors and rough textures - rough surfaces, matte coatings or, conversely, bright gloss of ceramic tiles and mosaics. White color fills the gardens with festivity, but it can be supplemented with yellow, and all shades of beige and terracotta, and brick paints. Dazzling sky blue, pure golden yellow, muted base terracotta - a classic to complement the white base.
In the choice of patterns, small architecture, it is worth remembering the ban on any images of animals and people.Fruit trees in Muslim gardens dominate compared to ornamental ones.
Design a relaxation area in a Muslim garden
Rest areas in the Moorish-style garden should remind of the covered terraces of traditional projects, galleries, hidden not only from prying eyes, but also from the sun in high summer. A terrace in the form of a covered patio, a relaxation area under a canopy or a green roof, a green room or pavilions with gazebos - the designs are selected so as to fit into style restrictions.
Pergolas and tents can be both seasonal and stationary. In the recreation areas, they always use bright textiles and comfortable sofas that will recreate the atmosphere of oriental gardens.
The abundance of textiles, forged elements, accessories, ceramics, selection of furniture with Arabic motifs, a game with mirrors and traditional cultural elements allows you to enhance the atmosphere and set the tone for the whole garden. Tandoor and tables with mosaics, arba and candlesticks, hookahs and elaborate teapots - in the recreation area in the Moorish style any objects and any ornaments are appropriate.
The atmosphere of the Moorish garden can be emphasized and enhanced through decorative lighting. Most often, sources of additional lighting are “tied” to water bodies.The Muslim garden is a riot of colors and plants, inscribed in strict geometric shapes.
Moorish style plants
Plants for the Moorish garden are selected so as to create a sense of paradise. Bright colors, the dominance of flowers and the pure greens of trees and bushes, creepers and fruit trees fill these gardens with life, colors and harmony.
One of the most popular sites in the Muslim garden is the rose garden. Fragrant and luxurious, he offers to pay tribute to the garden princess, choosing the most brightly colored and fragrant varieties. You can frame fountains and ponds with the rose garden, or you can break them like flower beds, emphasizing the beauty and luxury of plants with bright accessories. Roses are planted and solitary, using them as much as possible.
Carpet beds and mixborders, elaborate arabesques and stalls allow you to fill the squares with patterns and imitate the effect of oriental carpets using perennial and annual plants.
In the selection of plants, it is important to consider several important criteria:
- creation of a flowering relay race, a combination of plants with a different flowering period for the effect of constantly present paints;
- the choice of the brightest and purest, "absolute" colors;
- priority in choosing for classical cultures.
In Muslim gardens, carnations, poppies, cornflowers, chrysanthemums, peonies, irises, lilies, daylilies, all kinds of carpet perennials look great. In such a project, you can enter any number of bright bulbous accents - from tulips to crocuses and other primroses. Spicy herbs and aromatic plants of all sizes and shapes are more than appropriate, as are bright summers - from fragrant tobacco to ageratum, gypsophila, laver, lobelia, petunias, which allow playing with textures no worse than with paints.
According to historical traditions, flowerbeds in a Muslim garden are patterned, allowing plants to grow freely. But today, the absence of architectural solutions or an abundance of details in mosaics and water bodies is sometimes compensated by high sheared borders, including ornamental motifs of green frames in the lines.
Trees with a strict crown are inappropriate here. This is a garden for developing free plants. Purely decorative species are less popular than fruit trees. Enjoying the harvest of your fruits directly from the branches is a luxury that immediately changes the atmosphere. Apple trees, cherries, cherries, apricots, plums - you can choose fruit plants to your taste.
Beautifully flowering shrubs placed singly are selected from among the most lush classics. In addition to roses, chubushniki and hydrangea, spirea, quince, dogrose are appropriate. Blossoming or deciduous vines, from roses to clematis, actinidia and grapes on lancet arches, obelisks and walls are also always appropriate in this style.
Tropical and subtropical plants, which have become a symbol of the Muslim garden - pomegranates, palm trees, citrus fruits, laurels and many other plants - are introduced into the design in the form of pots, placing in those places that lack expressive accents.