“The garden is one of the two great metaphors for humanity.
The garden is about life and beauty and the impermanence of all living things.
The garden is about feeding your children, providing food for the tribe.
It’s part of an urgent territorial drive that we can probably trace back to animals storing food.
It’s a competitive display mechanism, like having a prize bull, this greed for the best tomatoes and English tea roses.
It’s about winning; about providing society with superior things; and about proving that you have taste, and good values, and you work hard.
And what a wonderful relief, every so often, to know who the enemy is.
Because in the garden, the enemy is everything: the aphids, the weather, time.
And so you pour yourself into it, care so much, and see up close so much birth, and growth, and beauty, and danger, and triumph.
And then everything dies anyway, right?
But you just keep doing it.”
– Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
WATCH THE VIDEO "Jardin de Cactus: nature and life"
Everyone has a garden
What about you? Do you have your own garden? Do you grow your plants with love even if you know they are going to die? Keep doing it because every garden has always flowers to bloom. There will be always a loss but again a birth. New flowers so new positive values.
A garden in Lanzarote
In Lanzarote you can find a place where you can feel the sensation of a garden as a metaphor of life. This is a garden where you can walk and listen the silence of wild beauty, where you can breath reconciliation between you and nature, where you can see the harmony of colors. Just walk and lost yourself in 4000 plants, ponder any shapes and shades: probably if you are here in holiday you will never see it again, so seize the moment.
“Love and respect the creation and all the island.”
This peaceful site is known as Jardín de Cactus, its author César Manrique (1919-1992) wanted to concentrate in this site the beauty and in the same time a perfect environmental conservation. Antonio Martín Santos is the gardener and the main custodian of the garden. His experience as worker and man spread a very fine and simple message to the youth regarding our planet: love and respect. Today we are quite absorbed by technologies and internet, so this good message is an elixir for everyone, everywhere you are: take care of your place. Antonio knows well values related to the earth, he grew up with his grandfather and later his father teaching him how to respect flora and fauna, how to cultivate earth and its plants so that now his job is not just a job but firstly the definition of his personal growth and his main passion.
International Carlo Scarpa Prize
The International Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens wants every year dedicate its appreciation to sites where there is an good equilibrium between nature, culture and creativity. This year the prize is dedicated to the Jardín de Cactus and Antonio was personally invited to receive the prize in Treviso (Italy). “I couldn’t believe and I don’t know how to thank for that wonderful day.” he said with true emotion and gratitude.
His daily work gives a demonstration and awareness of change. This change needs to be transmitted firstly to who lives here, the same people who saw Lanzarote decreasing and improving several times. Today the island has found and built its future enhancing its environmental characteristics despite enormous fragilities in the past, and thank to people like Antonio who support a conservative and creative vision for earth and nature.
Antonio’s message to all new generation
“Fortunately, now Lanzarote is very touristic but we need to take care of this great tourism. In order to do this, we have to develop good skills and being professional workers with competence but never forget where we come from and what we have done. We need to remember that Lanzarote was unknown 30 years ago and now it is known all over the world.”
Everyone need to remember where we come from. If we feel better today, not forget that yesterday we were broken. Say thank you and preserve good values cultivated in our garden. Being professional in our work and in daily life, spreading the positive vibes to our neighbor. Maybe tomorrow he will start to grow his garden too.
We would like to thank Antonio Martín Santos, gardener of Jardín de Cactus.
Where is Jardín de Cactus
Jardín de Cactus, Guatiza, Lanzarote