Noahs Garden

Projects - Landscaping - Maintenance

Ctra. San Juan, km 12,5
San Lorenzo - Ibiza

Office: 971 333 111
Bernd Brosius: 629 568 688
Karen Sailer: 629 866 355

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www.noahs-garden.com
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About Noah's Garden

philosophie 1

PHILOSOPHY

When our fourth son, Noah, was born in the spring of 1998 we launched NOAHS GARDEN. What began small has grown just like Noah. Today he’s a young man and Noahs Garden a company, which can look back on a long success story.

Despite having created hundreds of gardens we haven’t lost our passion for the world of plants. Without them the earth would be a desert. They give us food, oxygen and transform any place into a green paradise. We love our planet. It’s the only we’ve got and we’d like to pass it on to our children in a healthy and abundant condition.

Your garden may just be a small spot on the planet, but with your ideas and our help it can become a green living space where people, animals and plants feel good together; respecting each other, the environment and the natural resources of Ibiza.

philosophie 2

Haste makes waste – that is especially true for gardens. It takes two to three years until a garden has the appearance and vibrancy, we put down on paper. It takes time until a garden blends in with nature on the island, without being a foreign body. Thanks to plant diversity and a wealth of blossoms it will be sought out by many useful insects who keep the pests at bay. Regular fertilisation with organic humus have made the earth fertile and activated the soil, so that plants can withstand attacks from fungus and co with firm leaves and solid health.

And people?

They feel like they’re in paradise. Everything around them can change, rotate and be in crisis but in the garden time is constant. It flows like a calm stream, following the moon and the unfailing path of our planet around the sun.

However much we’re absorbed with civilisation, our soul remains untamed and can only let go and find new strength in the presence of wild things.

OUR PLACE

unserplatz

unserplatz 2San Lorenzo’s chalk factory lay in a deep slumber for over 40 years. Overgrown with blackberry brambles and pines, hardly anyone knew it existed. When we bought the 1.5 hectare piece of land on the road to San Juan in 2000, it was little more than a ruin. The roof had fallen in, the walls were dilapidated and the subterranean corridors to the tower were blocked. Only the tower was well preserved. Today white-washed, it’s a landmark overlooking the wide San Lorenzo valley.

In 2004 the renovations were finished so that Noahs Garden could move in. Today it’s a green oasis where not only plants but also dogs, cats, horses and Herbert, the cock, are at home. It’s a place resembling paradise and inspired to create a Garden of Eden.

WHAT WE OFFER

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Gardens that convince! Contemporary, from pure to wild, tropical to Mediterranean. We find the style that suits you, your house and your budget. Beautiful gardens aren’t a question of money, but good ideas! 

  • Free, non-binding consultation session in your garden
  • Hand sketched garden designs
  • Planning and composition of gardens
  • Garden maintenance with biological agents
  • Protection of palm trees against the red palm weevil

THE GREEN TEAM

team berni Bernd Brosius
Founder and director. The man for the big stuff, who juggles with olive trees and rocks, like Obelix with the menhirs. He guides the work in the gardens and will surely convince you to install your own vegetable garden and take a pleasure flight over the island.
team karen Karen Sailer
Founder and designer. The woman for the fine details, the flower queen, as many clients call her. She designs your garden, oversees the site and is your contact person for quotes and invoices. She shares her vast knowledge of the world of plants every month in the island magazines Ibiza Today and De Todo.
team cachi Cachi Villafuerte
Gardener and site supervisor. With the power of the Andes in his bones, he’s always in a good mood, never ill and blessed with a great sense of humour. Watching him at work is a true pleasure.
team julio Julio Villafuerte
Gardener. Hard-working, funny and just as healthily robust as his brother.
team calin Calin Rus
Machinist, who also gardens when the digger has nothing to do. A person with lots of heart. He can repair everything, even when there isn’t a spare part. The man every company needs.
team javier Javier Chipugsi
The man who cares for your garden. Competent and friendly. When he smiles the sun comes out.
team bogdan Bogdan Anton
Garden carer in the team with Javier. Hard-working and radiant. He attends to a lot while running. His motto: gardening rather than fitness centre. It’s worth watching.
team noah Noah
Namessake, son and the reason for it all. Born in Ibiza and raised surrounded by plants he can’t survive longer than an hour in a city. Loves Ibiza above everything, but watering plants less so.
team herbert Herbert Hahn
Came to us as a chick and refuses to have contact with other hens. Dogs, cats and people are his family and he lives in peaceful harmony with all of them. His favourite place is in front of the mirror, where he can watch himself for hours. Keeps the snails at bay.
team hunde Bella, Maxi, Cookie und Elli
Guardians of house and premises. Sometimes so keen clients don’t dare to step out of the car. But don’t worry. As long as you don’t come at night and with nasty intentions, they’re friendly.
team katzen Mimi, Lena, Bürste und die Bürstenkinder
The cat family. They make sure the area is mouse- and rat free. Unfortunately they don’t stop at lizards.
team pferde Rasputin, Xaloc, Jimmy, Lunero, Max und Billy Blue
The herd of horses. Collected works and Karen Sailer’s second passion. Producers of manure, which – together with other organic waste and vegetable coal – gets composted to the best black earth.

If you would like to know more about our activities with horses and our social commitment to Project Alegria, you can find this under ACTIVITIES

The Ibicencan Garden

ibizenkisch

In recent years there’s been an obvious trend reversal amongst the house- and garden owners of the island. Before lots of palm trees and tropical blossoms were asked for, but the longing for simple origins suddenly emerged. Cycads and hibiscus on large lawns were out, prickly pear, olive and co climbed the charts of the Top Ten in Ibiza’s gardens. If you look at the fincas of the last, authentic, ‘original inhabitants’ it’s clear that a new style hasn’t been created. A rediscovery of the ‘one and only’ date palm in front of the house is also a return to the past of a famer’s island with sparse soils, little water and an active settlement history.

Ibiza’s flora has been strongly affected by the islands’ conquerors. Every landing ship brought seeds and plants from distant lands with it. Not every seed opened in the chalky, red clay earth and even if it grew into a plant, it had to struggle through a glowing hot summer without an automatic watering system. The ones that made it were, after many years, taken up in the ‘register for indigenous plants and allowed to be called ‘characteristic’ to the island. Today no one knows that the prickly pear, the opuntia - which the farmers used as a windshield, screen and toilet for centuries - was imported from South America by the Spaniards; likewise the Agave.

The Phoenicians brought the olives, pomegranates and carob trees to the island. We have the Arabs to thank for the date- and royal palm trees from North Africa. Lemons, apples and almonds found their way to us from Asia.

What do I then say when someone asks me to install a typical Ibicencan garden?

I ask them where they’re from, which landscape they hold dearly, which scents remind them of their childhood and which colours make them happy. I will look at their house and furniture, take the soil into my hands and suspiciously eye up the pine and cedar trees typical to the island and adversary to every garden. I’ll take into account the climate and water resources of the island and choose plants that like to spread their roots in the red earth.

I will sense the immigrant person’s piece of Ibiza earth and try to paint their inner pictures with plants on the ground. That for me is an Ibicencan garden.

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The Mediterranean Garden

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You take a few olive trees and sprinkle around them rosemary, lavender, salvia and cistus. This could be the recipe for a Mediterranean garden. The atmosphere of the south is generated by soft, pastel colours in different blue- white- and pink tones; grey-green leaves and the distinct tangy scent of aromatic plants. Fitting are a few grasses, bougainvillea and the one and only date palm. The demand for water is low, but because these gardens are all about blossoms they need appropriate fertilising and pruning. The disadvantage: Old olive trees are expensive, but you plant all the others as young plants to develop on location. Lavender is very susceptible to fungi. If it gets too much water in the summer it dies. I find this type of garden the most beautiful. Especially in spring and autumn it’s a dream.

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The Puristic Garden

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PURE is the formula of the design, construction and planting. Cubic houses made from stone, steel and glass and modern furniture in colours between white and grey demand a garden, which suits the frugal colours and clear forms. Simply puristic...

The gardeners luck is on the side of the followers of this new garden style, where less is more. All the plants that support this style through their natural habit and their leaf- and blossom colour, belong to the robust, sometimes even the salt-tolerant plants and can cope with little maintenance and water.

The basis of a pure garden is shapely, as spherical as possible evergreen bushes and trees and seemingly architectural cacti, succulents and palms.

Don’t worry: You don’t have to walk through the garden every day with the nail scissors. If you trim them once a month that’s more than enough. Amongst the favourites with grey-green leaves are Eleagnus ebbingei, Westringia with subtle blue or white flowers, Teucrium, Metrosideros, Feijoa und Acebuche olives. Pittosporum tobira nana gives a good contrast with its deep green leaves and has the advantage that it grows half spherically without shears.

Up higher the bushes and shrubs can be combined well with shapely evergreen trees Ficus nitida. Added to this - according to old tradition - the one and only royal- or date palm tree, a couple of yucca palms and columnar cacti and already you have the basis of a puristic garden. If you want more flowers, you should decide on a main colour, so that the simple generosity and harmony of form doesn’t disappear. The white blossoms of Agapanthus, Gaura, Oleander, Abelia and grasses give a classy touch. The blue-lilac flowers of the robust Tulbalgia however make the garden gentler and more ‘Mediterranean’. If you don’t want to deploy that many plants, you should line the earth between the solitary plants with weed-proof foil and marble or river gravel, which is available in all colours and sizes. This not only looks good, but it saves work and keeps the water in the ground.

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The Tropical Garden

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jungle01You love palm trees, lush greenery and bright colours. Then the tropical garden is just the right thing for you. Don’t worry: Tropical doesn’t mean sensitive or thirsty. Palms, large-leaved bird-of-paradise, bougainvillea and hibiscus don’t need more water and maintenance than other Mediterranean plants. If you want a lawn, it should be reduced to a minimum because the green carpet doesn’t just need a lot of water but due to weekly cutting and regular fertilising many hours of care. If you don’t want to forgo the lawn, you can cover the areas between the palms and the bushes with weed-proof foil and marble gravel. This way you save water and maintenance costs and it even looks great.

Disadvantage: The red palm weevil, picudo rojo, has become public enemy Nr. 1. It lays its eggs in the crown of the palm tree, the larvae eat their way into the trunk and the palm tree deteriorates rapidly. The only thing that helps is preventative injections with insecticide or the biological use of mushroom spores. Without these measures your tropical garden is in serious danger.

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The Wild Garden

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The look of an enchanted garden defies the saying that first impressions count. Everything is growing in disorder; pink flowering next to yellow, the natural stone wall has patina, the trees and bushes look like they’ve been thrown down and in the middle is a chair that looks 100 years old. Wrong! In this garden nothing has been left to chance and not the hand of God but a gardening expert has decided what blooms, withers, shoots and disappears when and where. Enchanted gardens give restless souls a home. They welcome us to dream and linger and surprise every day anew with their diversity. Disadvantage: They need lots of maintenance! The weeds have to be carefully removed from between the garden plants. And for everything to develop at the right moment, flower and still flourish the following year, a skilful and diligent gardener is needed. But still: These gardens are just great!

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light.
For a timeI rest in the grace of the world,
and am free.

Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things"

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A Garden by the Sea

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The influence of the sea is visible far into the interior of the land. The lopsided almond trees that stand tilted on the fields pointing inward to the land are evidence of the force of the winter storms which don’t stop at the garden of the houses with sea view.

Summer is the most gracious time for the ocean gardens. From autumn it starts to become critical and by the latest the first winter proves whether the plants are robust and steadfast enough to resist the salty winds. The problem isn’t just the wind that tears at the leaves, but the salt that gets deposited on the earth and is washed into the roots with rains and irrigation, where it harms the water-bearing capillary roots.

For a long-lasting healthy garden without massive maintenance costs you should stick to salt-tolerant plants. These are plants bred from coastal wild plants which have adapted to the conditions of this zone. You can find a list under GARDENS WITH SALTWATER.

Gardens close to the sea should be based less on blossoms but more on an idea that plays with architectural plant forms and different green tones. Blossoms should only set down accents in a reliable and wind-defying frame of robust plants.

Palm trees cope well with the ocean climate and whoever loves broadleaved trees should choose trees that lose their leaves in autumn, so that the wind doesn’t have a contact surface. Because 90% of the cold winter winds come from the north-west, the gardens on the east-and south coast are better protected and can risk having other plants.

However, despite all the caution and care, one has to bow to the sea and lower one’s expectations of a perfect garden in favour of the sea view.

Otherwise you can’t enjoy the sea for worrying about crooked, wind-dishevelled plants.

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Gardens with Saltwater

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The houses on the southern half of Ibiza have a problem: They have salty water in their pipes. The more people using the pipes in the summer, the saltier it gets. For showering and brushing teeth it’s just about alright but for the pleasures of coffee and cooking one has to buy water. What you indulge in for personal use becomes expensive for the garden. The plants also suffer from salt reaching their roots via watering. They have the same problems as the coastal gardens, which suffer from salty grounds due to the sea spray. Fresh plants look good for a few months and then proceed to lose their foliage and flowers, until they become a miserable stalk with three leaves fighting years for survival. The owner feels just as distressed. He has invested a lot of money into the garden and as long as the rain was diluting the salt in the ground, he was nourishing the hope that the garden would work out this year. With rising temperatures, the absence of rain and intensive ‘saltwater-irrigation’ the hour of truth arrives. Summer separates the wheat from the chaff and mercilessly sorts out which roots tolerate the salt in the ground and which ones burn from it.

In order for the drama – be it the steep water bill or the plants dying – doesn’t get repeated each year there is only one solution: The shift to salt – and dryness resistant plants. To give them a good start the time to plant is October until April. Moderate temperatures and rainwater help the young plants adapt and cope with the salinity and dryness of the following summer.

List of salttolerant plants

All PALMS,TREES
• Ficus australis, Ficus nitida
• Tamarix
• Juniperus
• Olea europea sylvestris
• Pinus halepensis
• Pinus pinea
• Grevillea

BUSHES
• Artemisia
• Atriplex halimus
• Callistemon citrinus
• Callistemon laevis
• Ceanothus thyrsiflorus repens
• Cistus
• Coprosma repens
• Coprosma kirkii
• Coronilla glauca
• Dorycnium hirsutum
• Eleagnus angustifolia
• Escallonia rubra, Echium fastuosum
• Evonimus japonicus
• Grevillea
• Genista - Ginster
• Laurus nobilis
• Lagunaria Leonotus leonurus
• Ligustrum japonicum
• Limoniastrum
• Metrosideros

• Myrtus communis
• Nerium oleander - Oleander
• Pistacea lentiscus – falsche Pistazie
• Pittosporum tenuifolium
• Pittosporum tobira
• Pittosporum tobira nana
• Retama
• Teucrium fruticans
• Vitex agnus castus
• Westringia

SHRUBS
• Agapanthus africanus
• Asteriscus maritimus
• Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
• Centaurea pulcherima
• Convolvulus cneorum
• Convolvulus sabatius
• Cortaderia Selloana
• Echium candicans
• Eriocephalus africanus
• Erica multiflora
• Eryngium maritinum
• Euryops chrysantemoides
• Euryops pectinatus
• Frankenia laevis
• Gazania
• Hebe salicifolia
• Hebe andersonii
• Hellychrisum

• Hypericum balearicum
• Lagunaria patersonii
• Lampranthus
• Lantana montevidensis
• Lavanda hybrida
• Lavanda dentata
• Lotus berthelotti
• Lotus maculates
• Lotus creticus
• Limonium vulgare
• Myoporum parvifolium
• Olearia traversi
• Phlomis fructicosa
• Lippia (Phyla nodiflora)
• Plumbago
• Paphiolepis
• Rosmarinus officinalis
• Romero rastrero
• Santolina chamaecyparis
• Salvia candelabrum
• Scabiosa
• Senecio cineraria
• Thymus carnosus
• Thymus vulgaris - Thymian
• Thulbalgia violacea
• Zoysia tenuifolia

CLIMBERS
• Madreselva - Lonicera japonica

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Sloping Garden

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Plants have it hard on a slope. Water follows gravity, runs downhill and doesn’t give the roots enough time to absorb it. Nutrients are washed out, the plants become stunted and erosion takes over.

The most important goal when composing a slope is to create flat spaces. This can be achieved by building plant basins, terraces or stone gardens. This makes sloping gardens expensive. Extreme solar radiation, particularly on south-facing slopes, requires robust plants. Suitable are cacti, succulents and low, rooted to the soil palms and bushes. 

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Garden under Pines

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With all respect to trees, there isn’t a worse enemy for a garden than pines. As true survivalists their surface roots suck away every drop of water and crumb of manure, so that garden plants are permanently weakened and deteriorate.

Pine trees can be found in nearly every garden and they’re wonderful for shade. Their advantage is their height that hardly another tree in Ibiza reaches. Their disadvantage is the forever falling pine needles and their superficial roots that rob other plants of water and nutrients. Evergreen bushes like pistachios, eleagnus, citus, rosemary and westrinigia like light shade. And where a bit more sun comes through, callistemon can paint a few red spots of blossom into the greenery.

Pine trees shouldn’t be near the pool. The falling needles have to be constantly fished out and block the skimmers.

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Shady Garden

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Abstain from blossoms 

Most plants need several hours of direct sunlight daily in order to flower. Bougainvillea won’t blossom on the north face of a house or in shady zones unless the long shoots reach the sunny roof. But then you don’t profit from this down below. Classic blooming plants are sun worshippers and won’t even have a pretty leaf dress with insufficient light. Plants that love half shade and still flower are calas, polygala and clivia. Hardenbergia (blue-lilac in February) and Thunbergia (blue-lilac in summer) bloom under the cirrus, even with little light. You should hold out with the others in favour of green plants.

Amongst the evergreen plants there are various real friends of the shade who make up for each missed flower with their abundant, lush foliage. The design elements are interesting leaf structures and different green tones. Despite the ‘shrinking violet’ impression they give, they’re neither sensitive nor particularly thirsty. The palm fern cyca revolta, kentia palms and yucca palms are highlights. Elephant ear alocassia, sheffleras, aralia and African hemp esparmania have large leaves. Fern and the asparagus sort meyerii give abundant and half-height greenery.

The low bush evonimus puchellus brings about order in lining the plant bed. Pittosporum tobira nana has a spherical formula and the conically cut eugenia myrtifolia is ideal for marking out entrances.

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Terrace Garden

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Terrace gardens are all about plant pots. Only few plants thrive over many years in a pot. What’s important: Large pots with water overflow, good drainage with gravel, an earth mixture out of clay, sand and humus, coverage with grit to protect against evaporation and an automatic irrigation system. Remember that the plants are 100% dependent on you and can’t pull water or nutrients from a natural cycle. This is why they need a monthly liquid fertiliser.

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Pool garden

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poolgaerten bild01 You like generosity and don’t want the plants too close to the pool but huge terrace spaces are too sterile for you. Pre-grown lawns are quickly laid down and you can walk on them within one to two weeks. The available kind needs a bit more water than the thick elephant grass kikuyu, but it’s green all year round and looks good.
poolgaerten bild03 You love clear forms, don’t want to forgo on colour and the plants should stay low. The evergreen bush westringia fructicosa has rosemary type leaves and is easily pruned into shape. The lilac coloured flowers of the resilient tulbalghia violacea flower the whole summer long, even with little water.
poolgaerten bild04 You’re dreaming of an old olive tree by the pool? If you want to read a book in its shade, a little patch of lawn is fitting. If simply ‘kudos’ is enough then the lavender blue of the summer-flowering lantana montevidensis matches perfectly to the blue of the water and the grey leaves of the olive tree.
poolgaerten bild05 You’d like it to be a little bit more? A mixed plantation of date palms, cypress, dragos and strelitizia regina is low-maintenance and interesting. The slim shapes give a protective feeling without completely blocking the view.
poolgaerten bild06 You only have a terrace around the pool but would like some greenery. Plants have a better chance of surviving more than a summer in big pots. However, you have to water them daily and cater for monthly fertilisation. Here the cypress trees were planted in the earth close to the house. The evergreen creeper trachelospermum jasminoides was given big clay pots in order to bring greenery to the pillars.
poolgaerten bild07 Pines close to the pool just spell trouble in most gardens. The constant falling of needles soil the terraces, plant beds and filter systems.
poolgaerten bild08 If you’re lacking colour by the pool for a special occasion, you can simply spread artificial flowers onto the water. It’s a stunning effect with little input.

Vegetable Garden

gemuese

Nothing is as satisfying as the pleasure of vegetables from your own garden.

We make it easy for you. With 4 beds of 1.50 m width and 6 meters in length, which can be integrated into your garden, you can feed a whole family based on the principle of biological mixed cultivation. Looks great, tastes great and is an important contribution to your health and that of the planet.

Let us advise and inspire you!

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Wild meadows

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Contrary to the widespread opinion that in nature there are more colourful flowers where man doesn’t interfere, exactly the opposite is the case in Ibiza’s colourful wild meadows. Where blue borage, yellow chrysanthemums, red poppies and the pink-coloured wild gladioli bloom en masse, the dried mother plant with seed head has been dug into the soil in the autumn. After ploughing, the farmer goes over the field again with the harrow and flattens out the crumbly raised soil. The seeds are thus stored securely and can rise again in the loose earth with ease.

And that's exactly why Ibiza’s wild meadows are in danger. In recent years, more and more farmers have stopped cultivating their land. The last generation that keep flocks of sheep, grow feed oats and plough the areas under the olive-, carob- and almond trees to ensure that the trees grow and the dry grasses are not a fire hazard; these old folk who live in the centuries-old rhythm of a farmer’s island; these last of the Mohicans are dying out. The young don’t want to cultivate the land, for the simplest of reasons - it’s no longer worthwhile. Time is money and you can’t live off almonds and sheep anymore; and definitely not from the view of a poppy field. This only nourishes the soul. Tourism and land sales are what it’s all about now and both have already radically changed the face of the island.

The first warm days of the New Year bring the low-growing wild marigold calendula arvensis to life. The golden yellow glow of the flowers standing densely together in the fields beside the road magnetically attracts attention and has provoked many a rear-end collision.

The yellow tail light is the up to 1m high "margarite" chrysanthemum coronarium, which inhabits the meadows in March. It’s not only beautiful but accumulates, through diligent nodule bacteria, nitrogen at the roots, which provides subsequent plants with fertiliser. Such as the blue-flowering borage officinalis borrago whose cucumber-tasting leaves can be used to flavour salads and soups. The edible blue flowers can be used as salad decoration.

The borage punch is also a hit. Soak two handfuls of borage leaves for half an hour in some white wine and strain. Pour on three bottles of white wine and a bottle of sparkling wine and sprinkle with the blue flowers. Try it out!

After the attractive yellow-blue mixture that culminates in April - I'm sure by the way that Monet must have been in Ibiza at this time of year - come the first red dabs of corn poppy, papaver roheas. You can incidentally not only immortalise the lush poppy meadows in May with a camera, but also fill bottles. Red poppy petals have little flavour, but a lot of colour - a natural red that you can use decoratively for cooking. Fill as many poppy petals in a bottle as possible and pour in some brandy. A few drops of are enough to colour a dish.

If you let a farmer or haulier harrow the earth on your fallow land in the autumn, the wild seeds fly by themselves. You can of course help out with the sowing of poppy & Co. They don’t need watering. Nature alone takes care of this with dew and rain.

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MAINTENANCE

pflege

Garden maintenance is the foundation of a healthy garden.

Our care includes:
 

• Loosening the soil for a good oxygen supply to the roots
• Removing weeds
• Mulching, if desired.
• Regular fertilisation with organic humus
• Plant protection with biological agents
• Biological palm protection against the red palm weevil
• Form and pruning
• Checking the automatic watering system
• Removing green residues or composting in your own garden.

Palm Protection

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Combating the red palm weevil biologically

Small animal – huge impact! Since the first infected palm trees were discovered in Ibiza in 2007, the red palm weevil has unabatedly continued its triumphal march and led to the death of many palm trees. After only chemical agents were successful in fighting the bug, a biological agent is now excelling: the mushroom Beauveria bassiana. The hollow fungus spores germinate upon contact with the beetle and its larvae, developing mushroom tubes which enter the insect and kill it. For bees this fungus is completely safe.

The red palm weevil is a beetle that lays its eggs in the soft parts of the palm tree trunk, at the base of the leaves. After 3-4 days the larvae hatch and eat their way into the trunk, getting larger and eventually weaving a cocoon from palm fibres. After 40 days an adult beetle hatches. As long as the palm tree can provide enough food the beetle stays put. Only when the tree has become hollow and there’s nothing more left to feed upon, does the beetle go in search of a new palm tree. The beetle has a highly developed sense of smell. It can smell the scent hormones from palm trees up to 5 km against the wind, particularly those who have had their leaves cut and the trunk peeled! The spread of the plague has begun.

When the new leaves, which grow out of the centre of the crown, are smaller and more unstable, you know that you have the palm weevil. Upon first impression the crown doesn’t appear round anymore but flat on top. It means you have to act fast. Unfortunately it’s usually already too late when the leaves have started wilting. Up to 1000 larvae have eaten their way through the palm tree when the first symptoms become visible.

Preventative treatments are the only way to protect your palm tree. The mushroom spores (dissolved in a liquid) are brought into the heart of the palm tree with long tubes. The treatment should be repeated every three months. There isn’t any known resistance. Additionally permanent cannulas are drilled into the trunk and a monthly insecticide is injected, which the palm fibres transport up to the crown. Both methods don’t give off any toxins to the environment and work preventatively as well as healing already infected palm trees, as long as it’s not too late.

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The rhythm of nature in the south

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rhytmus fruehling 2The rhythm in the south is determined by water.

Northern plants retreat due to increasing cold, in order to survive the hostile winter as unscathed as possible, whereas the enduring drought that begins in June makes southern plants fall into a summer sleep. The green sap is pulled back into the roots, the soft plant parts above-ground dry up and the ripe seeds are transferred to the earth. The leaves of the trees and bushes roll up to prevent evaporation or shrivel like the water-storing succulents. Everything seems barren, nearly inhospitable and you wouldn’t be able to guess what the poor sheep lazily chewing the dry stalks survive on. Nature has to get through until the end of August, when the clouds pregnant with rain release costly water with a big bang. A huge sigh of relief passes through nature and two weeks later the earth is again covered with green fuzz.

rhytmus fruehlingIn autumn two things happen simultaneously and naturally side by side: Awakening and retreat. The leaves of the deciduous trees such as mulberry, sycamore, pomegranate and most fruit trees turn autumnal and sail to the ground. Next to them oranges, mandarins and lemons shine from the dark foliage of citrus trees. The evergreen trees and shrubs grow new shoots and by October-November they’re on top form again. All the flowering shrubs and perennials are full of buds that open up on warm sunny days in their thousands, scenting the island. Even the roses come into bloom a second time and can therefore not be cut back until January. The gardener is naturally confused in the face of these moods. He doesn’t quite know when to cut and fertilise in this crazy second spring in the south.


The rule is simple: Prune after flowering; so depending on the plant sometime from November to January. The fruit trees are pruned, just as in the north, after complete defoliation. However, the citrus trees need to be pruned immediately at harvest from December to February, as they begin to bloom again in March. Even the olive trees are thinned out at harvest in November.

 

rhytmus sommerOddly enough, most people think that everything under the sun grows by itself. Many have made the mistake of bringing a rhododendron from home and solemnly buried it in Ibiza’s red earth. I don’t like to describe the slow death of the poor thing. But you can imagine it, when I tell you that we live on a limestone rock and the earth has a pH of more than seven, i.e. alkaline, speak calcareous. All plants that thrive in acidic soils in the north do miserably in Ibiza. The aromatic herbs, such as rosemary, lavender, thyme and sage, however love calcareous nutrient-poor soils. Even if you can’t see the high calcareous content of the island’s bright red soil; it has developed over millions of years due to weathering of the limestone, whereby the iron oxidized in the soil. The iron oxide hematite is the reason for the rust-red colour of the earth, which begins to glow in the rays of the setting sun.

rhytmus herbstIn January-February there’s somewhat of a winter feeling. Storms, rain and early nightfall let the few people who stay on the island come together. Nature shrinks under the recurrent strong north westerly winds and there was even snow for a day a few years ago. I need these short days for my northern soul, but if I'm honest and look properly, it's only a mirage of winter. The meadows are knee-high with the nodding yellow flowers of the African sour clover and white ribbon flowers. The almond blossoms impregnate the air on windless days with their sweet fragrance and loquats are laden with heavy furry flowers, being the first in the year to contain delicious fruit laden with vitamin C to drive the tiredness from our bones. Not to mention the heady scent of daffodils that are never missing in a farmer’s garden and the carpets of red-purple-yellow flowering succulent plants, having filled their leaves full with water again. No, winter it really isn’t, just a conceited .....

rhytmus herbst 2When it gets warmer in March is when spring really starts. The bare branches show buds, everything pushes though, surges, gets green and blooms. In the yellow-white colour palette of the wild meadows are dotted blues tones that Van Gogh couldn’t have dabbed down any better, followed by wild pink gladioli and red in the shape of corn poppies. In May, flowering reaches its peak, after which it goes slowly downhill again. The rising temperatures make the flowers wilt quickly and plants prepare slowly for the resting phase. Through irrigation and targeted fertilising this natural rhythm can be delayed, but many a plant retaliates with disease and pests for taking away the well-deserved rest and the intervention in its natural defence mechanism; Lavender for example. No plant arouses more longing and has more garden owners frustrated as the summer- flowering lavender. Full of anticipation for silvery balls and a laundry bag from your own harvest the object of desire is placed in the automatically irrigated garden ..... and gets a fungus. It’s an insidious fungus, which can’t be recognised as such. It attacks the water-carrying vessels, causing the lavender to dry out shoot by shoot. One thinks the plant lacks water and waters it completely to death. And so ends the dream of a lavender field, unless one learns to adapt to the southern rhythm and accept that plants have a right to withdraw and can’t always look their best.

IBIZAs EARTH

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The main components of all soils on our planet are sand, clay, humus and lime. Depending on what predominates we talk about sand, clay, humus and lime soils. Since Ibiza is a limestone island, chalky white soil slopes prevail in the mountain - and hillside locations. In the bottom of the valleys, but also higher-lying flat surfaces, deep red clay soil formed over millions of years. Due to the warm temperatures and adequate moisture an intense chemical weathering took place and oxidized the iron in the soil. The iron oxide hematite is the reason for the rust-red colour of the soil. Yet it really surprises many that hibiscus and lemon trees with their yellow leaves show an acute iron deficiency, despite the iron-rich soil. The key to understanding soil fertility may unfortunately awaken gruesome memories of deadly boring hours between the Bunsen burner and litmus paper, but I’ll make it short so as not to scare you, as the chemistry teacher may have done. It’s about the pH value which indicates the acidity of the soil. How acidic soil is depends on the lime content.

Soil with a pH value from 0 to 6.9 is acidic. It contains little to no lime. Acidic soils predominate in the north of Europe, everywhere where rhododendrons and hydrangeas bloom in all their beauty. A pH of 7 is neutral and anything above is alkaline, i.e. calcareous soil.

The red earth of Ibiza has a pH value of 7 to 7.5, the whiter and chalkier the soil, the higher the acidity. It’s to our regret that most garden plants only optimally absorb the nutrients present in the soil when the acidity is 6.5 to 7. Citrus trees even need a pH of 6-6.5 to get to the iron in the soil. That’s why orange and lemon trees have it hard in our gardens. We have too much lime in the soil, which blocks the absorption of nutrients and our plants starve at a full table.

What can we do? The logical next step would be to lower the lime content, i.e. pH value.

We achieve this by mixing the soil with humus (every 3 months) or with iron sulphate or sulphur sulphate. The red limy earth needs only a dose in early spring, the white light earth needs smaller amounts in repeated doses, because it can’t bind as much iron sulphate.

The farmers have improved their soil over centuries by fertilising with manure and oat cultivation, as oats naturally makes the soil more acidic.

Or they switch to plants that love lime-rich soils. All aromatic plants such as lavender, rosemary, thyme and cotton lavender only unfold their full fragrance on the dry, nearly white campo soils. Also, poppy, marigold, wild gladioli and daffodils in the wild meadows indicate that they like the lime on their feet, as well as olive-, fig-, carob- and almond trees, apple, pear, peach, apricot, plum and loquat and of course pine. Aside from the indigenous plants, there are even a variety of lime-tolerant garden plants which feel at home in the island’s earth.

Because the red earth, as mentioned, is generally considered to be fertile, many owners of newly landscaped gardens fall prey to the fallacy that the freshly filled up red earth will give their plants enough nutrients for the next years. Apart from the above mentioned good reasons for regular soil improvement, it is also the case that the shipped earth is usually excavated from deeper soil layers, where hardly any significant nutrients are available. Even if you don’t want lush orange groves, you should still give plants, no matter how robust, organic fertiliser at least three times a year.

Creative summer-school in noah’s garden

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Noah‘s summer-school program gives children between 5 and 14 years great options to develop their creative talent. Under the supervision of the experience pedagogue Heike Merz and rotating guest tutors the summer-school takes place in July and August from Monday to Friday from 1000 to 1400 in the grounds of the gardening centre, Noah’s Garden, ctra. San Juan, km 12.5.

Cost: 135,- per week. Applications This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and mobile: 72 22 02 366
The Program:
The themes by week:
1.-12. July Indians and horses
29. July - 2. August: Film workshop with Elsa, presenter und media master student
5.- 9. August: Raft building and virgin voyage on the ocean
12.-16. August: Music workshop with Mary, singer and songwriter

The creative program for the other weeks: drawing and painting; working with clay, plaster and soapstone; Japanese ink painting; silk painting; shadow theatre; linocut and other printing methods; mosaics; copper embossing; felting; yoga; aikido and shiatsu.

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Contact

Noahs'Garden
Projects - Landscaping - Maintenance
Ctra. San Juan, km 12,5

Office: 971 333 111
Bernd Brosius: 629 568 688
Karen Sailer: 629 866 355

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 www.noahs-garden.com

Appointments after request