With about 100 pitches, our campsite is small. It’s also fairly basic, sporting three shower/loo blocks, a laundry room, two places to hand wash clothes and a couple of sets of sinks to do the dishes. Apart from that, there’s not much here, other than the owners house, which also accommodates the small bar/shop and the social room. Like many campsites along the Spanish Mediterranean, it doesn’t need much more. Except, shade in the summer. On this site that is provided by a good variety trees and other tall plants.
Over the winter the clientele want as much light as possible and so the Eucalyptus trees are heavily pruned and yet still put on about a metre of growth a month. Buy the start of the high season the trees have a full canopy again, thus offering the goldilocks formula of summer shade and winter sun.
It turns out that this site is rather unusual, as the original owner, the mother of the current management, called this caravan park her garden and took great pleasure in selecting just the right plants for each pitch. Her first job was to give the land a skeleton, by marking off the boundary of each pitch with some low shrubs. She then had to punctuate the garden with some statement plants and to do this she hadto have date palms, the sign of a hot, sub tropical climate and so exotic to her northern European clients. The choice of a large number of Eucalyptus trees for their tolerance of the heat, their cool grey green colour, their aroma, and their shady, dappling canopy was inspired. She also picked trees for their berries and seeds and indigenous trees too.
As an underplanting, there are a range of succulents, including the sweet fruit and vicious needle bearing Prickly Pear. Beneath all these tall plants there are pots of plants absolutely everywhere.
When the ‘garden’ was planted, people arrived with modest caravans, small camper vans, or tents. There was no real struggle to negotiate these little homes around the the site and onto a pitch. Times have moved on, as has the motor industry. Caravans and motorhomes are generally much bigger than they were 20 years ago, when many of the regular campers first began to come here. Watching a modern vehicle or radio controlled caravan, shunting back and forth in order to turn a very tight corner bounded by four or five mature trees is a real treat for us.
What has all this got to do with nature?
The owners have created a lush garden that happens to be a campsite. Where there is a garden, there is life and this place proves that, as do the images throughout this post.