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Plant Focus

Quercus crassipes acorns with inrolled cupule margin
One of the more well-known Mexican oaks in cultivation.

El Jardín del Rosario, Spain, October 25-28, 2017

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Béatrice Chassé

Published May 2020 in International Oaks No. 31: 89–100

Introduction

In October 2017 I had the opportunity to visit the Jardín del Rosario (Villanueva del Rosario, Málaga, Spain) created by José P. Alba, long-standing member of the International Oak Society. Today, nearly 40 years after José and his wife, María José, acquired the property in the area known as the Valle Alto del Guadalhorce, the garden that has come to life there is the result of their interest in plants that has developed over the years, combined with his professional experience as civil engineer.

At the time of acquisition, in the early 1980s, the couple had no intention of creating a garden, or, a fortiori, an oak collection. Initially, the idea was to have a secondary residence, not far from Málaga, where they and their children could spend time with nature. The story of this garden is a story of transformation, both of the land that it occupies and of its creator. As José says, being fond of plants and gardens was the only relationship he had with these things up until about 20 years ago. Since then, both he and his garden have grown tremendously.