Written by Clare Ferrige
Photos by Alexander Warren-Gash
Have you ever heard of a cloud garden? If not, imagine a fluffy white cloud floating through the sky but replicated here on the ground using plants.
In Mallorca, cloud gardens are synonymous with Mashamba Design. Our Lead Landscape Designer, Alexander Warren-Gash, has been reimagining the traditional topiary technique for nearly 15 years, all with a modern Mediterranean twist.
To create the Mashamba magic that makes our gardens so special, Alexander likes to plant seasonal flowers like Rosa ‘KORbin’ (iceberg rose) or a feature plant, like an Olea europaea (olive tree) among the clouds.
We prefer to use native or drought-tolerant plants in our cloud gardens. The hardy plants grow rapidly given the right conditions, usually with just quality topsoil and minimal irrigation. Within a year, the plants begin to come together and form a mass that can be shaped.
Want to plant your own cloud garden? Use a combination of two or three shrubs and plant each variety in groups of three or five. A top tip for encouraging plant growth is to clip regularly – you want the shrubs to grow in a compact and dense form without long offshoots. The plants also need adequate spacing, so avoid the temptation to plant them too close together. Then with a little patience and time, you’ll have your own little piece of the sky.
Pistacea lentisicus (mastic)
An indigenous plant that you see growing in the wild all over Mallorca. It’s a sturdy evergreen that is often overlooked, but with clipping it creates lovely cloud formations.
Teucrium fruticans (germander)
A beautiful shrub with a blue flower and pale silvery-green foliage that contrasts well with the darker greens of other plants in our cloud gardens.
Rosemarinus officinalis (rosemary)
Rosemary has a different leaf structure to the germander and mastic. Its slender needle-like grey-green leaves and fragrance add a lovely sensory experience to the cloud garden.
Let’s Work Together:
Contact us to find out how a Mashamba garden can transform your outdoor spaces and life.