The Lighthouse, which translates to El faro in Spanish is the longest project I have undertaken. Over 20 years of blood sweat and tears to create mountain paradise and I still feel I am only half finished.
Situated at the end of a private track in the Spanish mountain village of Tarbena, between Alicante and Valencia, this peaceful haven with magnificent views and fresh mountain air has a sense of peace which I have never found anywhere else and I feel privileged to live here.
I created the garden on many different levels. There is a beach, a Zen garden, a plunge pool, a wooden decking and a shaded terrace. The garden seems to drift along various different paths all the way done to the end of the land. Many different spaces to sit and enjoy the views are hidden along the path.
The light on the mountains at whatever time of year is constantly changing and I have fallen in love with this beautiful location.
The house consists of 3 bedrooms and has a modern artistic feel. There is high speed wifi which is accessible in both the house the garden, wood burning stoves, a comfortable media room and a library full of good books.
The early years
I've lived here in Spain for over twenty years now, coming directly from London. I left London on a mission to create a garden. I had no idea where yet knew it needed to be somewhere with a bit more sunshine. A year after arriving in Spain, I found a small plot of land in the middle of no where which was for sale, so I put in an offer and a year later I was a land owner !
I spent the first 7 years living in the garden before the house was even started. Most of those years were spent living in a tent. It was a large dome tent, yet a tent none the less. I had no water for two years and no fridge or electrics for seven years !
I remember the first Spring time on the land when i was living in my tent. It was magnificent ! I felt like I'd been reborn ! I couldn't believe this was where I now lived, having come directly from 17 years of living in London. I was living the life I wanted, sipping coffee in the warm Spring mornings surrounded by wild flowers and fresh mountain air, whilst taking outdoor showers.
Summers were hot and I accustomed myself to the strange eating times of the Spanish and the magnificent fiestas easily enough.
Winter was a mixed bag. Sometimes snow and blue skies and other times storms. Sometimes so much rain that the track from my house would be blocked by landslides and roads further down the mountain were literally swept away.
The worst part of my nomadic living was the winds in February. Constant and unrelenting, day after day, night after night, teasing chapped lips and dry hands, penetrating my mind with a fear of it never ending.The storms, the intense summer heat, no electricity, the solitude of the mountains all played their part along my journey yet was the wind that I remember needed the most respect.
The house is finished yet as I said before, I feel I am only half finished as I have a larger vision for the lower gardens. Completely run on solar power, with fresh spring water and an unlimited supply of firewood, I feel that i have created a true paradise on earth and look forward to the second part of the project, allowing me to share this magical space with others.
Still to come
The lower garden
I started work on the lower gardens years before I started building the house. Here we find a spring and views down into the valley towards the Col de rates mountain pass.
When finished this will be a natural paradise where I wish to invite people to come and stay so that they can step away from the harsh world and heal themselves in the depths of nature. The garden will have waterfalls, fruit trees, a large vegetable garden and filled with natural artworks.sculptures.
I have incorporated curves within the original stone walls so that I can house my guests in domes placed throughout the garden.