By Helga Jensen-Forde for InsideOut magazine  www.gulfnews.com

Each year the Emaar Garden Competition is a time of excitement for many of the horticulturalist homeowners who live in Emaar communities and take pride in their gardens.

    *  Image Credit: Christopher List/ANM     * Inspiration came from gardens the owners of the property had seen in Al Hamra, Spain.
* Image Credit: Christopher List/ANM * Inspiration came from gardens the owners of the property had seen in Al Hamra, Spain.

As part of the competition, which is now in its sixth cycle and is aimed at encouraging residents to enhance the community through their landscaping, expert judges peruse a barrage of gardens, evaluating them on their creativity and attention to detail.

One of the gardens that emerged as a winner of this year’s competition belongs to Jackie Daair and her husband, Talal, who have lived in their home at the Arabian Ranches for almost two years. Their 15,000-square-foot garden, originally designed by Hennessey Pools and Landscaping, achieved joint first place in the category for best large garden. InsideOut took a tour of this victorious garden, keen to discover what it takes to create a winning al fresco space.

“We tried to make the garden a bit different from most of the gardens we have seen,” says Jackie. “Its theme matches the Spanish architectural style of the house, which may have given it a bit of an edge.” The garden’s Mediterranean feel was strongly influenced by the family’s European travels, Jackie explains: “We wanted the garden to reflect the style of the villa and we got a lot of inspiration from gardens we had seen in Al Hamra in Granada, Spain.”

The garden might be an award-winner at this beautiful La Avenida Hacienda on the Ranches today, but rewind a few years and, like most gardens in the Gulf, it started out as a large patch of sand. “We completely started from scratch with a bare, sandy area,” admits Jackie. “We had our own ideas about what we wanted in the garden and Hennessey’s designer helped us to develop them and come up with a final design. Hennessey did all of the hard work – laying paving stones and constructing the fountains, jacuzzi and gazebo.” More info

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