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Project Name: Golfe Leste
Client: McWilliam Studio
Location: Quinto do Lago, Portugal

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Nestled within the Ria Formosa nature reserve in the Algarve region of Portugal, the stunning Quinto do Logo is one of Europe’s finest resorts and home to world-class golf courses, state-of-the-art sports facilities, hotels, and restaurants. The exclusive Golf Leste area sits in the North- East of the resort and features a collection of luxury properties each set in generous plots and many with views over the Quinta North course.

Long-term client and award-winning landscape architects McWilliam Studio were commissioned to create a new garden to compliment the brand-new villa designed by renowned local architect Vasco Viera. Delivering a striking contemporary look with roof terraces, swimming pool, and intimate internal courtyard, the new villa provided a unique sanctuary with abundant space to relax and entertain and grounds extending to 3,800m².

The new villa is substantially bigger than the one it replaced, taking up considerably more of the grounds and dramatically changing the composition of the areas available for planting. The garden sits on multiple levels on an east facing slope, much of which had previously been laid to lawn.

Enjoying a warm Mediterranean climate and featuring sandy, alkaline soil, stone pines are a dominant species and those within the garden were retained to sit alongside the trees and shrubs introduced in the new layout. Tall Italian cypresses were selected to punctuate the landscape and beautifully align with the stunning architecture of the villa.

The project involved a total of 12 planting plans and the introduction of a significant number of new trees and shrubs, including a wide variety of species native to the Mediterranean or able to thrive in the prevailing conditions, such as artichoke thistle, honey spurge, lavender grosso, and cheesewood plants.

Inspired by the local environment, the new landscape uses different stonework techniques to meet the challenges of the level changes whilst retaining easy movement around the site. Dry gravel planting negates the need for an irrigation system, with species including orchid rockrose, lamb’s ear, and bay laurels able to thrive and providing beautiful, planted walks around the garden.

Above left are the extensive lawns of the old villa that required regular cutting and efficient watering, replaced by wild planting and trails that can be enjoyed in the shade provided by the indigenous stone pines, as highlighted in the image to the right.

The transformation of the outdoor space surrounding this impressive villa introduced a rugged, wild environment featuring a blend of built and natural forms with explosions of texture and colour lacking from the original garden. The significant number of trees and shrubs improve the biodiversity and long-term environmental contribution of the grounds, which are now low maintenance and no longer require irrigation to maintain their wonderful appearance.

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