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Son Bunyola: the magic of the sierra

A landscaping challenge overcome by Jardins de Tramuntana

He who cleans his garden expects visitors: an old proverb that still stands true. Mallorca is home to a wide array of stunningly beautiful landscapes. They don’t need improving, just maintaining. And when this doesn’t happen, they can be recovered.

Nature is abundant in all these landscapes, rampant in some places while more subtle in others. It may be full of different colours or entirely monochromatic, blooming with flowering almond trees or wilted like fig trees in winter.

Jardins de Tramuntana, began as a small gardening company in 1993 and has now evolved into our island’s leading landscaping business.

Son Bunyol - Jardins de Tramuntana

Thirty years of sowing, fertilising, pruning and grafting, while also innovating, evolving and transforming. The seed has grown into a tree that provides shelter, a plant that offers comfort or a flower that brightens up your day.

From the small office where they first began, to Sa Jardineria, a versatile space that is home to the Jardins de Tramuntana team’s studio, which manages comprehensive projects ranging from the development of a concept and a 3D design, to its execution and subsequent maintenance. A team made up of experts who imagine, create, recreate and design special landscapes and unique gardens. A team that also includes maintenance professionals, who are essential to keep the cycle of life running on track.

The landscape architects listen to the customer, advise them, guide them and make suggestions. They understand their tastes, their preferences and their needs. However, neither party makes the final decision. It is nature, the earth, the landscape that has the final word. You cannot fight the elements. Jardins de Tramuntana adapts them, enables them, shapes them, softens or accentuates them, but never tries to suppress them or interfere with the natural course of their ancient, primitive beauty.

The power of nature

Each project completed by Jardins de Tramuntana is a unique creation, as is every landscape, although they all have certain elements in common. One of its most recent and iconic creations is the project at Son Bunyola, an estate that is home to Sir Richard Branson’s new hotel. The idea presented a challenging task: to landscape a luxury hotel located in a place of breathtaking beauty. The challenge entailed two significant obstacles: the type of luxury offered by the hotel, which is different to what you would find in fashion magazines, and the beauty of the environment, which would be difficult to compete with.

Obviously, Jardins de Tramuntana honoured its name and accepted the challenge. Working at Son Bunyola, a 520-hectare estate dating back to the 16th century, nestled in the Serra de Tramuntana, offered the perfect conditions that any landscape architect worth their salt should be able to translate into an iconic project. There was no need to create a unique, special and remarkable place, because Son Bunyola is already all of these things. The challenge was to integrate all this into a design concept, while respecting the existing landscape and environmental conditions.

The concept of a garden was replaced by a perfect symbiosis with the landscape; mimicking it, integrating into the vegetation and respecting the environmental and cultural heritage of the area. A feeling of superiority and a design that doesn’t work with the environment is a recipe for failure.

The machinery is set in motion. The Jardins de Tramuntana team kicked into gear and began their adventure. The professionals began studying the environment, heritage and flora of the terrain at the site, going beyond expertise to demonstrate the sensitivity of people who know how to achieve their objective while respecting the environment.

Natural Mediterranean beauty

The goal was to create a space that was profoundly Mediterranean, full of green shades and earthy colours that explode with different colours according to each season.

The forest surrounding Son Bunyola is abundant with ancient olive, carab and Aleppo pine trees, while in the undergrowth you can find tree germanders and mastic trees. Inside the hotel buildings, the intention was to create an oasis of emotions, with specific aromas and colours seeping into each of the rooms.

The bathing area, with amazing pools and sea views, includes environments with Mediterranean plants and ancient olive trees alongside marés lawns. This last element required deep analysis to optimise water consumption.

The solution proposed by Jardins de Tramuntana was to install a system known as capillary matting, which reduces water consumption by up to 70% compared with conventional systems.

The hotel’s upper entrance is another spectacular sight. The first thing you’ll see is an ancient olive tree

surrounded by violet and red bougainvilleas, conveying both welcome and protection. If customers come in through the lion entrance, they will be blown away by the combination of nature and design: handmade terracotta pots containing pomegranate trees and European nettle trees, a very typical tree that naturally inhabits the island’s ravines and hillsides. There is also an array of Mediterranean shrubs that dance in the wind, allowing the breeze to pass through from the sea just below.

The centrepiece of the entrance is a peculiar fountain: a basin made of stone sourced from Turkish shores, with water trickling through from an early 19th century tin alloy tap. A haven of peace.

Jardins de Tramuntana has successfully completed a spectacular project, full of special little areas and plants chosen specifically to maintain harmony and preserve the environment and personality of the unique estate of Son Bunyola. This is landscaping at the service of the environment.