At ÁBBATTE, as well as creating handmade textile pieces, we also provide cultural and educational offerings consisting of courses, conferences and seminars related to textiles, colour, dress and aesthetics. An important part of this is the development of a botanical garden which is home to some of the dye plants that are used in the world of textiles. Among them, we can find Rubia tinctorum, Isatis tinctoria, Marigold, Ulex europeus, and a great variety of other dye plants that belong to the textile world.
In a botanical garden, living plants are cultivated for their propagation, conservation and teaching, meaning they play an educational role as well. In the case of our botanical garden, they also convey a cultural heritage, as is the case with the cultivation of Rubia or Granza which is a long-standing tradition in Segovia both for its use and for its commercialisation. The Rubiales from Castilla are known for their exceptional quality and expanse.
In our botanical garden, the scenery of the monastery is taking shape, scattered trees mixed with areas of bushes and herbaceous plants create an especially beautiful place.
Two walks have been created to stroll around the garden. The first one is shorter and more focused, where the majority of the herbaceous plants and bushes can be seen, arranged in flowerbeds; the other is longer, where a greater number of trees can be seen. To accompany these routes, some small booklets are being made, with maps, historical facts and anecdotes about some of the more noteworthy species.
In order to complement the dye plants that are being cultivated a seedbed is being developed, both for species that can already be found in the garden and for those from other regions. A herbarium is also being created in order to house plants that cannot be grown in this area due to the climate.
Botanical gardens have existed throughout history and across different cultures. In this case it functions as a great attraction to eco-travellers, as they want to discover places that convey a feeling of calm, serenity and a Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic where the nature of the handmade takes precedence.
A botanical garden always gives an area an additional cultural interest.
Text: María Olmos Mochales
Photos: Pablo Gómez-Ogando