Sustainable beauty for algarvean gardens: cross-boundary solutions between the humanities and the sciences
The research project ‘Sustainable Beauty for Algarvean Gardens: Old Knowledge to a Better Future’ addresses the lack of sustainability and heritage identity of the Algarve gardens. In this paper, I give a description of the project’s aims, methods, and expected outputs, and argue that more sustainable solutions might be found in the early modern period, when estates were self-sustainable. To do so, I examine Alonso de Herrera’s Book of Agriculture (1513) – a theoretical landmark in the Iberian Peninsula – for its illustration of artisanal practices carried out in the Algarve between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries. In doing so, I show that these horticultural practices can be implemented in both designed landscapes and small-scale productive farms. Finally, I stress that the search for landscape identity should be conducted at the same time as the search for increasing sustainability, since an awareness of landscape heritage serves as the basis for ensuring its sustainability.