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Russell Page Archive: Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Sotogrande

Jaime Ortiz-Patiño’s was the first of many gardens which Russell Page designed at Sotogrande, a fashionable residential development in Andalusia, Spain. Page overcame the problems caused by the small, blustery site by looking to local garden and architectural design, most especially the Alhambra palace.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Garden Plan

    RP/1/12/20/2

    September 1967

    47 x 76 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil design on tracing paper dated September 1967, marked ‘Propriete de Mr J. Ortiz-Patino, Projet de jardin, echelle 1/50’ (reference number 162/M; a dyeline copy has reference number 162/14).

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Garden Plan

    RP/1/12/20/3

    September 1967

    47.5 x 76 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design dated September 1967, marked ‘Propriete de Mr J. Ortiz- Patino, Projet de jardin, echelle 1/50’. The plan shows the same area of the garden as RP/1/12/20/2 but with added sketches and shading in pencil and coloured pencil.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Water and Drainage Points

    RP/1/12/20/4

    April 1968

    76 x 90 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil and ink design on tracing paper dated 19 April 1968, marked ‘Sotogrande, Jardin de Mr Jaime Ortiz-Patino, echelle 1/100, Avant projet points d'eau et drainage, positions approx’ (reference number 162/8). The plan appears to show the whole garden with the positions for incoming water and drainage indicated.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Water and Drainage Points

    RP/1/12/20/5

    April 1968

    69 x 81 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design dated 19 April 1968, marked ‘Sotogrande, Jardin de Mr Jaime Ortiz-Patino, echelle 1/ 100, Avant projet points d'eau et drainage, positions approx’. A dyeline version of RP/1/12/20/4 with added ink and pencil sketches.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Planting Plan

    RP/1/12/20/6

    April 1968

    68 x 79 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design with added ink sketches dated 25 April 1968 (reference number 66/78). An alternative layout for the garden, with plant suggestions added in pen.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Garden Plan

    RP/1/12/20/18

    July 1968

    71 x 82 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design dated July 1968, marked ‘Sotogrande, Jardin de Mr Jaime Ortiz-Patino, Echelle 1/100, Avant projet’ (reference number 1969/162/16). The plan shows the suggested layout for the garden as detailed in RP/1/12/20/4 and RP/1/12/20/5.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Swimming Pool

    RP/1/12/20/19

    September 1968

    76 x 85 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil and ink design on tracing paper dated 20 September 1968, marked ‘Notes on Swimming Pool for Mr J. Ortiz-Patino at Sotogrande, Scale 1/50 2cm = 1 metre, 6 copies’ (reference number 162/10). It includes notes about the swimming pool by Page.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Garden Levels

    RP/1/12/20/7

    September 1968

    78 x 97 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design with amendments in ink dated 10 September 1968, marked ‘Jardin de M. Ortiz-Patino, Sotogrande, Suggested garden levels, 1/100’ (reference number 68/162/3).

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Swimming Pool Surroundings

    RP/1/12/20/8

    April 1969

    76 x 84 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil design on tracing paper dated April 1969, marked ‘Alentours piscine et jardinets nord et ouest, echelle 1/50’ (dyeline copies have reference number 68/162/4). The plan shows the garden areas to the north and west of the swimming pool.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Swimming Pool Surroundings

    RP/1/12/20/9

    April 1969

    75 x 81.5 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design dated April 1969, marked ‘Alentours piscine et jardinets nord et ouest, echelle 1/50’ (reference number 1968-69/162/4). The plan shows the same area of garden as RP/1/12/20/8 but with added planting details.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Patio Plans

    RP/1/12/20/10

    April 1969

    42 x 72 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design with amendments in ink dated April 1969, marked ‘Maison de Mr Ortiz-Patino à Sotogrande, Patio d'entree, Patio des enfants, Patio guarda, echelle 1/50’ (reference number 1968/162/2). The plan shows three separate, but linked, patios within the garden.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Patio Plans

    RP/1/12/20/11

    April 1969

    42 x 72 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A dyeline design dated April 1969, marked ‘Maison de Mr Ortiz-Patino à Sotogrande, Patio d'entree, Patio des enfants, Patio guarda, echelle 1/50’ (reference number 68/162/2). The plan is the same as RP/1/12/20/10 but with added shading in coloured pencil and a list of planting.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Treatment for Patio Paving

    RP/1/12/20/13

    c. 1969

    55.2 x 75.5 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    An undated pencil design on tracing paper, marked ‘House at Sotogrande for Mr J. Ortiz-Patino, Suggested treatment for entrance patio with pebble paving, 1 stone fountain (A) and 1 stone plant box (B)’ (a dyeline copy has reference number 68/162/6). It includes details of the design for the entrance patio.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Patio and Water Feature Plan

    RP/1/12/20/20

    May 1969

    75.5 x 79.5 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil and ink design on tracing paper dated May 1969, marked ‘House at Sotogrande, Bassin et jet d’eau en tout du Patio de la piscine’ (reference number -/162).

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Garden Outline

    RP/1/12/20/12

    April 1969

    76.8 x 104.5 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil design on tracing paper dated April 1969, marked ‘Garden at Sotogrande for J. Ortiz- Patino, scale 1/50’ (reference number 162/7; dyeline copies have reference numbers 68/162/7 and 1969/ 162/7).

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Dining Room Terrace Plan

    RP/1/12/20/22

    July 1969

    59 x 75.5 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil design on tracing paper dated July 1969, marked ‘Mr J. Ortiz-Patino, Dining room Terrace, Revised Drawing’ (reference number 162/12; a dyeline copy has reference number 1968-69/162/9).

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Location of Swimming Pool and Tennis Court

    RP/1/12/20/21

    July 1969

    57 x 61.5 cm

    ©Estate of Russell Page

    A pencil and ink design on tracing paper dated July 1969, marked ‘Mr J. Ortiz-Patino, Emplacement suggerée pour Tennis Piscine etc, Echelle 1/ 200’ (reference number 162/13).

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Plant List

    RP/1/12/20/17 (1 of 5)

    1968

    A typescript plant list of selected shrubs (‘arbustos’) for the garden.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Plant List

    RP/1/12/20/17 (2 of 5)

    1968

    A typescript plant list of selected shrubs (‘arbustos’) for the garden.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Plant List

    RP/1/12/20/17 (3 of 5)

    1968

    A typescript plant list of selected perennials (‘planta vivaz’) for the garden.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Plant List

    RP/1/12/20/17 (4 of 5)

    1968

    A typescript plant list of selected climbers (‘trepadoras’) for the garden.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Plant List

    RP/1/12/20/17 (5 of 5)

    1968

    A typescript plant list of selected trees (‘árboles’) for the garden.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Cross Section of House, Architects Plan

    RP/1/12/20/14

    April 1968

    45 x 109 cm

    Dyeline with information, 'Variante 5, Sotogrande, PG-B4-P1, Propriété de Monsieur Jaime Ortiz Patino, Coupe C-D, echelle 0.01 PM, J. Regnault Architecte, drawing number 27/768'.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Architects Plan, Garden Levels

    RP/1/12/20/15

    June 1968

    71 x 98 cm

    Dyeline with information, 'Sotogrande, Propriete de Monsieur Jaime Ortiz Patino, P6-84-P1, Tirage provisoire, Implantation et masse, echelle 0.01 PM'.

  • Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Architects Plan of Property

    RP/1/12/20/16

    c. 1968

    89 x 122 cm

    Dyeline with information, 'Proyecto de chalet para D. Jaime Ortiz Patino en Sotogrande, San Roque, (Cadiz), Distribucion planta baja, escala 1:50, Arquitecto Pedro Ma Rubio Requena'.

  • Digital Photograph of Garden at Sotogrande

    RP/4/3/56 (1 of 6)

    2018

    A photograph of Jaime Ortiz- Patiño’s garden taken in 2018 showing the water channel. The windows in the pavilion at the end of the canal have been altered since the 1960s.

  • Digital Photograph of Garden at Sotogrande

    RP/4/3/56 (2 of 6)

    2018

    A photograph of Jaime Ortiz- Patiño’s garden taken in 2018 showing a view through to the swimming pool.

  • Digital Photograph of Garden at Sotogrande

    RP/4/3/56 (3 of 6)

    2018

    A photograph of Jaime Ortiz- Patiño’s garden taken in 2018.

Property of Jaime Ortiz- Patiño, Sotogrande, San Roque, Cádiz, Spain

1967 to 1969

Archive of Garden Design Ref: RP/1/12/20

The garden of Jaime Ortiz-Patiño at Sotogrande presented Russell Page with two key difficulties: it was small, and it was exposed to winds coming in from the Atlantic Sea. Fortunately, there was already a good relationship between owner and designer: Page had worked with Ortiz-Patiño at his home in Geneva (the plans for which are in the Russell Page archive: RP/1/13/19). Before this, he had designed the gardens at the Château du Moulinet for Ortiz-Patiño’s parents (RP/1/6/114). Consequently, understanding that Page worked holistically – thinking of the garden, buildings and views as one – Ortiz-Patiño brought him in early enough that Page was able to influence plans for the new house as well as the garden, finding solutions to the problems posed.

An exclusive residential development in south-eastern Spain, Sotogrande had been established in the early 1960s by the American entrepreneur Joseph McMicking and his wife Mercedes Zóbel. Comprised of what had once been neighbouring farms, the vast estate was nestled between the sea and the Rio Guadiaro valley.  The man responsible for acquiring the land was Alfredo Melian Zóbel, McMicking’s cousin. Alfredo and his wife Mary Melian were the first to build a house on the estate, and it was at their property that Page discovered a satisfying solution to the problems of gusts coming in from the coast: patios.

Page worked with Ortiz-Patiño’s architect, Jacques Regnault, to reconfigure the original designs for the house. (Regnault and Page had worked together before, most notably at the château du Vert-Bois in northern France.) They created different patio areas, which were more often than not sheltered by the surrounding walls (see RP/1/12/20/10, RP/1/12/20/11 and RP/1/12/20/12). Using these courtyards as a prompt, Page broke up the rest of the garden into a series of separate spaces. This allowed him to fit a swimming pool, tennis court and garden pavilions into the small plot.

While practical, the patios also enabled Page to introduce classical elements of the local architecture into his design. As he acknowledged in the foreword to the 1983 edition of The Education of a Gardener, it was only when working in southern Spain that Page truly came to understand the theory underpinning Islamic gardens (4). Visiting the Alhambra palace at Granada, he discovered that ‘the volumes of rooms, the proportions of courtyards, the size of fountains and pools, down to the details of a single tile… are all based on a common series of numbers and it is this common factor applied to the least details which gives… a special harmony’ (Book, 4). Within this geometric harmony, a key shape was the octagon; it is a motif which recurs in many places throughout the Ortiz-Patiño garden: paved within the patios and as a base for simple fountains.

Although his extended stay in Spain gave Page the opportunity to examine in detail the principles of Islamic garden design, it was an area in which he had long been interested, dating from his time living in Egypt during the Second World War, and working in Iran in the late 1940s. In an unpublished draft text for a proposed second book, entitled Islamic Influence in Garden Design (RP/3/1/4) – much of which was incorporated into the foreword for the 1983 edition of The Education of a Gardener – Page asserted that “water is the common element of all ‘Islamic’ gardens from Mongolia to the Atlantic.” He goes on to discuss how important water is in most successful garden design, whether in England, France, Italy or Spain. Certainly, Page had always deployed water as a key feature. In the garden at Sotogrande, it is one of the most successful elements. A narrow channel of water, sunk within a paved path flanked by lawns, links a large rectangular pool set in front of a pavilion and a small octagonal pool placed before the swimming pool: a literal flow between distinct zones.

Exploring the area around Sotogrande also introduced Page to local plants, such as blue Lopthospermum, scented white Cestrum and the night-blooming white Convolvulus and Datura. Somewhat unusually, there are five pages of plants for Ortiz-Patiño’s garden in the Russell Page Archive. Broken down by category into shrubs, perennials, climbers and trees, these provide a wonderful insight – beyond the drawings – into how the garden would have looked. Starting a garden from scratch presumably gave Page more involvement in deciding the entire planting scheme than modifying an existing space sometimes did.

Page’s enthusiasm for the project is evident in the notes he wrote for his planned second book:

I was… busy along the South Coast of Spain from Marbella to Sotogrande a then new development near Gibraltar and Algeciras. Here the problem is wind – frequent gales come in from the Atlantic and I much enjoyed designing a house where each room had its own patio. The main one outside the living room has a sixty foot long[sic] pool and the flanking buildings are covered with espaliered lemon trees and pale blue plumbago. Another has huge plants of Strelitzia augusta, flanking square raised pools set about with ginger lilies, Hedychiun, Clivia [imantophylla] and violets. The walls of still another are dotted with a bignonia whose white flowers have each a crimson purple vetch [Vicia] and a single tree of Koelreuteria gives shade and yellow blossom in July.

Page returned to Sotogrande several times designing gardens for other properties there, including for Mary Melian (RP/1/39), the architect Alfonso Zóbel (RP/1/12/18) and the Sotogrande Beach Club (RP/1/12/13).

Literature

Page, Russell. “Book.” Unpublished manuscript, undated [early 1980s?] (Archive of Garden Design RP/3/1/3).

— “In Making Gardens.” Unpublished typescript, undated [early 1980s?] (Archive of Garden Design RP/3/1/1).

— “Islamic Influence in Garden Design.” Unpublished typescript, undated [early 1980s?] (Archive of Garden Design RP/3/1/4).

— “Book 1st Draft.” Unpublished manuscript, 1983 (Archive of Garden Design RP/3/1/4).

The Education of a Gardener. Harvill, 1994.

van Zuylen, Gabriella and Marina Schinz. The Gardens of Russell Page. Frances Lincoln Ltd, 2008.

Related material in the Archive of Garden Design

RP/1/6/114: Monsieur & Madame Ortiz-Linares, Le Moulinet, Garancières

RP/1/12/2: W. Karri-Davies, Sotogrande

RP/1/12/4: Lady Oppenheimer, Sotogrande

RP/1/12/5: Mr Beaurang, Sotogrande

RP/1/12/9: Madame Soriano, Sotogrande

RP/1/12/11: Pierre Crokaert, Sotogrande

RP/1/12/12: Paul Jeanty, Sotogrande

RP/1/12/13: Sotogrande Beach Club

RP/1/12/18: Don Alfonso Zobel de Ayala, Sotogrande

RP/1/12/19: Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Sotogrande

RP/1/13/19: J. Ortiz- Patiño, Vandoeuvres, Geneva

RP/1/39: Mary Melian, Cabana and Rose Beds

RP/4/3/56: Digital Photographs of Gardens at Sotogrande

Related material elsewhere

There is photographic material relating to Jaime Ortiz-Patiño’s garden at Sotogrande in the RHS Lindley Library reference collection (PAG/2/2/6; PAG/2/3/18; PAG/2/3/19; PAG/2/3/21).