The quintessentially Andalusian wrought iron plant pot hooks. G.P.
With its beautifully preserved whitewashed buildings, picturesque tree-lined squares and gardens, bustling cafés and family-owned shops, panoramic views down to the sea, and the faint ‘clip clop’ of donkey hooves on the narrow cobbled streets never too far away, Mijas Pueblo has long been a favourite destination for tourists who want to experience a “traditional Spanish village.”
Yet the Town Hall has this week launched another campaign to turn up the ‘quintessentially Andalusian’ factor even further.
The latest scheme is to introduce hanging plant pots, a time-honoured feature of traditional patios in southern Spain, to the exterior of buildings along 26 streets in the historic centre of the village.
The pots will be painted vivid colours and will be filled with geraniums, ferns, and lavender, amongst other aromatic plants.
Mario Bravo, the planning councillor, tells this newspaper: “Currently there are 400 hooks for the plant pots, that will soon be taken up to 600, and then we will hit our target of 1,000.
“The plant pots inside the wrought iron hooks will be painted either a vivid blue or a vivid green, so against the white walls they will represent the colours of the Mijas flag.”
He adds: “Not only will this initiative reinforce the ‘pueblo’s’ reputation as a traditional Andalusian village for our many visitors, it will also make it an even more beautiful place to live for the people of Mijas.”
Once the plant pots have been hung and the flowers planted, it will be a team from the ‘Basic Income’ programme, a scheme which provides jobs to local unemployed people, who will be responsible for maintaining them.
However, the council is also stressing that residents also “have a part to play” in “helping keep Mijas beautiful and adorned with plants and flowers.”
Swiss-born Eva Weber, who has lived in the village for almost 13 years, resides in one of the streets which is soon to be bedecked with brightly coloured hanging plant pots. “It has already been a very pretty place to live and I think this project will make it feel even more special.
“Seeing plants bursting with flowers always makes you feel happy and puts a smile on your face. I’m very pleased to be living in a street which will benefit from this beautification scheme.
“My neighbours and I will make sure that the flowers are always watered and the plant pots are well-looked after in our road. I can imagine that everyone will take pride in ‘their’ hanging floral displays. In fact, you’ll probably see a bit of healthy competition between the streets in the village – which will make it even more beautiful for the tourists who come to visit as we’ll be trying to out-do each other.”
British holidaymakers, Lyn and Nigel Davis, comment: “We come to Mijas almost every year mainly because we love the quaintness and ‘Spanish-ness’ of it. And it’s good to know that they (the Town Hall) are continually trying to make it even more beautiful to ensure tourists like us come back.”