New Homes Garden Award 2007



A fifth award in just two years has just been won by Desert Springs, Europe’s only luxury family resort and championship desert golf course in the Almanzora region of Almeria in south-east Spain.

Despite its desert microclimate  –  unique in Europe, with annual rainfall of less than 200 mm – the resort has won the New Homes Garden Award 2007 in the category Best Garden/Landscape – Overseas Development.

The accolade is one of 30 presented annually in a bid to raise the standards of design and construction of the thousands of gardens and landscapes built around new homes each year.

At the heart of Desert Springs, its 18-hole USGA Indiana golf course  –  designed by former Great Britain and Ireland Golf Team Captain Peter McEvoy, inspired by the desert courses of Arizona and California  –  comprises a  dramatic series of lush fairways, set in a landscape of cactus, rock and flowering desert irrigated by water drawn from artesian wells beneath it.

The resort’s developer, the Anglo-Spanish Almanzora Bay Group, has planted around 200 species on the golf course and in the gardens of the apartments, townhouses, cottages, villas and country houses in the 300 hectare (750 acre) resort.

Bridget Rosser, sales and marketing manager of The Almanzora Group, the main UK agent for the properties at Desert Springs, says that landscaping and irrigation has encouraged massive re-population of wildlife in the resort.

“We have seen many exotic birds – bee eaters, golden orioles, hoopoes and flamingos – as well as other wildlife, such as the world’s smallest non-poisonous snake, monitor lizards and the endangered Moroccan tortoise,” she says.

Planting has been overseen by Desert Springs’ resident chief naturalist, Joel Lodé, who has created and manages  one of the most important and largest collections of succulent and cactus plants in Europe. He has personally propagated many of the 15,000 plants in his nursery, using seeds collected from locations as far apart as South America and the Middle East. 

The New Homes Garden Award is the latest in a series of trophies won by Desert Springs in the past two years. In 2005 the resort won the Daily Mail Best Almeria Award and the Bentley International Property Awards for the Best Spain Development and Best Architecture. In 2006 it was awarded the Spanish National Madera Verde prize for Environmentally Sensitive Development presented by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment’s Association for the Promotion of Socio-Cultural Activities and The Royal Spanish Golf Federation.

Earlier this year the resort’s El Torrente Restaurant received the New Millennium International Gastronomy Award for the Tourist, Hotel and Catering Industry. This award was created by the Trade Leaders Club with the aim of distinguishing companies from all countries for the outstanding quality of their products or services.

The New Homes Garden Awards 2007 are presented in association  with Express Newspapers and supported by the NHBC, HBF, New Homes Marketing Board, Landscape Institute and the Society of Garden Designers and Garden Design Journal.


The award-winning lush landscape of Desert Springs, Europe’s only luxury desert resort and golf club in the Almanzora region of Almeria in south-east Spain.

For further information contact: Paul Connaughton
Telephone: +44 (0) 1242 680 299