The Flowing Garden in Bilbao Spain

steps garden spain by balmori

Bilbao, Spain, with its noteworthy architecture has been on my list of must see places for a while.  Now I have yet another reason for wanting to visit.  This stunning garden was created by the New York based landscape and urban design office of Balmori Associates.

blibao spain steps garden spain by balmori design

Called the “Garden That Climbs The Steps”,  Balmori Associates describes the garden:

“The garden climbs the stairs, running in undulating lines of different textures and colors. Envisioned as a dynamic urban space; it moves in time and with the seasons. Its lush planting cascades down as though the garden was flowing or melting, bleeding the colors into each other. In one gesture, it narrates a story of landscape taking over and expanding over the Public Space and Architecture, therefore transforming the way that the stairs and the space is perceived and read by the user.”

blibao spain steps garden spain by balmori design

blibao spain steps garden spain by balmori design

Balmori Associates is doing lots of work in Bilbao. In a city of contrasts: it is both medieval and elegant; modern and contemporary. They are working on a master plan that ties together the old part of town anchored by the 14th century Gothic Santiago Cathedral, and the Frank O.Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum which anchors a more contemporary side to the city.

blibao spain steps garden spain by balmori design

blibao spain steps garden spain by balmori design

images by Iwan Baan


I love what the designers have to say about their own creation:  “Like the famous Spanish Steps in Rome, the garden is not only designed for visitors to ascend and descend, but for them to linger, and just be.”

found via contemporist

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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  1. how it grows on October 2, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Interesting. I’m not sure what i think about it…it seems more like a sculpture than a garden.

  2. Sheila H on October 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I think it looks awesome – what a great way to break up the concrete and have something visually interesting to look at while you climb the long stairs!

  3. Carol on October 3, 2009 at 5:50 am

    Hi Rochelle,
    What a brilliant design and idea! Now there is more to climbing stairs than just reaching the top. I love the textures and subtle colors. We certainly have graduated from carpet beds here… this is truly lovely. Your photos are wonderful in showing the garden from so many angles… I especially love the first one. Extraordinary! I found your site when someone told me I had been nominated for best Massachusetts blog over at Blotanical … which was a total surprise to me… and there you were beside me. Congratulations on your nomination. I am thankful even more for the nomination since it led me to your great blog. Carol

  4. louise garwood on October 3, 2009 at 10:55 am

    So cool! reminds me of roberto burle marx , lush sculptural masses of color- like walking thru a 3-D canvas and the dimension that the stairs adds is genius! Love it-thanks for the post!

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