My father bought the Huerta de San Vicente in the year 1925, a very important year in our lives. There is a great deal of documentation in records and notories, going back even to the 16th century. As far as we know, it had been called “Huerta de los Mudos” and “Huerta de los Marmolillos”. My father registered it under the name Huerta de San Vicente and gave it to my mother as a gift. […] My parents had been thinking of buying a carmen [a house with gardens in the Albayzín of Granada]. But the carmen would mean our remaining in the city, and we, with our rural blood, were attracted to the country.
It had two houses, one for the helpers, another for us. Both were renovated. Ours ended up with a huge entry, which was the sitting room, with a large mirror; then a small office and Paco´s [Francisco´s] room. Upstairs, a toilet and the bedrooms with an improvised bathroom.
Along the drive there were fruit trees and a large yucca plant, and we replaced them with pomegranate trees and rose bushes, respecting a nettle tree and a beautiful nut tree that gave shade to the entire little plaza. There was also, in front of the house, a medlar tree, a palm tree and a macasar tree, which flowers in December with a humble flower yellowish in color, with no green leaves, next to the trunk, and which has a perfume that I would say is better than the jasmine´s. I have never seen that plant anywhere but in Granada.
In the little plaza there was a bench that really served no purpose except to sustain pots of geraniums. There was also a cypress planted by Federico which we lost, and another two that remained on the terrace, which was a bit more hidden than the plaza.
In front of the entry was the stairway, with a great arabesque window, something quite pretentious for a country home, which we found amusing. […] On the second floor we left the tiles that were there and have been conserved. Going up to the right was the girls´ room; at the end of the hall, a bath and Federico´s room; facing the stairs, the room where Concha and I slept and that of my parents; all three the same size. To the left there was an improvised bathroom, shall we say. Back then, there was no running water in the country homes. In the bath there was a black dressing table with a white marble top, a fairly large mirror with a black and gold frame, a big sink and a round zinc tub, with decorations painted in red, the remains of an incredible contraption that my father bought for shower baths, where we would bathe as if in the paintings of French Impressionists. A huge cabinet with sheets and towels. That room gave onto the terrace, where we would often go out.
In summer the house was cool, as it had very thick walls, and at noontime you had to come inside and leave at sunset. But the mornings, as I recall, were delicious.
In the kitchen there was a great earthen jar that was filled every two days and there was what was known as a cantarera, with two big jugs that were filled with water they brought us by donkey, from the famous fountain of the Avellano. To the left, covered by a jasmine plant that reached up to the balconies, one room that was the dining room and another that was Paco´s room, and in front of it the kitchen. Beside the house, to the left, first a garage was built and then atop it a lovely terrace. Soon we realized that nothing would happen to the car if we left it outside, it was neither seen nor in the way, so the garage became a dining hall with two great windows, and it was a spacious and pleasant room.
I, on that terrace and at the window, would spend long periods listening to the sound of the stream that flowed past my window, by the smell of the huge fig tree. The slow steps of some farm hand that always said: “May God give us a good morning”. […] Concha and I took many walks around the Huerta mornings, along very narrow paths, and having to jump over a number of irrigation ditches, and eating fruit from the trees. […] We took great walks. Many afternoons we went to the Huerta of my cousins, who were happy and gracious, and we would walk along the shores of the Genil […]
The Huerta de San Vicente in those days had a marvellous view. […] We could see the Sierra, the Albayzín, the hermit of San Miguel and the Alhambra, the Tower of the Vela, the wall of San Cristóbal, and we were amid the greenery of the Vega. Many nights, above all when Federico and Paco did not go out, we would sit on the terrace, sometimes wearing jerseys and even with blankets, chatting and watching the stars, with no light at all.
We had a gramophone and Federico played a lot of records with classical music, above all Bach and Mozart, and cante jondo. […] I must say that he did not ask for silence, yet we also suffered his insistence on hearing the same music over and over again. Federico would lock himself in his room for hours at a time, but always came out on the least request. He never missed a visitor. If people came from the country to see my father, Federico went down to be present, always quiet; he, such a talker, such a brilliant speaker, on many occasions remained in complete silence. No doubt because he was learning something. One day a villager told my father all about his son´s problems; and Federico [later] said, “How fascinating, how he described it”. […]
We openly held Federico, this was in 1925, to be a writer…
Isabel García Lorca, Recuerdos míos (Madrid, 2002)