If you’ve ever visited Spain, you were probably enthralled by the beauty of the gardens of the country. Influenced by Arab design elements, Spanish garden design can be enjoyed in the United States by creating your own garden at your Spanish style house.
Quite often Spanish gardens were hidden behind stucco walls. If your home doesn’t currently have stucco garden walls, you can add them to your landscape or you can create Cypress evergreen screens with wrought iron fences behind which to place your garden. Either option would be consistent with the style of your house.
If your home already has a Courtyard or walled area, you can easily transform it into a Spanish garden design. Because this type of garden is a personal expression of the gardener’s personality, be sure to find plants that you enjoy and will be easy to care for. Remember, the goal is to create a place of peace and privacy for you to enjoy.
Many Spanish gardens created separate areas within the garden by having some sections walled off with shorter walls. They also used vines both as a background for the walls and also to add privacy.
Another element in the Spanish garden design is the use of water, especially in areas of Spain that are considered to be dry. Part of the reason water features are so prominent with Spanish gardens is because of the Moorish influence.
Water features can be anything from a rock covered pool to an ornate tile water fountain. You could also use wall fountains or a spouting fish to maintain the traditional look. Be sure to incorporate this element in your Spanish garden design.
Look for terra cotta tiles and containers to use for your garden. Create a garden within a garden by filling one or more large terra cotta planters and placing them around your garden. To complete the Spanish garden look, use Moroccan style metal lanterns to provide lighting.
Depending upon the area you live in, you may or may not need the next garden element. Spain has intense heat during a good part of the day, so most Spanish garden designs incorporate ways to provide shade within the garden. Build a pergola to help make the heat and sunlight bearable. Hardy succulent plants in large terra cotta containers would be nice on the pergola steps.
Try to use plants that would be used in an authentic Spanish garden. Palm tree, orange, and pine trees would be normally used. Cactus, daisies, rosemary, lavender, and grapes would also have been grown in this type of garden. Plan to do some research to find out what types of plants you can incorporate into your Spanish garden design. Be sure to check that their hardiness zone is the same as yours, and then have fun creating a one-of-a-kind retreat.
Great resource on Mexican Gardens:
photo credit: b.schrade