Plant the Look - Spain
Have you always dreamt of a Spanish style garden?
Do you wish you could be sipping a Sangria in Seville right now, to the sound of Andres Segovia playing classical guitar?
We show you how to create the look of a Spanish garden in your own back yard.

Spanish Style Gardens - cool courtyards

Spanish courtyard garden There are two notable - and very different - styles of gardening which come to mind when thinking about Spain.

The first Spanish style of garden is the Moorish courtyard, cloistered and enclosed within the ancient walls of a palace or monastery.

There is usually a life-giving fountain, slender shallow rill, or still reflecting pool at the centre of the space to represent the paradise garden of Eden.

Water in a desert is a precious commodity, and is given pride of place.

You can see this formal style of garden in the world-renowned palace of Alhambra, in Granada; and at Jardin Majorelle, Yves Saint Laurent's cobalt-blue garden in Marrakesh.

 

Spanish courtyard gardenThis Spanish - originally north African - style of garden is a formal space, clearly man-made, and well-maintained.

Decorative glazed tiles or intricately-carved stonework add ornament.

The planting emphasis is on all-green shrubs, clipped neatly and even topiarised, to create a calming shaded atmosphere of rest and tranquility.

Fruit to nourish the weary traveller is often added, in the form of citrus trees - oranges, lemons, limes - for which Seville is world-famous; and heat-loving waterwise date palms, whose fruit can be dried and stored for long journeys.

 

Spanish Style Gardens - potted patios

Spanish wall of pots in Cordoba The second Spanish style is the colourful wall of pots, creating a vertical garden of blooms in even the smallest of spaces.

The kind of flower is less important than the effect of lots of colour in a small space - so choose your favourites!

The pots are often brightly painted to coordinate or contrast with the flowers inside, or like here to add another level of colour to the mix.

The most notable example of this living wall style of gardening is in the town of Cordoba in the south of the country, which holds the Cordoba Patio Festival each year.

The Fiesta de los Patios shows off its famous flowery walls to thousands of tourists.



Spanish Style Gardens - get the look

plants for the Spanish look Essential plants to get that Spanish garden-of-eden look in your own backyard space are orange and lemon trees, dwarf palms, and shade-giving trees.

If you have existing small-leafed shrubs, clip them to neat dome and ball shapes.

For a riot of Cordoban-style colour, fix lots of wall mounted pots to your house or fence - paint up any plain ones in vivid shades.

Look out for brightly-hued potted plants such as geranium (Pelargonium), ixora, daisies, and petunia to plant in those pots.

Vibrantly-coloured foliage plants like heuchera and alternanthera will give you the effect of flowers all year round.