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Landscape Design

Spanish Landscaping Ideas

Design inspiration for creating a beautiful landscape with a Spanish flair

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Spanish Landscape Style Guide

Spanish Landscape Style Guide

Use this design sheet to help you create the perfect Spanish landscape. You'll get ideas for color, décor, materials, plants and fabric. It is a great starting point for any landscaping project.

Spanish Landscape Style Guide (PDF)

View all Landscape Design Style Guides

Spanish garden design was strongly influenced by the renowned Islamic, Persian and Moorish gardens. Originating in Spain, this style is now popular all over the world, especially in areas with a similar hot, dry climate. The Spanish combined the powerful elements of their influences and perfected the principle of separating spaces or rooms within the garden layout. Walled sections create intimate patio areas, courtyards house impressive fountains and terraces offering views into the landscape are all incorporated into the Spanish garden style.

Elements within Spanish gardens:

  • Tiered Spanish fountains
  • Moorish lanterns
  • Carved cantera forms
  • Urns
  • Slump block
  • Saltillo tiles
  • Cantera stone
  • Plaster

Common elements within a Spanish garden:

  1. Courtyards - are designed down to the smallest detail. The architecture surrounding the courtyard reflects the architecture of the home with Spanish archways and mosaic accents. These courtyards always include a water feature or reflection pool.
  2. Terraces - are located throughout the design, often providing overviews of the gardens below. Seating areas and potted plants should be incorporated into these areas as well.
  3. Fountains - and the use of water are extremely important in the Spanish design. Getting their influence from Islamic gardens, the Spanish design differs by consisting of multiple small fountains throughout rather than one large fountain in the center of each outdoor room or courtyard.
  4. Reflecting pools - are also from the Islamic gardens, where they are often the focal point to major entryways and courtyards. Reflecting pools are designed amongst geometric shaped, symmetrical planting beds.
  5. Symmetry - is one of the main elements of the original Spanish garden. Although you may find they are changing, their design should have some symmetrical areas to hold the authenticity of the true Spanish garden.

Spanish gardens have a drought-tolerant plant pallet; large grassy lawns that require lots of water in a hot dry climate just don’t make sense, nor do they represent a real Spanish design. Ceramic tiles are used commonly in almost any hardscape elements of the design such as: built in benches, water fountains, reflecting pools, retaining walls, walkways, and are even carried heavily into the décor. Large terracotta pots, bright blue glazed accent décor, rod iron and unique urns against the light colored or white plaster calls for amazing eye candy as you’re walking through the garden.

The Spanish garden design has a unique way of incorporating architecture with private garden spaces, making it one of the most popular residential garden styles today. Before you start your design consider the architecture of your home and size of your yard. If you don’t have the space to design all of the areas of a Spanish garden, choose one or two and create a powerful design around them. Create focal points in areas and allow plenty of room for a nice outdoor entertainment area; possibly with an outdoor kitchen. The Spanish garden is all about relaxation, enjoyment, sustainability and attention to detail.

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