The dos and don’ts of Spanish gardening
Home & Garden

The dos and don’ts of Spanish gardening

THE Spanish landscape is a study in contrasts. Boldly coloured glazed tiles are set against the sun-baked terra cotta of Saltillo pavers, while vivid plantings mingle with weathered iron and stone. These contrasts bring a lively sense of timelessness to the Spanish design style.

The dos
Do choose iconic Spanish elements such as white or coloured stucco, Saltillo pavers, coloured tile and iron work. These are the common threads that help your landscaping fit in with the Spanish style of architecture.
Do choose bold paint colours for the outdoors. While most people choose quiet colours for the interior, the garden is a place to play with stronger colours. Because there’s no ceiling reflecting the colour back at you, bright colours can enliven an outdoor space without overwhelming it.

Do embellish concrete patios and pathways to give them personality. Adding a meandering line of river rock or repeating elements like tile within the concrete can make even your pathways an artistic part of the décor.
Do connect every plant to a drip irrigation system. In a hot landscape, a drip irrigation system is an easy way of making sure each plant and pot is getting just the right amount of water, with no waste.

The don’ts
Don’t be shy in choosing one-of-a-kind found objects for your landscaping. Antique stores and salvage shops can be a great source for unusual items, and the timeless beauty of an antique iron grate or a lamp with a patina brings an enduring charm to your Spanish-style landscape.
Don’t throw away stone, brick or concrete that’s already on your property. You can construct attractive knee walls, terraces or pathways with salvaged materials. Not only does re-using materials save money, it also provides a unique character and sense of history in your garden.

Don’t be afraid to overplant succulents and perennial flowers for a full look right away. Planting ground covering plants in this way helps hold down weeds, and if you end up planting too many, you can easily remove a few later.
Don’t feel that every piece must be authentic to a period or style of architecture. To create a feeling of continuity throughout the landscape, repeat colours or materials. Mixing styles and regions lets you explore your personality and leads to an artistic, interesting space.
In any landscape, think about how you’ll use the space. One of the key considerations is examining what’s happening inside the house. For example, if you have a small dining room, you may like to open it up by adding sliding glass doors and creating a courtyard garden to improve the look and usefulness of your space. By expanding your room to include an outdoor view, you can create a whole new living area.

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