As with all the revival themes, this garden style is best suited for homes that have authentic architectural features. However, a tile roof, an arched entry with an iron gate, a balcony terrace, or smooth plaster walls, are enough elements to invoke the design of a Spanish Revival Garden. The use of exterior spaces is the fundamental feature of the Spanish garden home. Porches and loggias, as well as open-to-the-sky patios and terraces, balconies, and decks make this a popular Southern California garden style.
Beginning with a symmetrical, formal layout for hardscape areas, these gardens feature a courtyard, plaza, or enclosed entertainment area with a fountain(s) of reflection pool. A symmetrical swimming pool and spa create a separate space or outdoor room, typical with Spanish Revival styles. Hybrid styles like Mission Revival and the Monterey style home can be found from Monterey Bay, to Santa Barbara, to the Palos Verde Peninsula and south to La Jolla.
Spanish Revival Garden Elements: Stucco walls with adobe caps and colorful accent tiles give the outdoor kitchen and patio area a distinct look. A tiered fountain, centered in the courtyard, is surrounded by decorative iron and wood furniture with colorful cushions. Rather than a central fountain, several small fountains may occur in each outdoor room, or garden space. Terracotta pots, urns, and statuary complete the patio. Paving should be clay pavers, stone or tumbled pavers, patterned or textured concrete, with decomposed granite walkways. Walls of slump block with sack finish and iron gates accent the dramatic plant palette. Small space gardens may have one or two features, depending on the size of the area.
Spanish Revival Garden Plants: The garden must have symmetrical areas, “outdoor rooms”, to hold the authenticity of the true Spanish garden. The plant palette includes trees and shrubs with dramatic and colorful leaves that produce a cooling effect. Typical selections are feather palms such as a specimen Senegal Date Palm with multiple trunks or Queen Palms, Mediterranean Fan Palms, Giant Birds of Paradise, Olive Trees, and California Peppers.
Appropriate shrub selections are dramatic succulents like Dwarf Agaves and Dwarf Aloes. Other selections include New Zealand Flax, Fortnight Lilies, Dwarf Lavender, Dwarf Salvia, and Rosemary. Bougainvillea and flowering vines cover the stucco walls. Citrus espaliers on walls and Citrus in colorful containers is a staple of Spanish gardens.