Arab garden: what it is, its features and how to design it

The Arab Garden is one of the most popular in Spain

For gardening enthusiasts, it is surely no secret that there are different types of gardens, depending on their vegetation and design. One of the most popular here in Spain is the Arab Garden, which we can enjoy in many parts of the south of the peninsula. Among the best known in this country are the famous gardens of the Alhambra, for example.

If you are interested in the subject and want to know more about the Arab garden, I recommend that you read on. We will explain what it is, what its characteristics are, how it is designed and what are the most common plants. I hope you find it interesting and informative!


What is the Arab Garden?

The predominant elements in the Arab garden are water, long paths and aromatic plants.

Before discussing the characteristics of the Arab garden, it is important that we discuss what exactly this type of garden is. It is a green space where three elements predominate, fundamental to its design: Water, long paths and aromatic plants. Another name by which it is known is the Islamic garden.

In general, gardens originating from the Middle East are fundamentally based on spirituality in order to achieve a symbiosis between landscape, human beings and natural resources. No wonder they are immensely beautiful and calming places. The main objective of the Arab garden is provide a space for meditation in which people can connect with the environment and also with themselves.


As we have already mentioned before, the fundamental elements of the Arab garden are the corridors or paths, the aromatic plants and the water. It is no mystery that the latter is rare in the region of origin, which increases its value considerably. For this reason, Each garden offers strategies and methods for properly treating wastewater and stormwater.

The ultimate purpose of fountains, ponds, ramps and ditches is not just aesthetic. In reality are irrigation systems and water reservoirs found in both public and private gardens. In Moorish gardens, these tanks connect directly to the plumbing system. Thus, these beautiful spaces are at the same time a system of distribution, collection and treatment of water. Basically, it is an alternative to be able to cope with extreme heat and drought in Arab regions.

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Alhambra Gardens

Just as bodies of water serve a practical function, so do footbridges. In each of the patios, these corridors facilitate the distribution of plants and water, giving rise to a particular balance present in each garden. Through long corridors, everyone has multiple options to find a space where they can completely relax. It should also be noted that the design and geometric distribution of the trees, galleries and walkways are designed to provide the maximum possible comfort for both visitors and the plants residing there.

For this reason, aquatic plants are also essential. Thanks to their fragrances, they help to purify both fountains and ponds. In addition, they attract birds and butterflies. In this way, this space full of religiosity and also of mysticism, which are fundamental in Arab culture, is completed.

Design an Arab garden

The Moorish garden usually has three different levels

When designing an Arab garden, the first thing we must take into account is the space we have and its characteristics. It’s essential reach areas in which the protagonists are water and aquatic species. In addition, it is essential to have enough space to place trees whose height is considerable.

Another aspect to consider is lighting. When it comes to designing an Arab garden, it is imperative that during the day, trees provide shade and coolness to protect visitors and other plant species from excessive sun and heat. During the night, fountains and ponds should be able to reflect the light of the moon and at the same time refresh the night weather. Remember that an Arab garden must be in a warm climate due to the type of vegetation, in colder areas it will be very difficult to maintain it.

It should also be noted that this type of garden is usually distributed in a total of three levels. The objective of this drawing is to represent the oases that can be found in the Middle East. But how are these levels distinguished? We will see it:

  • First level: The shadow level. Here, tall bushes and trees are planted with the aim of refreshing the environment.
  • Second level: The level of flowering plants. This area should be full of flowering shrubs, a real marvel for both sight and smell.
  • Third level: The water level. It is at this level that most of the aquatic plants, fountains and ponds are found.

And a little advice: To make your stay in the Arab Garden more pleasant and relaxing, a good option is Place benches in patios and in hallways. In this way, visitors will have the opportunity to rest in the place they like the most in a comfortable and pleasant way.

Plants for the Arab garden

We have already mentioned the importance of flowering shrubs and aquatic plant species. Neither of these two types can be missing in an Arab garden. However, it is essential select the species best adapted to the hot and humid climate. We are going to list some of the most suitable species for an Arab garden:

  • Trees: Carob trees, lemon trees, orange trees, olive trees, palm trees and wild pines.
  • Flowering shrubs: Oleanders, bird of paradise, camellias, jasmine, hydrangeas, rhododendrons and rosebushes.
  • aquatic plants : Creeks, water lettuces, water lilies, water lilies and oxygenators.

Although it is not a type of garden that we can have at home (unless we have a very, very large piece of land), we can visit some of them in Spain and enjoy a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere . Without a doubt, it is a worthwhile excursion.

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