Create a Mexican style garden

4th July 2023

A Mexican or Latin American garden is centred on family and friends. A place for people to relax, dine and socialise in. Mexican garden design is influenced by Spanish Colonial, Moroccan and Indigenous architecture and style. With vibrant colour schemes, water features and lush planting (banner image courtesty of La Floret).


Mexican houses often surround an inner courtyard, creating an intimate outdoor living space. Patios are often paved with ceramic tiles in warm reds, browns and terracotta. Water is an essential element to incorporate into a Mexican style garden. In native Mexican cultures, wells and fountains were gathering places for the community.

RHS Chelsea 2015 "Under a Mexican Sky"
RHS Chelsea 2015 winner: Inland Homes, “Beneath a Mexican Sky”

Even if you don’t have a courtyard area and your outdoor space is large and open, it’s still possible to create the intimate feel of a Mexican courtyard by installing tall hedges or adding architectural details, such as walls or trellises.


  • Water feature, a small fountain
  • Cooking area; whether its a BBQ, Chiminea or fully integrated outdoor kitchen
  • Colourful tiles, Mosaic patterns
  • Natural stone
  • Colour washed walls in burnt orange, pinks and blues
  • Walled or screened off “courtyard” area
A Mexican inspired courtyard garden


Architectural plants for screening:

  • Bamboo
  • Hedging
  • Pleached fruit trees
  • Umbrella pleached trees for shade

Visit our webshop for living screens <click here>

Lush living:

Swing from the vines (you can also achieve this look with climbing plants):

  • Vinca major
  • Vitis vinifera
  • Hedera
  • Wisteria

Desert dreams:

  • Agave
  • Aeonium
  • Yucca rostrata (hardy up to minus 15 degrees!)
  • Dasylirion serratifolium
  • Grasses such as Festuca glauca, Cortaderia selloana and Lomandra
Agave ferox

Shrubs and perennials:

Vibrant colours:

  • Callistemon viminalis ‘Hot Pink’
  • Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Columbus’
  • Albizia julibrissin Rosea (Silk Tree Albizzia Tree)
  • Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise)
  • Canna lily
  • Chaenomeles speciosa (Flowering Quince)
  • Tibouchina
Albizia julibrissin

Since ancient times in Mexico, orange Marigolds have been used to honour the dead. This custom remains today and every year on the 2nd November families decorate their homes with orange flowers as an offering to their departed loved ones. If Marigolds aren’t your thing then why not try:

  • Coreopsis ‘Golden Sphere’
  • Gerberas
  • Eschscholzia californica (Californian poppy)
  • Geum ‘Mai Tai’
  • Achillea terracotta

Of course, some plants traditionally found in this style of garden won’t survive the UK winters. Here are some good alternatives:

  • Instead of Jacaranda try Wisteria or Lilac
  • Instead of Bougainvillea try Campsis radicans (Trumpet Vine) or Rhododendrons
Jacarandas trees in Mexico City


Accent your Mexican garden using brightly coloured pottery, wrought-iron light fixtures, woven rugs, and Mexican blankets. Vibrant paint colours will creative a festive atmosphere and help pull the whole look together. Lighting is essential, zigzagging festoon string lighting will complete the look and an “Acapulco chair” will bring a touch of Pacific coast chic to your patio <shop here>.


The UK declared 2015 as the “Year of Mexico” and hosted numerous cultural events related to the country. A Mexican flower exhibit at the Great Pavilion won gold at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The RHS Chelsea 2017 garden Beneath a Mexican Sky by Manoj Malde is a great example of how to create this rich exotic look here in the UK <click here> to view the garden.

“Beneath a Mexican Sky” by Manoj Malde