Touring patios in Córdoba is like participating in a scavenger hunt. You are given seven addresses in a neighborhood of the city. Add to that a rudimentary map and the hunt begins—finding houses, ringing doorbells, asking to see the patio. Each patio has its own unique features: an Arabic well, cooling fountains with fish for tenants, tiny rosebushes, or canaries singing in cages, but all of them are teeming with geraniums that cascade over the confines of their flower pots.
The Spanish patio started as a common area between neighboring houses that gave access to the communal kitchens. Back then, paint could be expensive, so people would take cans and other containers, fasten them to the walls, and plant flowers. This formed a living wallpaper that changed with the seasons. Eventually, flower pots replaced the recycled cans, and the patio evolved into a communal space to rest and relax. Now they are a source of pride for owners, who can easily spend two hours a day watering the plants.