While the first enclosure, completed in the eighth century, covered less than 0.56 ha, by the eleventh century the Great Mosque occupied 2.17 ha, a space large enough to accommodate 25,000 people. The olive trees, orange trees, and palms may have been introduced by Christians in the thirteenth century, give the space the name still used today: the Patio de los Naranjos (Orange Trees Courtyard).
Torres Balbás wrote that this kind of walled courtyard with trees was only found in al-Andalus, as mosques in other countries were never home to vegetation. The mosque courtyards in Almería and Granada seen by Münzer a few years after the Christian conquest all had planted trees.
Source: Unknown, 10th–12th centuries
-Antonio Almagro, Luis Ramón-Laca
La mezquita de Córdoba y las ruinas de Madinat al-Zahra (Open in Zotero)
Originally published at: Almagro, Antonio, and Luis Ramón-Laca. “Great Mosque Courtyard” Middle East Garden Traditions. Dumbarton Oaks, November 18, 2014. https://www.doaks.org/resources/middle-east-garden-traditions/catalogue#b_start=0&c6=Andalusian++Gardens. Archived at: https://perma.cc/J8KF-DV5P