Mezze Planner: Making a Mediterranean Garden
Mediterranean-style gardens are among the most relaxing atmospheres around. Whether formal or naturalistic, their mellow color palette and emphasis on scent can whisk you away to a fine life on rocky coast, if only in your mind.
Mediterranean gardens can be naturalistic and wild, formal or some combination of both. Here, three examples of Mediterannean design offer inspiration for your own garden.
Colorful mosaic tile is widely used in Mediterranean hardscaping. A small mosaic pool ties color bursts of planting and painted walls together in this courtyard, and provides a focal point around which pots and specimens are arranged. Planting is dense and textured, using palms and large-leafed architectural species.
Professor and designer Newell says:
“This garden was inspired by Spanish and Moroccan courtyards, in which intense, painted color is combined with carefully detailed spaces. I like crafted elements, so I laid and designed the pattern for the mosaic tiles (based on traditional Moroccan designs) myself. The garden’s not far from the beach, and enjoys a sheltered microclimate, enabling me to introduce a Mediterranean range of plants. The planting palette is varied and relatively high maintenance, which suits me as I have a keen interest in gardening. The space provides an outdoor room.”
Hardy fuchsia (image 1)
Japanese spindle tree (image 2)
Japanese maple (image 3)
Hosta (image 4)
Lords and ladies (image 1)
"Vancouver Centennial" geranium (image 2)
Sweat pea (image 3)
Key Mediterranean plants are included in one area of a large garden in southern France. An olive tree taking center stage and providing essential shade, while formal hedging sets the space off from the rest of the garden.
Designer Semini says:
“This plot in Provence was once a derelict sheepfold. It was first cleared and developed as a garden in the 1990s, but then improved and expanded in 2005. The Alpilles mountains form its backdrop. I wanted a sense of mystery, and to link the planting with the landscape using green and silvery foliage. The rustic character of the sheepfold was a key consideration in the materials I used. I like to mix the influences of the site, my client’s needs and my own ideas, and in this garden they came together well.”
Laurustinus viburnum (image 1)
Oleander (image 2)
Olive tree (image 3)
Spanish lavender (image 4)
This garden, a steeply sloping, well-drained, sunny plot with panoramic views, lent itself to lively and aromatic Mediterranean herbs. The garden is laid out according to a strict grid; paving creates an informal terrace.
Design team Roberts and Smith say:
“The clients wanted their garden divided into intimate, sheltered 'rooms' and they helped to style these, although it was important to create the right microclimates first. This space, close to the kitchen and with dry soil, made Mediterranean herb-planting appropriate. But it was also a space that people walked through to access the rest of the garden, so had to look good."
Golden oregano (image 1)
Wild chives (image 2)
Gray santolina (also, lavender cotton) (image 3)
Thyme (image 4)
Terra-cotta paving (image 5)
Making a Lavender Hedge
Attractive to look at and much loved by bees and butterflies, these aromatic features are easy to grow, requiring no feeding and little maintenance beyond an annual clip as the flowers begin to fade.
Making an Herb Path Through a Wildflower Meadow
Many herbs withstand the odd footstep and thrive in the warmth reflected from pavers. Plant creeping thymes for the best effect; they will soon blur the sharp edges of the paving.
Japanese Garden Plans
The gardening experts at HGTV.com give you ideas to make a Japanese style garden.
Make a Rose Arch
Add height and color to your garden with a classic wood arch, built from a kit and framed with climbing roses and clematis.
Mediterranean-Style Garden Room
Combine drought-intolerant herbs to create a miniature Mediterranean courtyard of your own.
Make an Obelisk for Climbing Plants
Wooden obelisks suit almost any garden design. Use them draped with clematis or other flowering climbers to add height to a border, as a feature to flank an entrance or to create a focal point at the end of a walkway.
Strolls and Saunters: Planning Your Garden's Route
A path directs visitors to your garden's best views while also protecting plantings and other features. Here, we share some ideas on how to choose the best route to compliment your garden.
How to Choose a Gardening Plan
A gardening plan allows you to develop your ideas about how to organize your space and its various elements, and share them with others. But what type of plan do you need? We'll help you pick.
Adding Plants to Your Garden Pond
Choose a variety of different plants for your pond to establish a natural balance that will help keep the water clear, and provide the best habitat for plants and wildlife.
Lavender Garden Pathway
A garden pathway is a useful way to showcase a wide range of your favorite herbs, including lavender.
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