Creating a Mediterranean Patio

Finding brightly colored plants for a Mediterranean look is not a problem — garden centers are packed with them — but knowing which ones to choose and how to combine them can be tricky.

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Earthenware Pots

Terra cotta is the quintessential Mediterranean container. Visit the Minoan museum in Iraklion (Heraklion), Crete, and you'll see highly sophisticated and amazingly large Mediterranean pots, dating back to 1450 BC and beyond. Relatively cheap, modern swagged terra-cotta pots and the expensive, imported kind are now widely available, recreating the same look. Alternatively, you can easily opt for more basic models, provided they contribute a showy touch: a flash of pink busy Lizzies (Impatiens) works wonders. Failing that, try verbenas or petunias.

Terra Cotta Pots Create Mediterranean AuraEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Basket Case

Those with small Mediterranean courtyards and gardens utilize every inch by nailing containers to walls, letting trailing and dangling plants tumble and projecting primary colors against white walls. You can easily copy the idea by hanging up interesting small wall containers (don't use large ones because they will become impractically heavy when wet) on fences.

Hanging Baskets Hold Trailing Plants in CourtyardEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Structural Props

Inject drama into your designs by creating different levels, using raised beds and tall containers. The steps up to a raised level at the end of this garden also highlight the spread of pots, giving them a visual lift. The use of gravel makes an immediate contrast with the lighter-colored paving and accentuates the terra-cotta containers and colorful plants.

Multi Level Garden Has DepthEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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