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.

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Rustic Charm

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.”

Key Ingredients

Laurustinus viburnum (image 1)

Oleander (image 2)

Olive tree (image 3)

Spanish lavendar (image 4)

Good Taste

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."

Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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