Mediterranean-Style Garden Room

Combine drought-intolerant herbs to create a miniature Mediterranean courtyard of your own.

Mediterranean Feel Garden Room

Mediterranean Feel Garden Room

A dark, stained wooden bench creates contrast for an assortment of colorful shrubs.

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

In a warm, sheltered corner of the garden, drought-tolerant herbs can be easily combined to recreate the scent and impact of a modern Mediterranean courtyard in miniature. Choose plants that will form well-defined clumps, such as Salvia officinalis "Purpurascens" and Origanum vulgare "Aureum" intertwined with the lower spreading Thymus serpyllum cultivars. Allow some of the more relaxed herbs, such as Rosmarinus Prostratus Group, to gently work their way down the white walls where their fine foliage will be sharply defined and the flowers of Achillea millefolium (planted at the base of the wall) will be perfectly silhouetted.

Materials Needed:

  • 3 x Salvia officinalis "Purpurascens"
  • 5 x Thymus spp.
  • 1 x Achillea millefolium

Border Basics

Size 10x10 feet
Suits Drought-tolerant Mediterranean herbs
Soil Fertile, sharply-draining
Site Full sun and sheltered from wind

Planting and Aftercare

Good drainage is essential for Mediterranean herbs, so dig over the soil well and incorporate plenty of coarse sand. Plant in fall or spring, avoiding a hot sunny day, and water in well. More gravel applied as mulch will help maintain moisture during the hottest, driest periods of summer and keep the foliage free of dirty marks that are caused by soil splash.

As many of these herbs are planted at eye level, deadhead regularly and remove faded or damaged foliage. In late fall or early winter, cut back the herbaceous foliage and give the more woody herbs a light trim.

Salvia officinalis "Purpurascens" (image 1)
Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites, Well-drained soil, Full sun, Award-winning plant.

Thymus pseudolanguinosus (image 2)
Fully hardy plants, Well-drained soil, Full sun.

Achillea fillipendulina (image 3)
Fully hardy plants, Well-drained soil, Moist soil, Full sun.

Thymus "Golden King" (image 4)
Fully hardy plants, Well-drained soil, Full sun.

Alternative plant idea: Rosmarinus officinalis (image 5)
Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites, Well-drained soil, Full sun.

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