20 Mediterranean Garden Ideas
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There are plenty of Mediterranean garden ideas which can transform your outside space into an Oasis! Mediterranean gardens truly provide a holiday atmosphere and a perception of warmth and leisure.
The Mediterranean garden style can be as varied as it is beautiful. Your gardens design may lean towards a specific region of the Med. For example Moroccan gardens can use bold colours as well as Mediterranean planting.
Perhaps you will prefer to implement a more traditional, Italian, style. Mediterranean gardens can be traditional, modern or rustic as you like, making them so versatile!
Furthermore, most Mediterranean gardens do not lave lawns lending themselves perfectly to low maintenance spaces. This makes them perfect for busy people with hectic lives.
Consequently, in this article, I will list and summarise 20 exciting Mediterranean garden ideas.
1. Create a dry garden
Dry gardens are landscaped areas imitating dry, arid and desert landscapes. Dry gardens are typically put together utilising rocks, gravels and arid looking plants.
These miniature deserts can look very effective and provide a real Mediterranean feel. Such gardens are perfect when created with in sun traps or around seating areas.
The combination of gravel, rocks and hard surfaces can create pleasantly warm microclimates.
Why not visit our article on how to create a desert garden in any climate here.
2. Grow Mediterranean fruit trees
Anyone who has spent time in the Mediterranean will know there is always an abundance of fresh fruit. The hot sun and arid climate are perfect for growing delicacies such as Pomegranates and figs.
Depending upon where you live you may be able to grow exotic fruits! However cooler climate fruit trees will still provide a Mediterranean feel.
Trees like Plums, Quinces, and Cherries all fruit in colder climates and figs can easily ripen against a sunny wall.
3. Implement a rustic look
Many Mediterranean regions have a rustic charm and beauty which is difficult to describe. Cultures from these regions have a very laid back approach to life.
There is no need for perfect paving and contemporary landscaping finishes. Mediterranean gardens should be easy going with quirky features and rustic finishes.
4. Outdoor heating
One of the best things about Mediterranean culture is the idea of outside living. However, you may live in a climate that isn’t blessed with Mediterranean temperatures!
Consequently, it may be a good idea to add some garden heating. One of the best ways to do this is with a garden heater.
These can be positioned around patios and in heat traps to extend evenings outside.
5. Use terracotta pots
There are few things quite essentially as Mediterranean as terracotta. Terracotta pots are a staple feature in Mediterranean gardens and perfect for planting displays.
As terracotta is a breathable material it is excellent for growing plants which like good drainage. The majority of Mediterranean plants do like very well drained soil making a perfect match.
These are great for planting with succulents and other dry loving plants.
6. Outside ovens
Outside ovens are a typical feature across the Mediterranean and especially in rural communities. Most regions have different variations but they generally very similar
The Italians are well known for their pizza ovens while the Greeks cook bread and slow cooking stews. These ovens can also contribute to heating patios and courtyards.
7. Plant Mediterranean herbs
Many of our familiar herbs originally come from the Mediterranean. In arid climates many plants evolved pungent aromas to put off browsers from consuming them.
This ironically had the opposite effect with humans! Herbs are a great way to add scent to your Mediterranean gardens.
Herbs like thyme make fantastic groundcovers which pollinators like bees love! Rosemary and bay can also form evergreen hedges which can supplement the kitchen.
Why not visit our article on the best herbs for Mediterranean gardens here.
8. Build raised beds
One of the main characteristics of Mediterranean gardens is they have well drained soil. This is because the Mediterranean landscape naturally has varying elevations and level changes.
This makes installing raised beds and terraces an effective idea! These raised growing areas can be built with timber, bricks and other masonry materials.
However, for the ultimate rustic feel why not create raised beds with rocks as shown below.
9. Use rocks & boulders
Rocks and boulders are a fantastic idea for authenticity within a Mediterranean garden. Most of the Med is characterised by rocky and mountainous habitat.
This makes rocks the perfect feature for your scheme and can compliment planting with gravel areas.
It is always best to use a variety of different sized rocks and boulders. This makes them look more natural within the landscape than using rocks of similar dimensions.
Why not visit our article on Mediterranean rock gardens here.
10. Hanging baskets
Hanging baskets are a great ways to decorate balconies and soften the hard lines of buildings.
A typical use for hanging baskets in the Mediterranean is planting red Geraniums. These amazing plants flower all summer long and can make an landscape look radiant.
Hanging baskets can not only be attached to buildings but also other structures such as pergolas.
11. Create microclimates
The warmer your Mediterranean garden is the more enjoyable and authentic it will be! An effective strategy to raise the temperature of your site is to create sun traps and enhance microclimates. Microclimates are miniature climates within a larger or regional climatic zone.
Warm microclimates can be created with landform, vertical structures, hard surfacing and good design. Look for opportunities to maximise the warming effect of the sun within your garden.
The image below displays a Mediterranean garden I designed and built for a client in Buckinghamshire. The sloping ground and south facing wall of the home created a warm microclimate.
12. Plant succulents
Succulents are a group of plants which love dry and sunny conditions. These cacti like plants have amazing shapes and surprisingly beautiful flowers.
Creating a succulent garden outside is a fantastic idea Mediterranean gardens. Succulents are perfect for terracotta pots and planted within gravel gardens with rocks.
Why not visit our article on how to create a succulent garden outside here.
13. Install an outdoor kitchen
Mediterranean gardens have always been famous for their connection to the kitchen. Rural communities across the Med have always used their gardens to both grow food and dine.
This should be no less the case with your very own Mediterranean garden. An outside kitchen can be as simple as a raised work surface for chopping and preparing food.
A well planned outdoor kitchen can bring added excitement and theatre to your gatherings!
14. Plants with architectural foliage
It is not always essential to plant your garden with plants from the Mediterranean. For particularly wet and cold climates there are effective alternatives!
The general rule is as long as you implement plants with architectural form. This means plants with more defined shapes than typical, bushy, shrubbery.
A good example of this is plants like Phormium and Fatsias. For more information on Mediterranean plants for a cooler climate visit our article here.
15. Get a greenhouse
If you are serious about creating a really authentic, outdoor, Mediterranean experience, install a greenhouse!
The reason for this may not be that obvious but it will really boost your planting scheme. Many of the must have Mediterranean plants may need some winter protection. Plants like Citrus, Pomegranate, Some succulents and cacti do need some winter protection.
A greenhouse will enable you move some of your best plants under cover for the winter.
16. Dry stone walls
Dry stone walls are a typical sight throughout the Mediterranean. These rocky walls are beautifully rustic and lend themselves perfectly to the theme.
Dry stone walls can be used to build raised beds and enclose seating areas. These natural stone walls can be expensive to install but are worth it.
Alternatively retaining walls can be constructed with concrete and clad with a dry stone wall effect cladding.
17. Use warm colours
One of the best ways to make your garden feel like it’s in the Mediterranean is to use warm colours. This applies to retaining walls, boundaries paving and other surfacing materials.
By using tones such as yellows, oranges and pinks you can make a space feel much warmer. I find paving like Indian sandstone is a good choice for Mediterranean gardens for this reason.
Yellow coloured rocks, boulders and aggregates work very well, Cotswold stone is very effective!
18. Outdoor lighting
Outdoor lighting is always effective for Mediterranean gardens! There is nothing like sitting out late during a warm summers evening.
With fantastic Mediterranean landscaping all around you it would be a shame not to illuminate it! Up lighters next to dry stone walls and palms can look very dramatic at night.
Even in the cold depths of winter you can look out over your masterpiece with the anticipation of the coming spring.
19. Install a pergola
If you want to add some extra interest to your Mediterranean scheme why not install a pergola? Pergolas are widely used in Mediterranean gardens to provide some shade during the hot, summer, months.
Climbing plants such as grape vines can be grown over the pergolas to produce fruit for deserts or wine making. The most traditional way of building these structures is with thick timbers.
20. Rendered walls
Rendered walls are a common feature in Mediterranean gardens and particularly so for Moroccan, Spanish and Greek designs.
Rendering is a great idea if you want to cover over ugly concrete or old brickwork. The great thing about rendering is it can be painted any colour.
This is especially advantageous if you want to decorate with warm colours. Painting is also very effective if you want to reflect as much heat and sunlight as possible.
In the image below see how the red blooms contrast against the white rendered building. This is an authentic looking Mediterranean effect especially for traditional Greek style gardens.
Thank you for reading our article on 20 Exciting Mediterranean garden ideas. If you require a Mediterranean garden builder or designer, why not contact us?
Below I will include some other Mediterranean articles you may find interesting or helpful.
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