Set of the Landscape: Mediterranean Garden Style

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If you live where summers are dry and hot (or at least hot) and winters are warm and wet, a Mediterranean-influenced garden could be great: It is lush, inviting and generally low care, filled with drought-tolerant plants that can thrive in your climate. These gardens invite you to live outdoors year-round.

This design also allows you great flexibility, whether you want the expression of a classic Italian villa or some Spanish-inspired courtyard, the vivid colours found in the homes bordering the Adriatic and Aegean seas, or even the more exotic feel of a North African retreat. There’s no rule against blending these styles, possibly, to make something that’s entirely your own.

Principles of a Mediterranean Garden
There are certain core features that define Mediterranean style. First, there’s a focus on hardscape, with patios, courtyards, low walls and outlay defining the space. You won’t find vast expanses of green lawn; rather, plantings are more contained, and even the bigger areas are more likely to be filled with shrubs, perennials, annuals and ground covers compared to fescue or bluegrass. Earth tones are the dominant colours on homes and outdoor structures, punctuated by vibrant accent colors like red and purple. Tile is a favorite, for both roofs and outdoor “floors,” though big openings, gravel and substances like decomposed granite are often utilized.

Plant Ideas
The plant choice is huge. Citrus, olive trees, lavender and rosemary are almost a requirement to get a real Mediterranean feel, but branch out with other herbs, grasses and grasslike plants, roses, vines and even tropicals. Start looking for foliage that is gray-green or a deep green (instead of emerald), rather with boldly colored flowers. Though plants that originally hailed in the region are obvious inclusions, don’t overlook plants from areas with a similar climate, such as Australia. And throw in some edibles; they’re a time-honored heritage.

Finishing the Appearance
The last touches include water features, pots and other accessories. Water features are key, but perhaps not the ponds of a natural or classic landscape. Rather, put in a small courtyard pool or a fountain, possibly in the center of the area or around the wall. Nothing says Mediterranean like terra-cotta pots, both big and small. Rustic and contemporary furniture styles work well in these areas, but you should be sure the pieces are strong enough to hold their own. Add a desk and a couple of wineglasses, and you are set.

Finally, a weathered look is key. A real Mediterranean garden is where you live, not only something you view. It should show some wear.

More Position of the Landscape: Modern | Natural | Traditional

Look in the choices. Each of the elements of a Mediterranean garden come together in this area. You will find the adobe-colored walls and staircase, the wooden terrace, the fountain, the pavers, an olive tree, gray-green plantings along with the glance of a bright blue door. The result is obviously Mediterranean and completely inviting.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

A Spanish-style bungalow receives a fitting front lawn. No yard — rather, a tall water feature is set one of adobe-color pavers edged with dymondia, a low-growing floor cover. Grasses and soft-color shrubs edge the space, letting house color to be the only bold accent. The water column is much more contemporary than conventional, but it’s a good balance to the cypress on either side of the window and offers a sense of solitude in this front lawn (a sense that is bolstered by the low wall that surrounds the entire space).

The other classic Mediterranean design, this particular one in Greece. Whitewashed walls are conventional, as would be the bold blue doors that reflect the both bright sky. A massive bougainvillea, trained as a tree, is an equally bold satement in an otherwise straightforward space.

View a cycladic villa in Greece

To get a mix of Mediterranean appearances, there’s this garden overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The white walls remember Greek structure, but the garden is filled with grasses, shrubs and flowers, including a grapevine, from around the region. Note the glimpse of the classic red tile roof.

The Todd Group

This 1920s house in New York was restored to its original Spanish weathered appearance. Its location is evidence that you don’t have to dwell in a Mediterranean climate to enjoy this style, however note that the permanent plantings can take a colder winter. If you would like to add tender plants, plant them in containers (terra-cotta, naturally) and give them refuge during the cold months.

Don Ziebell

Decide on the design elements. This house is really in Phoenix, but you would think you were on a Tuscan terrace with this amazing stonework. Both water feature and urn are strong enough elements to not be emptied from the surrounding walls, and their comparative simplicity makes them stand out even more.

Tommy Chambers Interiors, Inc..

A classic Spanish-style courtward with the conventional pool is a trendy and low-maintenance entrance in this Southern California house. While the majority of the plantings are affected by Mediterranean style, the hydrangeas prove it’s possible to bring some of your favourite plants, even though they are not very authentic.

Kathleen Shaeffer Design, Exterior Spaces

An old-world wall fountain sits in the end of a pergola-covered terrace. The look is conventional, with the terra-cotta fountain and backsplash and patterend blue tile, however there’s a modern touch with all the soft green, almost patinated, surround along with the soft purple pots. The rustic beams overhead complement the pavers beneath.

Search for patio pavers with a Mediterranean feel and specialty tiles in landscaping supply shops and tile shops. If you live in a cold-weather climate, make certain the tiles you choose can stand up to the winter conditions.

Exteriors By Chad Robert

A fountain is obviously great; on a chilly day, an outdoor fireplace might be better. There’s a mix of styles happening here. The fireplace is all but Mission-style in appearances, although the fountain is much more classic Italian. Even so, the mix of plants and also the pavers tie the area together.

Latin Accents, Inc..

The Spanish influence is obvious in this tile flooring with blue inlay. Bright-color pots increase the overall feel, as do the vivid plants. Almost hidden in the surrounding foliage, a fountain adds that the refreshring sound of splashing water.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Here’s a softer take on the same idea. Rather than a single expanse of pavers, tiles that mimic a Moroccan rug include definition.

Goodman Landscape Design

Rustic steps resulting in a terrace with wisteria hanging overhead could practically make you feel as though you’ve managed to rent an Italian villa for a month in April. The entire space appears as though it’s been there for at least a century or 2, if not longer. Though age might lead to some concern if you are navigating the measures, they’re actually quite level. Gently curving front of every riser with a slightly different arch gives the impression of antiquity whilst keeping them secure. For added safety, a couple of hidden lights will help at nighttime.

Carolyn Chadwick

Finish the Appearance. Sometimes all you need is an easy urn or 2. In this Greek garden, fitting pots hold a vine and a dispersing grape, but you could easily fill pots similar to this with a dwarf fruit tree, flowers or bougainvillea. Another option would be to convert them to a water feature.

Jean Marsh Design

You might be walking a hillside in Greece or Italy, however you are really traversing the path to a front door in the United States. The design is both pretty and functional. The “stones” in the trail are recycled concrete. The boulders not only add a natural look to the area that performs off the concrete, but they also lineup a dry creek bed that offers drainage for runoff. The soft plant palette is drought tolerant, with pops of purple to draw the eye toward the house.

Planting notice: Pink-flowered Mexican evening primrose is a terrific drought-tolerant option, but in addition, it is very invasive.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

If you have room, add a conventional ball court. The game here is p├ętanque, but you could easily turn it into a boccie ball court.

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Garden Tour: Enchanting Greek Landscape

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