Introduction to Mediterranean Style LandscapingMediterranean landscaping style is popular among garden enthusiasts for its ability to withstand the scorching summer sun. It originated in countries like Spain, Greece, and Italy and has become synonymous with beautiful outdoor spaces that create the perfect balance between form and functionality. Creating a Mediterranean-style landscape requires a good understanding of the plants, colors, and accents that best epitomize the style. This article provides a comprehensive guide on the characteristics unique to this landscaping style.
Characteristics of Mediterranean Garden DesignsMediterranean garden designs are known for their unique flair for creativity and simplicity. The colors used are usually warm and inviting, mimicking the sparsely vegetated landscapes in the Mediterranean region. The following are some characteristics to look out for when creating a Mediterranean-style garden:
- Use of warm colors such as ochre, terracotta, and sandy beige.
- Texture and pattern compositions incorporating gravel, brick, or a mixture of both.
- Incorporation of asymmetrical designs using a combination of straight lines and curves.
- Integration of climbing plants such as roses, jasmine, and bougainvillea.
- Mediterranean-inspired plants such as olive trees, lavender, and cypress trees.
Creating Shade in a Mediterranean LandscapeOne of the hallmarks of Mediterranean gardens is the ability to create shade during the hot summer months. Effective tactics for creating shade in a Mediterranean landscape include:
- Building shade structures such as pergolas, arbors, and gazebos to provide relief from the sun.
- Using large trees such as cypress and oak to shade large areas.
- Incorporating shade cloths or sails over patios or outdoor dining areas to provide relief from the heat.
Incorporating Water FeaturesWater features enhance the overall design of a Mediterranean garden and provide a sense of calm. Some popular water features to consider include:
- Small ponds with running water and fish.
- Wall fountains made of brick, stone or plaster.
- Free-standing fountain made of natural stone or ceramic tiles.
- Water features that also serve as a pool or spa area.
Designs for Outdoor Seating AreasMediterranean gardens are designed with outdoor living in mind. Creating comfortable outdoor seating areas is essential. Here are some design concepts to consider when creating the perfect outdoor seating area:
- Design seating areas with a focus on enjoying beautiful sunsets or views.
- Go for comfortable seating options, such as cushions or outdoor sofas.
- Involve built-in seating options, such as outdoor benches made of brick or stone.
- Incorporate shade structures, such as pergolas or outdoor umbrellas to provide relief from the sun.
Choosing Drought-Tolerant PlantsMediterranean landscapes are designed for harsh climates that receive little rain. Therefore, choosing drought-tolerant plants is essential. These plants also ensure low maintenance of the landscape. Some drought-tolerant plants to consider when designing a Mediterranean-style landscape include:
- Olive trees – A staple of Mediterranean landscapes and able to withstand harsh arid climates.
- Lavender – With its purple flowers and sweet fragrance, lavender creates a soothing and calming atmosphere in your garden.
- Bougainvillea – Adds a unique punch of color to your garden with minimum maintenance.
- Thyme – A herb that brings in a natural and earthy fragrance while being low maintenance and drought tolerant.