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Mediterranean style gardens

I thought that I would brighten up yotur January day by looking at Mediterranean style gardens.  Many people have visited Mediterranean countries on holiday and (like me) have been entranced by the sun, sea, pine trees, scents and colours of the region, along with the shady courtyards where even the locals seem to spend time drinking coffee in the middle of the day.  Add in warm evenings with al fresco dining and the singing of cicadas and it is easy to see why we find the idea of all this in our own gardens so attractive.

 

Provence coastline

Blue sky, sea, pine trees and spiky plants epitomise the Mediterranean coast

There is an established list of likely plants: Lavender, Cistus, the ‘pizza herbs’: Oregano and Thyme, Rosemary, maybe an Olive and a pot of Agapanthus somewhere sheltered, Pelargoniums in terracotta pots for the summer, small water retentive leaves, grey foliage, Phormiums for their spikiness, pencil Cypress.  All are set off by rocks and grit or gravel and a pale blue or grey fence, trellis, shed or pergola echoing the colour of sun faded wooden shutters. Perfect!

 

But if you search the internet for “Mediterranean Garden” you will see a myriad of beautiful photographs, most of which are examples and advice for creating such a garden everywhere else, from Australia to Scotland.  The reality is that gardens in the Mediterranean region itself are often small with the emphasis on shade whether a vine-clad terrace for dining or spreading trees beyond.  What we are so keen to evoke is the sun-baked landscape and ‘holiday feeling’ not to recreate a typical garden from a Mediterranean town.  This approach gives a freedom to interpret the theme and use plants and features that suit your garden.  Pick your sunniest and most sheltered corner and create your own vision of summer paradise, remembering that pale colours look sun-bleached even on a cloudy day!

Contact alison.marsden@gardeningbydesign.co.uk for more advice on bringing a bit of Mediterranean style to your garden