Monday, January 24, 2011

Design A Mediterranean Landscape

Design a Mediterranean Styled Landscape

A well designed Mediterranean landscape conjures up the warm romantic vistas of Rome, Tuscany, the Greek islands, or sunny Spain. A mix of formal and informal, there is a overlay of classical elegance that reflects the old charm of southern Europe. You can re-create this style in the garden by using materials that will give you the effects you want. Here are some suggestions to help you design a Mediterranean landscape. Does this Spark an idea?


1. A Mediterranean styled landscape usually gives the impression of warmth and lushness. A sense of age and permanence is reflected in walls, fountains or other hardscape (permanent) features.

2. Materials to use to create these effects are smooth, light-colored stone, weathered bricks, terra cotta tiles, flagstone, travertine and wood. Gravel, stone, bricks and flagstone work well for paths in the Mediterranean landscape design. Neutral colors are preferred.

3. Palm trees, small or large are often used as anchors of a Mediterranean garden. But as most countries in the Mediterranean are not all that rainy, most of the plants can be very drought resistant. Typical planting materials to create a good Mediterranean ambiance would be Italian cypress, olive trees and fruit trees such as orange and lemon trees. In colder climates other fruit trees will work well. Use vines like grapevines to drape over trellises and patio shade covers. Southern European designs are designed to be practical, too, so feel free to include vegetables and fruits. More characteristic plants to set the mood would be junipers, lavender, sage, rosemary, climbing or sprawling roses, oleander, bougainvillea, poppies, sunflowers and iris, among many others.

4. A certain amount of formality can accent less formal plantings. Areas of simplicity with lawns or widely spaced plantings will contrast well with thickly planted areas.

5. Water features are completely at home in the Mediterranean landscape. You can build a pond, swimming pool or use a fountain. Incorporate smooth stone and decorate where you want with classically carved accents.

6. Decor will help accent the European feel of a Mediterranean garden. Use wrought iron or wood in gates, fences, arbors and arches. Large decorative pots or urns with flowers cascading down the sides create great effects: scatter them around the landscape. And classical statuary and Roman columns can be incorporated into your overall design. Use outdoor furniture that plays into the theme. Large or small fountains can add more of the water element and be designed to look classically ancient or bold and formal.

7. For more ideas on design a Mediterranean garden, please check the links below in Additional Resources.

Tags: Mediterranean garden, Mediterranean landscape, fruit trees, work well