Colours, plants and garden furniture
Mediterranean gardens are experiencing a trending moment, in part due to rising temperatures in the UK, making drought-tolerant plants and flowers from warmer climates more popular. We are also drawn to the warm, earthy Mediterranean colors, the appeal of fragrant herbs, and the charm of a garden that is happy to be a little weathered and worn by time.
Mediterranean homes tend to be warmly decorated, with an abundance of color and texture – you’d be hard pressed to find Scandi grays or minimalist touches. When designing a Mediterranean garden, you should follow a similar pattern.
“Go for a warm color palette using ecru, as well as shades of brown and ivory. When adding greenery, add evergreens like shrubs and topiary that last all year round” , suggest the experts at Toolstation.
“Suitable materials include iron and stone which can be implemented by landscaping. This can involve statues, stone paths, fountains and anything related to a classical Renaissance style. pottery would also be well suited to an Italian garden, as would subtle additions of furniture to create secluded seating areas.”
Read on for some Mediterranean garden ideas you can implement in your own space, including the quintessential colors, plants, outdoor furniture and finishes…
Mediterranean Garden Ideas: Plants and Trees
Although our climates are different, there are several Mediterranean trees and plants that can thrive in a UK garden.
- Olivier – the iconic mediterranean tree. Although olive trees are drought tolerant, they should be watered generously and fed with liquid food every two weeks during the growing season.
- Cyprus – Cypresses are tall, striking evergreens that work well edging borders or standing proudly on either side of a garden gate. They will thrive in well-drained soil in full view of the sun, sheltered from cold winds.
- Rosemary – Fragrant herbs are perfect for creating a Mediterranean garden, and just like lavender and thyme, rosemary can be both useful and ornamental. Plant your rosemary near a seating area to enjoy its fragrance, and its pretty blue flowers that appear between April and June.
- Citrus – Another Mediterranean icon, citrus can adapt surprisingly well to cooler UK climates. They are generally happy growing in pots, and most varieties of orange and lemon trees can be kept outdoors above 10°C.
- Palms and Yuccas – Hardy plants with gorgeous mossy foliage, palms and yuccas are also happy in pots and relatively low maintenance – don’t expect them to reach dizzying heights like they might in the Mediterranean.
- Lavender – Another great choice for introducing fragrance to your garden. To make your lavender more fragrant, place them in full view of the sun, which will bring out the oils in the foliage better.
How you present your plants is also important. The Mediterranean homes are lovingly put together, if a bit haphazard, full of antiques and heirloom pieces. Gardens are treated in the same way.
Angela Slater, gardening expert at Hayes Garden World, suggests upcycling used pots and baskets to create an authentic, rustic landscape.
“Keep your broken terracotta pots as they can make a nice planted decoration of succulents. Lay out any large pieces of broken pot, fill the holes with a 50/50 mix of compost and horticultural gravel, then plant with plants succulents or small alpines.
An old colander or vegetable basket can serve as a hanging basket. Look for large litter packs at the supermarket and introduce a few small evergreen shrubs, evergreens and grasses to bulk up the annual litter. All you have to do each season is fill in the gaps with bedding.”
An earthy color palette
In sunny Mediterranean countries, warm, earthy colors like terracotta, ochre, coral and green are ubiquitous in buildings and gardens. Painting the exterior walls of your garden can create a wonderful backdrop for your olive or citrus trees.
“The main color tones are white in its purest form, balanced with the natural colors of the Mediterranean landscape, so different shades of blue like the sea, light greens, yellows and browns are inspired by the flowers and campaign,” the trend experts say. at WeThrift.
When choosing neutrals, go for anything inspired by stones used in Mediterranean sculpture and architecture such as clay or marble.
Garden furniture for gathering
Food is at the heart of Mediterranean culture and meals are characterized by warmth, vibrancy and lots of guests. Create a place in your garden for alfresco dining, using pieces suitable for entertaining – a round dining table or the more traditional Italian-style canteen table.
“To create an elegant Mediterranean-style dining room, choose a table with a lifting hearth, rattan or wicker chairs, and beautiful stained-glass dinnerware,” says Joel Gaithwaite, director of marketing at Harbor Lifestyle. “Don’t forget to incorporate plants, lots of candles, and matching napkins for an authentic vacation-style experience.”
Many Mediterranean meals will of course take place under the shade of a pergola, which is an ideal opportunity to bring in outdoor climbers and garlands.
And for the final touch, think of the perfume. “A citronella candle not only keeps bugs away, it also gives off a fresh lemony scent with connotations of a warm Mediterranean vacation,” says Andrea Waters, brand manager at Portmeirion.
Outdoor mat for warming up
As the natural warmth of a Mediterranean garden is often lacking in the UK, the use of outdoor rugs can be a great substitute. Layer plenty of outdoor rugs in your dining room, as well as in the sunniest spot in your garden to create a seating area – they’re also a quick and affordable way to hide weathered garden tiles.
“The added comfort of not having to put your feet on a cold patio slab creates a plush experience and elegant aesthetic, which will work wonders in your garden,” says Joel. “Choose an area rug that coordinates with your existing furniture and be sure to choose one with hard-wearing and weather-resistant materials for a truly forgiving feel.”
Exterior tiles for color and pattern
The color will be a determining factor in successfully recreating a Mediterranean garden, but if you are far from having a green thumb or if you have a small balcony or a small terrace, the use of outdoor tiles can replace flowers and foliage. colors so typical of Mediterranean gardens.
Highly decorated ceramic tiles have long been used in Mediterranean countries to decorate the walls and floors of religious and public buildings, and they also translate beautifully to outdoor spaces. One of the joys of a Mediterranean garden is that it is naturally rustic and a bit weathered, and so you can be a little relaxed about maintaining your exterior tiles.
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