What is a Mediterranean garden?
There is a lazy elegance about a Mediterranean garden. There is none of the fuss and pomp of an English Garden here – this is about casual enjoyment of your outdoor space – preferably with your friends and preferably with a glass of good wine. Sloane and Sons Garden Benches will fit perfectly in this ambient, sociable garden space.
What defines a Mediterranean garden the most? (daviddomoney.com) Well, it will include a variety of drought-tolerant plants – usually a lot of fragrant herbs to add scent – and use in your cooking – and some particularly spiky, tall plants for texture. The great thing for those of us in urban areas, is that these features are perfect for the smaller garden space. This is a garden meant for small and intimate – rather than sweeping and elegant. (wyevalegardencentres.co.uk)
What are the essential steps to creating your bit of the Med?
One of the essential ingredients in a Mediterranean garden is a shaded seating area. Obviously, when soaking up the long summer nights in hot countries around the Med – this is a practical decision. However, the pergola and the climbing plants over your benches are a signature of this garden. This should be an area where you can eat outside – catching the first or last moments of sunlight – which will cast dappled patterns through the leaves of your planted shade.
If you are look for the best Mediterranean plants to use with your pergola, you should consider Campsis Grandiflora – which comes with orange or red trumpet-shaped flowers in the summer. Alternatively, if you want fragrance over visual impact, try the Jasminum Officinale – which come with wonderfully scented white flowers.
It would not be a garden in the Med if it didn’t have an abundance of terracotta pots. These containers, and their planting, should be the focal point for visitors. It is best to go for clay pots – to help the planting remain cool and help resist evaporation – but there are some amazing plastic replicas now. If you choose plastic, which is cheaper and much easier to move in the garden space, you are going to have to keep watering regularly. Alternatively, you can sit them in a saucer and keep a reservoir of water available for the plant to draw from.
Stone and water
The Mediterranean garden is a garden of features – water features in particular – to allow the sun to rebound of the surface of the pond or the fountain and add rich texture of light. However, it is also likely that large swathes of your Med garden will be covered in gravel. This is a low maintenance and long-lasting choice – whilst still offering that touch of style.
If you are willing to put in a little more effort, then you can always create intricate designs with cobbles and pebbles. A mosaic on stone is a luxurious feature of the best Mediterranean gardens and can suggest a rich history. This will take time and artistic flair – but is one of those design features that keeps on giving over years.
It is worth planning the mix of stone and water in your garden – as this is likely to form the skeleton, the bones, of the garden that any Mediterranean plants will look to compliment.
Finally, once all the construction is done, you can get down to some Mediterranean plants (rhs.org.uk). The Mediterranean garden is meant for hot, long days – with little chance of rain. This means that much of the planting will involve succulent, drought tolerant plants. You want to consider Agave, with their spiky, fleshy leaves, Cupressus Sempervirens – all the Italian Cypress – which will add height to the garden. Lavender is also an important foliage for the Mediterranean Garden – and offers a wonderful scent.
The most luxurious of Med gardens with also involve some form of topiary – so a boxed hedge or two, carefully pruned and shaped, will add ornament and structure to your garden.
The important details
Sloane and Sons Garden Benches love a good Mediterranean garden – mostly because the whole space is designed around the seating area – what is not to love! Remember the important details of your Med space include: the terracotta pots, well maintained and well-watered; the choice of climbing plant for your pergola to ensure you get the level of shade you want; the choice of Mediterranean plants to add height and texture – and most of all – where you are going to see and hear the flow of water through your garden.