Slow down in the perfect sunshine garden. Mediterranean gardens are designed to be sociable spaces that reflect the relaxed pace of life in countries where siestas are mandatory. Creating the Mediterranean look at home is easier than you might think with fuss-free plants and low maintenance paving or patios. These cosy and continental spaces are a delight for the senses with aromatic herbs, dappled sun, splashes of vibrant colour, burbling water features and warm terracotta tones.
Picture a Mediterranean garden and the first thing you probably see is terracotta. Pots are the mainstay of gardens in the Med and the larger the better. Pots of different shapes and textures add more intrigue but keep the planting itself fairly simple with Geraniums, citrus, or herbs. Olive Trees are a quintessential Mediterranean plant and many are available in a range of budgets. To complete the Mediterranean look, a Lemon Tree in a pot in a sunny position or Gazanias (also known as the Treasure Flower) work very well in south-facing gardens and well-drained soil. Add a flavour of the exotic with Campsis or Trumpet Vine. This vibrant climber will look beautiful twisted around a garden pergola.
Our top design tips
- Add spots of bright colour with pots, tubs and window boxes of Geraniums
- Use gravel or pebbles for mulching in borders to emphasise the look
- Paved rather than grassy areas are the basis of Mediterranean gardens
- Invest in large clay pots which will look tidier than several smaller ones
- Add shade and interest to your garden with a Pergola draped in vine
- Choose drought-tolerant plants for terracotta containers
- Mix and match glazed and textured pots to add extra character
- For ultimate holiday-feel, accessorise with sun loungers or durable floor cushions
- Paint any garden walls in a soft, warm tone to turn up the Mediterranean heat
- A water feature will add another dimension and a soothing quality to the atmosphere
The final touches
Mediterranean garden design is largely focussed around entertaining whether that’s for long, laid-back meals outside or a glass of wine with a view. We recommend that comfort take precedence with luxurious soft cushions and shade-giving parasols under which you can enjoy a snoozy siesta.
If you have plenty of room to work with and are keen to fully embrace the Mediterranean look, consider adding a focal point such as a water feature, large clay pot or ornament. These should be placed in the middle of a circular gravel or sand path with borders running alongside.
In the baking sun of the Mediterranean, it is essential that gardens offer respite from the heat, most commonly in the form of a pergola. For an authentic look, cover your pergola in a hardy vine such as ‘Madame Galen’ or Trumpet vine. Unwind over a long lunch or enjoy morning coffee under the dappled shade in a relaxed and informal space created by your pergola.
Gravel is the low maintenance option and natural choice for the Mediterranean garden. Not only does it reflect heat and light but gravel also adds to the ambience of sunnier climes injecting warmer, natural tones. Gravel is ideal for growing herbs and other plants such as Lavender, Euphoria and Agapanthus that you typically find in the Med.