As summer begins to disappear, you may be thinking “what next” for your garden. For many of us, our gardens become an unloved place through the autumn and winter months, but it doesn’t need to be this way. Whilst we still, officially, have a month or so left of summer, now is the time to start making changes to your garden which you can appreciate from now well until next summer.
There is something irresistible about Mediterranean gardens and they often come with a casual glamour and elegance which makes them one of the most enjoyable and indulgent styles of garden you can choose for your home. If you’ve ever been into a Mediterranean garden, then you’ll instantly recognise distinctive features. Seating areas which are perfect for lazy, long lunches and late nights, fragrant herbs and wispy grasses and beautiful foliage. With the right choices and careful planning, there is no reason why you can’t have your own slice of Mediterranean sunshine here in the UK.
Shaded Seating Areas
Due to the beautiful weather found in the Med, a shaded garden seating area is a must for protection from the sun. In the UK, however, we’re at little risk of sunburn on an almost daily basis, but a shaded seating area is a great way to add some privacy to your garden. Pergolas are a great structure to invest in if you want protection from the sun, but can also provide a lovely, naturally covered seating area and can soon become an inviting extension to your home. Simply introduce climbing plants and flowers and you’ll soon find the structure covered with beautifully scented plants.
Pots and Containers
One of the most famous features of any Mediterranean garden is terracotta plant pots, sleepers and jars. Often used as a focal point for gardening, these pots come in almost every shape and size, but in order to protect your garden and your plants, be sure to choose pots that have a wide base so that they don’t blow over. Clay pots will remain cool in comparison to plastic plant pots which absorb the sun’s heat and look far better when used in bulk. Remember to regularly water your plants and flowers if you choose to use terracotta plant pots as potted plants have a smaller water reserve than plants which are grown or planted in the ground.
Glazed, coloured tiles are reminiscent of Mediterranean style and design and are very decorative. Often seen in the gardens of luxury Algarve villas or beautiful French buildings, Mediterannean tiles can be used to decorate floors, patios or even outdoor cooking areas. Filled with vibrancy and colour, these stunning mosaics can be used in so many different climates to create colourful accents due to their striking combinations of pattern and colour.
Textures and Colour
In Mediterranean gardens, colour and texture mix on a large scale. Red hot buds and bright yellow flowers look at home in sun-washed gardens in the Med, but there’s no reason why you can’t mix these colours in with plants you already have in your garden. Bright colours mix well with cool blues and dainty pastels, or even against a backdrop of rich greens and golds often found in terraces or smaller gardens. Combined with rustic wood furnishings or structures, terracotta plant pots and stone pathways, you’ll have a stunning Mediterranean garden you’ll be proud of year-round.
Raised beds are not only appealing to the eye, but they are perfect for smaller gardens. They are also great if you want to create a well-drained site, which Mediterranean plants thrive in. If you have a smaller garden, you can build up a raised bed using stone, slate or wood, but you must make sure that there is adequate drainage. Then, finish off with some small terracotta plant pots around the bottom, perhaps filled with fragrant Mediterranean herbs, such as rosemary and basil. Raised beds can be either formal or informal and can also include boulders or gravel as a finishing touch, but they are also perfect if you can’t bend down to tend to ground level flower beds.
Guest Contributor: Natalie Wilson