How to design a Mediterranean garden?
Generations of homeowners and avid gardeners have taken inspirations from the style of Mediterranean gardens and tried to replicate it in their own backyard. They have received varying degrees of success. But that did not deter them from appreciating this garden design and trying to make it more in tune with the local climate. Though the climate of Canada is very different from the sunny and warm climate of the Mediterranean region, it is possible for you to design a chic Mediterranean style garden right on the premises of your home.
Mediterranean garden boasts of a tiered design. If you have sufficient space in your backyard, you may try this approach. Choose appropriate plants for the various levels of the garden. You may need help of an expert landscape architect to follow this tiered plan of gardening. Remember, every level of your garden must also have proper drainage system in place. Build stone stairways to access the upper levels of the garden. For the convenience of the elderly members of the family, you may consider installing a hidden garden elevator.
Choose subtle colours for this type of garden. Build a shaded area close to the patio. If you have a sprawling lawn, you may build several shaded areas and garden paths. Install trellises and plant vines to create a shade. Design a beautiful pergola using wood, stone or wrought iron. You may build an entertainment area under this shade. In the balmy evenings of the summer months, you will be able to invite your close friends to a very special dinner.
Design a gravel bed or use travertine tiles to decorate the area close to the house. You may design a winding gravel path as well. Consider decorating the flooring with river bed pebbles or mosaic stones. Install mosaic or ceramic tiles on the patio and the staircases. Colourful tiles will help you design a very cheery space. Choose right kind of planters for your garden plants. Planters made of stone, terracotta and cast iron are well suited for a Mediterranean garden. You may decorate the planters with broken pieces of ceramics.
What plants to choose for my Mediterranean garden in Canada?
Buy those Mediterranean plants that thrive well under the climatic conditions of the country. You may check your options with the local gardening society or speak with an experienced gardener regarding this. Climbing roses, jasmine, Chinese trumpet vine and Humulus lupulus can be used on the trellises and near the pergolas. These plants grow rapidly and will create a shade for you in matter of months. Besides, the fragrance of the plants like jasmines and climbing roses will keep the surrounding of your house refreshed all day long. You may also consider planting a grape vine close to the pergolas.
Choose drought tolerant plants for a Mediterranean garden. They are generally easier to maintain and consume less amount of water. Italian cypresses are must have trees in a Mediterranean garden. They grow tall so plant them away from the house and let them beautify the exterior of your dwelling. Plants like artemesia, agave, Genista hispanica, Festuca glauca, Euphorbia characias and cistus can be planted close to the façade of the building. You may plant them in ground or in terracotta pots. The potted plants can be used to decorate the patio and balconies of your home as well.
Some other drought tolerant plants with bushy growths include lavender, rosemary and chamomile. Having then around will have a dual effect on your household. On one hand you will be able to enjoy a perfumed atmosphere whenever you step in your garden and, on the other hand, you will never be short on aromatic herbs in the kitchen. Buy yucca and salvias for their wonderful flowers. Bay tree, another prominent feature of the Mediterranean gardens, can be placed in the middle of the ground. They have a bushy growth and can grow up to 6 feet tall.
Having tastefully trimmed hedges and topiary is a must in a Mediterranean garden. You may plan boxwood hedges along the garden path, driveway and close to the porch. Perennials like Anchusa azurea, rock cress, Catananche caerulea, Centaurea Montana, foxglove and Echium candicans are favoured for their brilliantly colourful flowers. They can add spice to any garden. Besides, they grow well in the cold climate of the country. Choose well drained soil for Anemone coronaria, Crocus, Lilium martagon and Exacum affine. With the presence of plants like these, your Mediterranean garden will soon become the envy of your acquaintances.
What architectural features can I add in my Mediterranean garden?
Can you imagine a Mediterranean garden without any fountain? Perhaps, not. Depending on the size of your garden, buy a suitable pre-designed fountain. You may choose separate fountains for the front yard and backyard of your home. A swimming pool will also help you to give your garden an authentic Mediterranean makeover. Choose classical Roman pool design with rectangular shape and curved sides. Use stone, mosaic or ceramic tiles to build a deck around the pool.
Along with pergolas, you may build small gazebos in the focal points of your garden. Consider building a fire pit and design a sitting area around the pit. You may give the space an amphitheatre like feel. Use stone slabs or wooden planks to build the seats. Classical bird feeders, baths and houses can be strategically placed in the shaded areas of the garden. You may also decorate the garden with small outdoor sculptures.