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Five Key Features of a Mediterranean-style Garden

If there is one thing that’s predictable about the British weather, is that it is unpredictable. No sooner have we survived three Atlantic storms – Ciara, Dennis and Jorge – then we move into a spell of warm, dry weather more akin to the Mediterranean.

Here Compass Garden and Landscape Design, who offer a planting and design service in Bristol, Bath and across the south-west of England, look at five of the key features of this type of garden – and how we can help you achieve this look.

Add a Water Feature

The sights and sounds of a water feature bring an extra dimension to any garden. In Mediterranean climes they provide the added bonus of cooling the air during the heat of the summer.

Opt for a fountain or pond which is self-contained and has its own pump, as otherwise you may have to keep topping it up during extended dry periods.

Lots of Pots

Another key feature of a Mediterranean garden is its widespread use of pots. Rather than plant flowers in parched soil, put them in a clay or terracotta container as this will absorb much of the sun’s heat through evaporation and will keep plant roots cool. And place the pot on top of a water-filled saucer, so your plants have a reservoir of moisture to draw on.

Pick Drought-tolerant Plants

When it comes to picking plants for your Mediterranean garden, you need to pick varieties which can flourish without a lot of rain. Aromatic herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme and lavender should thrive, and you can use some of them in cooking too!

If you want something a bit bigger, then try a palm or olive tree, although if temperatures drop they may need some protection. Cypress trees are much hardier, and they make for excellent borders with neighbouring properties.

Use Gravel, Not Grass

Rather than water the grass every day, why not do as many Mediterraneans do and replace your lawn with a carpet of gravel? As well as reducing the size of your water bill, gravel is also extremely low-maintenance and can help encourage plant growth. Native Mediterranean species don’t like cold, wet soil and the gravel will keep any surface water away from the plants’ crowns.

Pebbles and cobbles are another low-maintenance alternative to grass and can be arranged in a variety of striking artistic patterns. Check out some of the online pictures of stone mosaics common to villages in southern France and Spain if you need any inspiration.

Take the Indoors Outdoors

Make sure you enjoy your new garden by having a dedicated seating area where you can enjoy meals, drinks, or maybe even read a good book. Mediterranean gardens often have tiled patios instead of areas made out of heavy paving slabs.

To guard against soaking up too much of the sun, make sure this area has plenty of shade. Decorative pergolas encourage climbing plants, adding a pleasant scent to your garden while also offering plenty of privacy. Alternatively, if you want to avoid too much hard work, you can put tables, chairs and even a sofa in the shade offered by a large fruit tree.

Planting and Design Services from Compass Garden and Landscape Design

At Compass Garden and Landscape Design, we can help turn your Mediterranean dreams into reality. Following an initial consultation, we then carry out a full survey and draw up a scale plan of your garden, followed by some concept sketches which we will discuss with you.

From there we can create a detailed design, in 3D if required, and will put you in touch with reputable contractors who can carry out the work. And thanks to our planting consultancy service we can help you choose the species which have the best chance of succeeding in your new space.

We have overseen planting and design projects in Bristol, Bradford on Avon, Weston-super-Mare and many other locations in Somerset and Wiltshire. If you would like to get in touch, simply <a href=”/contact”>follow this link</a> and fill in the online form.