Create a Mediterranean Style with Plants and Accessories
Dreaming about your summer holidays? If you already have an established garden, you don't have to spend a fortune on a complete rebuild, you can keep the hard landscaping as it is and give it a little Mediterranean twist just by redesigning your planting scheme and adding some accessories.
Be ruthless with your existing plants
If you want to get that Mediterranean style, you will have to be a bit ruthless with your existing plants. You don't have to get rid of them all but you should think about ditching most of your cottage-style perennials and shrubs in favour of palms and grasses. There's no point in adding a palm or two and calling it Mediterranean. Since you are not redesigning the hard landscaping, you really have to go for broke with the plants.
You should choose architectural plants and the bigger the better. Don't cram the beds with plants - give them space because, with Mediterranean planting, it's more about the shape than the flower. Good plants that will grow well in less warm climates are: Cordyline australis, Trachycarpus fortunei, Fatsia japonica, phormiums (of all colours and sizes),Festuca glauca, Carex species, and just about any other grass you can think of. For colour, choose Pelargoniums of course, Lavandula, Agapanthus and some of the bigger Hostas. Although traditionally a cottage-garden plant, you could use some of the varieties of Clematis instead of Bougainvillea.
Mulching the beds.
Since you have spread out your planting, you will find that there is more bare soil area than there used to be between the plants. To avoid weeding and to brighten things up, you could mulch the beds with gravel or cobbles.
Accessorise your Mediterranean garden with whitewashed stone tables and chairs, pots and pots of pelargoniums and white stone plinths to complete the look. Dig out your old holidays photographs and copy some of the accessories you see there.
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