A Mediterranean garden is ideal for the low-maintenance landscape gardener and it is so easy to create. If you would like to create a garden that is inspired by the Mediterranean countryside simply pack it with tough, self-sufficient plants that are colorful, attractive to bees and butterflies and wonderfully scented.
You may want to start off with a small patch or bed and stock it with
many aromatic edible plants that are useful for the kitchen. The
benefits of this style of labour saving garden are such that you may
consider converting a larger area.
Mediterranean plants are resilient and drought-resistant.
Their constant adaptations for survival in hot arid areas, aromatic vapour, shimmering foliage, tough or spiny leaves and silvery hairs, also make them unappealing to pests, whilst their tough constitution help them to resist disease.
All of the above make Mediterranean plants ideal candidates for a low maintenance garden, as long as the ground is prepared so that they will thrive in temperate climates.
You will need to add plenty of grit or gravel to the soil to give it sharp drainage so that the plants do not have to struggle in wet, compacted ground, where they would inevitably rot as their roots need dry conditions.
A top layer of gravel or stones will work as moisture-retaining mulch that also keeps foliage crowns dry and absorbs heat for the benefit of the plants.
Designing The Garden
This kind of garden requires no planning to ensure that the colors and textures compliment one another. The plants naturally team well, forming a magical tapestry of wonderful partnerships.
The predominant shrubs and sub shrubs are evergreen, with grey and silver tones, sustaining the garden through the quieter winter months. In spring, flowering bulbs pop up in bright reds and yellows. Summer explodes with foliage and flower.
Select only those types of plant that will survive with minimal attention and enjoy the sharp draining conditions of your garden.
There is no need to add fertilizer or manure when planting. Most Mediterranean plants are adapted to grow in poor soil, and if it is too rich they will produce weak, sappy growth. In poor soil they will generally grow tougher and flower more freely.
Simply cover the surface of the soil with gravel and water the plants well until they establish themselves. After their first season, you will not need to water them. In severe summer drought, you can revive any stressed plants by dousing them with water; if watering is impractical, cut back the plants severely and they should revive.
Following the age old Mediterranean tradition of growing special plants in pots you can grow a few brightly colored geraniums against a whitewashed wall, or perhaps a fig tree if you have a very sunny, sheltered corner in the garden.