Now that winter is here, we’ve been dreaming of far off locations where the sun shines from June to September. Places like the French Riviera, the Tuscan Hills and the Spanish coastline. The Mediterranean region is not just a perfect winter holiday destination, it’s unique landscaping traditions have long been a source of inspiration for designers and gardeners around the world. For Melbourne homeowners, the Mediterranean garden concept is particularly attractive as the hot, dry summers and cool winters of the region tend to mimic our own climate, so this ancient landscaping tradition lends itself well to the drought prone and nutrient poor landscape which characterises Victoria. This week, we’re talking about how you can bring a little piece of the Mediterranean coastline to your own backyard.
Because the Mediterranean is drought prone area, grass has never been a particularly viable landscaping option so paved paths and patios are used to define outdoor living spaces. Natural stone or gravel in warm tones of yellow, orange or red are the most popular choices, as they complement the terracotta roofing which characterises buildings in the region. Exposed aggregate, textured, or coloured concrete are all cost effective ways of achieving this look.
Mediterranean summers are extremely hot so shade plays an essential role in any garden landscape. However, the water demands of most trees make them unsuitable for this climate so most gardens have constructed wooden shade pergolas or arbours covered with a drought hardy climbing plant such as a grapevine or bougainvillea.
Instead of large (and water greedy) plants or trees, water features, terracotta urns, and natural stone or marble sculptures are what’s commonly used as a central focal point in most in most Mediterranean gardens.
Drought hardy plants
Rows of conical Italian cypress trees lining a terracotta driveway or path are a classic Mediterranean motif and indeed the plant species used in this style of garden play an essential role in giving the landscape an authentic southern European feel. Aside from Italian cypress, drought hardy trees such as Greek bay trees and olive trees are popular choices which also have practical uses. Perfumed perennials such as lavender, thyme, oregano and rosemary are also ideal choices, as they add another sensory element to your landscape.
Prestige Concrete specialise in decorative concrete surfacing solution including exposed aggregate driveways and coloured concrete patios. We are more than equipped to help you hardscape a Mediterranean oasis in the heart of Melbourne. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0411 440 157.