How to create the illusion of a Mediterranean environment
The Mediterranean style is one of the most fashionable and popular today. It is actively used to decorate gardens, even where proper Mediterranean plants cannot be used because of too severe winter frosts. But the true southern charm of the garden can be given not only with the help of heat-loving authentic cultures: in order to create a Mediterranean environment, one must correctly use the available assortment of plants.
The main elements of the Mediterranean environment
Cypresses, pine trees, luxurious citrus and olive trees - these plants are the first to come to mind when mentioning the Mediterranean style. But in regions with harsh winters you can’t grow them. Which, however, does not mean that it is impossible to recreate the charm of the Mediterranean in your garden. The front garden, relaxation area, flower beds by the terrace or a separate corner of the garden can be turned into a real southern oasis. To do this, first of all, you need to correctly formulate your goal.
The expressive structure of the composition, the introduction of evergreen accents and borders, the dominance of greenery, flowering soloists and bright accents, attention to detail and following the general concept are the main elements of success. To create a composition or a corner with Mediterranean charm, you must:
- To determine the points of attraction of the gaze and the main dominants (large structural accents) in ensembles, structural elements (from supporting walls and hedges to supports for vines and plant borders), to introduce objects of small architecture.
- Choose plants for the role of flowering soloists.
- Choose placeholder cultures - partner texture perennials that fill the composition with paints and volume and create the basis of ensembles - by color, "character", texture.
- Do not forget about important details - decor, potted plants and materials.
Criteria for selecting crops for the Mediterranean corners
The most important criterion for “selection” is texture: in the southern gardens splendor, the ability to fill the soil with colorful jackets, density and volume play a role no less than the color scheme. The inimitable textures of trimmed evergreens, herbs, landscape perennials create the basis for any composition, underlie its picturesqueness and charm.
The charm of the Mediterranean ensembles is largely based on the nature of the plants used in it - modest, not requiring special care, but inimitably beautiful landscape stars, skillfully limited by strict frames and accents.
Do not forget about the color palette: authentic Mediterranean gardens are characterized by calm colors and purity and richness of color accents. Silver-gray leaves, muted shades of greenery and the classical dominance of decorative deciduous plants for such a garden are very important, as is the right choice of flowering soloists with pure colors and partners, which should first of all bring coolness and harmonious restraint, effectively emphasize the beauty of the main flowering accents.
The Mediterranean-style corner will look all the more authentic, the more fragrant cultures you can use. Plant crops so that from the first step you are met by a cloud of aromas.
An important role in the perception of ensembles in the Mediterranean style is played by form and lines. The vertical structure of the compositions, the presence of high and catchy accents in it, the contrast between large and background plants is as important as the structure. They enrich the structure with the help of elongated columnar conifers, standard plants, large shrubs, objects of small architecture. Elongated spiers and ideal spheres are the main motifs of the Mediterranean, along with lush “solid” plantings of perennial herbs.
Plants to help create a Mediterranean ensemble
The selection of plants is based on the recreation of the charm of Mediterranean compositions with the help of perennials capable of withstanding the conditions of the middle lane.
The main blooming beauties of the southern style are roses. White or pink, scarlet or original, wicker or bush, they can be safely used in the design of the southern corner in the maximum quantity. The main thing is that the tone of the color of the petals is clean and rich: original roses can be left for other styles.
Especially good in Mediterranean compositions are ground cover and large shrub roses, which give the whole ensemble cheerfulness. But not only do they fit well into Mediterranean compositions. Blooming actions are voluminous and romantic, as are the charming bushes of tree-like and grassy peonies.
Ideal for the Mediterranean flower garden of Santolin and Helichrysum. Acanthus with its white and pink peduncles will also charm fit into the appearance of such a composition. But the main partners remain spicy plants and perennials typical of southern landscapes that can take root with us too: oak sage and medicinal, lavender of all varieties, oregano, Schmidt wormwood and other species, thyme, catnip trees will gladly create a magnificent background for spectacular soloists.
Yellow, indefatigable stonecrops and milkweeds, an openwork cuff, stachis with its silver leaves and silver-pink inflorescences will perfectly fit into such an environment of asphodelin.
Well, in no case should we forget about the “canvas” - strict cropped frames that will make soloists and magnificent partners shine in a new light. Trimmed boxwoods and yews with their dark greens and muted color are ideal candidates for creating borders, geometric accents and backstage. Low curbs and high hedges, trimmed spheres give completeness and orderliness to a lush collection of texture plants, are responsible for the structure and integrity of compositions even in winter.
Strict vertical accents similar in role to authentic cypresses in orchards in regions with harsh winters will place elongated spiers of columnar varieties of junipers and cypresses.
Objects of small architecture in southern imitations
If you want to create a real Italian garden in your garden, a small oasis of Mediterranean style, try to actively use the small architecture and its possibilities.
The easiest option is to place zoning arches that effectively cover climbing roses with a flowering cover. With their help, you can both mark the transition to the Mediterranean zone, and divide the space into separate sections, add interesting touches to the vertical structure of the compositions. Obelisks will also cope with the task of structuring.
If in the southern style you are designing a zone or corner for relaxation, a terrace, then think about the possibility of constructing pergolas that will help create a spectacular shelter. On pergolas, grapes grow beautifully, both decorative and fruit-bearing - an unchanging participant in Mediterranean landscapes. The grapes will play the same effect of a genuine Italian touch when upholstering the walls of a house or a fence, when growing on trellises.
Perfectly fit into the look of the southern style as well:
- stone flower girls and tall flower beds surrounded by brick or stone walls;
- supporting walls, beating elevation differences;
- imitation of garden ruins;
- half columns and balustrades, socles and high stone flowerpots;
- wall fountains;
- strict geometric ponds with fountains;
- large garden sculpture, etc.
Decor and accessories to enhance style
Emphasize the charm of the Mediterranean corner or even change the nature of the design using the decor. Terracotta products, garden sculptures and figurines, ceramic kitchen utensils and textile awnings can become an important finishing touch. But the plants should play the largest role of accessories anyway: we should not forget that the Mediterranean style is hardly the most active of all modern trends in landscape design using potted gardens and potted plants.
In the tanks you can grow even the most heat-loving trees and shrubs, introduce citrus fruits and laurels, agapanthus, pomegranates and olive trees into the garden design. And colorful petunias, spicy herbs in pots, ampelous begonias and lobelia with verbena will only add bright accents. The more you can use potted and potted - the better. Decorate them with high walls and stands, flower beds and paths, expose along walls and fences and on terraces or recreational areas - in such an amount that you can only care for.