From arches to olives to siestas, it’s easy to understand the appeal of a modern Mediterranean garden – but what plants should you include to bring it to life?
The Mediterranean Region is generally defined as the coastal areas that surround the Mediterranean Sea. As the crossroads of three continents, the region is typically characterised by the subtropical climate that features mild winters and hot, dry summers. When used in design circles modern Mediterranean characteristics are more focussed on the lifestyle as opposed to the technicalities – think sangria, siestas and indoor outdoor living to make the most of the weather.
As such, it’s no surprise that the concept of a Mediterranean garden is what most people focus on when attempting to channel this vibe, particularly during summer. As a means to make every day feel like you’re on holiday, bringing a Mediterranean garden design to life is a growing trend that fits surprisingly well with the Australian climate and outdoor centric lifestyle. While many of us are familiar with a few of the design basics such as natural stone, archways and earthy colour palettes, what should you plant to ensure that the greenery isn’t forgotten?
What To Plant In A Mediterranean Garden
When we refer to the inclusions of a Mediterranean garden, it’s not just about using plants from the area near its namesake’s sea. Homeowners should be on the lookout for plants that come from places with climates similar to ours – think long, hot and dry summers partnered with short, cool and wet winters. While many parts of the southern half of Australia are considered to have a climate similar to the Mediterranean, it’s Adelaide that usually gets this comparison the most.
If you’re looking to give this look a try in the outdoor areas of your home, the plants that you include can easily make or break the general vibe that you’re going for. As such, plants to use in an Aussie style Mediterranean garden generally include the following.
Olive Trees – As a staple piece for any self respecting Mediterranean garden, olive trees grow best in regions with hot, dry summers and mild but cool winters. In order to bear fruit, they need a two-month dormancy period of cool weather when temperatures are ideally between around four and ten degrees. They’re known to grow slowly though, so be patient.
Agaves – Most agaves are unfazed by harsh sun, high heat and minimal water. Their statuesque, fountainlike forms lend a sculptural element to any garden, and prefer gritty soil types to thrive. As a great low maintenance addition to any budding Mediterranean garden, their large rosettes of strong, fleshy leaves are great ways to fill up empty garden beds.
Rosemary – Rosemary simply loves the sun, even those very hot sweltering spots of the garden in summer. As an edible addition to a Mediterranean garden, this popular shrub is actually native to the region, and it’s fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves are also home to white, pink, purple, and blue flowers in the springtime.
Grape Vines – If you sourced inspiration for your Mediterranean garden from the likes of tuscany, a canopy of grape vines above an outdoor pergola or balcony is the stuff of dreams. Grapes are well suited to hot, dry conditions with full sun, and they’re popular climbers who use tendrils, which wrap around objects to support the weight of the vine as it grows. If you are located in the northern states ensure you watch out for powdery mildew and other diseases as these vines are more susceptible in humid climates.
Pencil Pines – The Italian pencil pine is an excellent, low maintenance choice for creating a semi formal look in areas where space is limited, an option to decorate driveways, and are very popular thanks to their reputation as being an extremely hardy plant. Growing at around one metre per year, be sure to leave plenty of space between them if you have a few to plant.
Lavender – Although lavender is highly regarded in many cultures, this purple herb is great for bringing warming scents as well as structure to garden bed borders. Gardeners have plenty of options when it comes to selecting a lavender species that suits their abode, as there are over 450 known varieties to choose from depending on your style and climate.
If you’re in the early days of bringing your Mediterranean garden to life and are looking to keep your plants healthy with little to no maintenance, aim to embrace forward thinking and proactive measures instead of reactive ones, especially when it comes to things like watering, weeding, fertilising and tackling pests. As such, one of the most effective means to do so is to ensure that the soil in your garden is at its best.
Optimise Your Garden Soil The Natural Way
Do your plants – and yourself – a favour, and give them a head start by optimising your soil prior to planting. By adding a natural plant food like Biotic Booster, this will help your garden to:
- Provide essential nutrients and microbes
- Act as a liquid fertiliser to unlock your soil’s potential
- Drought proof your plants and lower water consumption
- Increase and speed up the germination process
- Assist in protecting your plants from pests and diseases
- Provide a natural solution that’s safe to use around your herbs, fruit and veggies
If you’re ready to take the leap into improving the health of your plants while minimising the use of chemical based fertilisers, then it may be time to try plant food and plant probiotics. Our Ultimate Garden Health Pack includes our Biotic Booster, FP-60 Probiotic Spray, RE-250 Soil Energiser plant food and plant probiotics. In each concentrated bottle, millions of natural bacterias are waiting to find a new home in your garden.
Here at Bioweed, we specialise in environmentally friendly gardening products, including herbicides, food and plant probiotics, and natural alternatives to traditional gardening solutions. Should you have any questions about how to improve the sustainability of your garden, get in touch with us today.