Typically, when one thinks of an exotic garden, jungles come to mind with flowering vines, bamboos, palms, and other large-leaved plants. But did you know that many arid plants can be just as exotic, such as aroids, succulents, and cacti? These and many other exotic, colorful plants thrive in hot climates, perfect for an exotic Mediterranean style garden.
Tips for Creating a Mediterranean Garden
Mosaic tiles are commonly used in Mediterranean gardens and are seen decorating walls, tables and pots, regardless of size. Substitutes for mosaic tiles can come from broken dishes or stained glass. Simply use mosaic adhesive and sanded grout found in craft and tile stores. Instruction manuals will provide an array of design ideas as well. Alternatively, seashells can be implemented. If space permits, add a small table and chair or two to create your very own sanctuary, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. For further ambiance, as well as privacy, grow climbing crops (grapevine) or fragrant flowering vines (honeysuckle) on rustic-looking vertical supports, such as a trellis or an arbor. This will allow you to make the most of your available space, even in the smallest area.
Mediterranean Garden Plants
Even if your space is limited, you can still easily create a Mediterranean garden with the use of unglazed terra cotta pots. From doorsteps to patios and rooftops galore, the use of pots can provide the opportunity to include many types of plants. In a Mediterranean garden, you'll find warm, dry air filled with many fragrant delights, like lavender. Numerous heat-loving and drought-tolerant plants can be found here, as well as large architectural plantings, such as palms, bay topiary, and tree ferns. Pots of bamboo make excellent additions to the Mediterranean garden too. Fill in gaps with grasses and a mix of exotic flowers and fruits, such as lemon. Create a Mediterranean garden wherever you live with bright colors and hot hues from flowers like:
Set these off with contrasting plants in shades of blue along with silvery-gray foliage plants. Good choices are:
Include a variety of fragrant herbs like lavender, rosemary, and thyme. Olive and citrus trees also provide a Mediterranean touch. Lightly colored boulders placed within the garden will also help mimic the Mediterranean landscape. If your home's architectural style doesn't quite fit in with a Mediterranean style garden, you can try painting the garden walls a soft pinkish-beige or terra cotta. Finish off your Mediterranean garden with a layer of gravel mulch.
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Nikki Tilley has been gardening for nearly three decades. The former Senior Editor and Archivist of Gardening Know How, Nikki has also authored six gardening books.
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