10 Ideas For a Mediterranean Inspired Garden

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Painting our fence blue started the ball rolling when it came to planning our Mediterranean inspired garden. The deep blue tones of the sea, the aqua hues of the sky, the brightness of the stonewashed buildings in quaint little villages here and there (sorry, went off on a Groove Armada tangent there) and delightful little patios with white gravel and terracotta pots shaded under olive trees. Ah, the Mediterranean! I bet you are wishing you were there right now because I certainly am!

Picture credits: 1) mycosyretreat.com 2) veranda.com 3) housebeautiful.co.uk 4) sharonsantoni.com

I was fortunate enough to live in Cyprus a few years back and although I spent most of my time drinking Brandy Sours and sitting in Greek tavernas until the early hours, I certainly appreciated the great Mediterranean outdoors with its beautifully patterned tiled patios, white sandy beaches and shallow turquoise waters.

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Image: La Redoute UK

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that we have recently moved our garden around as the old setup just wasn’t working for us. We had created a fabulous decking area with dining set and patterned painted tiles but as it was north facing and sat behind the kitchen extension, it never got the sun. Oh no, we had given the best area of the garden where it gets the sun until late in the evening in the summer to the kid’s trampoline! Foolish!

We decided to rip up the decking and move the two areas over and it’s been a massive game changer already. We have already sat out there in the evening for meals and drinks more times than the whole 3 years we had our decking in the old area.

Stencilled decking, decking, garden, garden furniture, festoon lights, rattan furniture
We loved our stencilled decking but this area never got the sun.

The original plan was to move the decking over to the new area, but unfortunately a lot of it had to be ripped up and didn’t come out of the battle with Mr B and his saw unscathed. We asked a local builder to give us a quote to create a new patio area over the 3m x 5m space and when he came back at £4,800 (say WHAAAAAT?) we decided to take the matters into our own hands. And therein, the idea to create a little bit of the Balearics in Brighton was born (thanks to my friend Theresa Gromski for this!).

Here are the 10 steps to creating our Mediterranean inspired garden

We love to entertain and wanted a relaxed feel to our garden that wouldn’t need a lot of work or maintenance so when the sun comes out, we can just enjoy it. The area we are revamping gets a lot of sun but also sits under a canopy of silver birches and eucalyptus trees so different parts of the garden get shade and different times of the day. Perfect for creating the tranquil ambience of a Mediterranean garden. 

Fence

Painting our fence Cuprinol Iris blue helped to plant the idea for our med inspired garden, I love how the plants look against it and it complements the blue sky perfectly.

Shed/Garden room

We have quite a large garden room at the back of the garden where our newly revamped area is going so, I am going to paint this with Cuprinol Black ash to make it less imposing and eventually have wisteria growing around it.

garden shed hanging chair blue sky
Our garden shed at the moment is unloved. It sits on the other side of where we are going to lay the cotswold stone.

Below the feet

Another reason why we started planning this garden was because we realised that getting the area paved or adding decking was going to be extremely expensive. We bought Cotswolds chippings 20mm from Gravelmaster.co.uk (£198 for membrane and shingle to cover an area 4m x 5m) and I love how it looks against the blue fence. It is extremely bright and gives an almost beach like feel.

We have added patio slabs which we already had to make a path over to the garden shed and I am going to use masonry paint to paint Moroccan style tiles onto them. To finish the area we have separated the gravel with bricks and are going to use old scaffold boards to create a border between the shingle and the plants by the fence.

And above

Originally, we were going to install a pergola as these are a big feature in Mediterranean gardens, but as the new garden space is under a canopy of beautiful trees which shades different areas during the day, we decided we didn’t need one. We are going to use the space over summer and maybe revisit the idea of a pergola in the autumn.

Plants

We want the garden to be fragrant and colourful so here is a list of the plants we are going for –

  • Olive trees! Let’s face it, I might as well give up my plans now if I don’t incorporate an olive tree here and there
  • Cypress trees. I love how tall and thin they grow and will look great next to our blue fence.
  • Palms. I absolutely love palms and palm trees, they automatically make me feel tropical.
  • Lavender and rosemary to provide fragrance in the garden. We are aiming to build a raised flower bed to put these in.
  • Wisteria. Any excuse to have one in my garden! I would have gone for bougainvillea but they just won’t survive a UK winter.
  • Agapanthus. Beautiful border plants with large spherical flowerheads.
  • Ornamental grass. Including Purple fountain grass and Mexican feather grass.
  • Plenty of succulents to place around our seating area and on the tables.

Potted Plants!

With all these plants in our garden, I plan to put a lot of them in terracotta and dark blue pots dotted around the shingled area and next to our garden furniture.

Garden furniture and accessories

  • We have recently been gifted two wooden sun loungers from Wayfair UK and these will be taking their place where we get the most sun!
  • We have a large rattan corner sofa which will go in the top left-hand corner and we will replace the dining table for a lower rattan style coffee table or upcycled pallet table as we find that it is easier to use
  • I am also looking at purchasing a few rattan side tables for the sun loungers. Perfect for an early evening cocktail.
  • Outdoor rugs can really transform your garden space. We currently have an IKEA rug, but I will look to purchase an actual outdoor rug to use next to the corner sofa. I am also looking at buying some outdoor floor cushions for the kids to sit on.
  • Throws to keep us warm in the evenings and cushions to create a cosy corner. 
sun loungers, garden, garden furniture, furniture, fire pit, trees, summer
Our sun loungers from Wayfair complete this corner.

Lighting

We have hung up lots of festoon lights and fairy lights around the tree to perfectly light up the area in the evenings. We also have several lanterns and hurricane lamps to give our outdoor space a warm glow.

sun loungers, garden furniture, garden, lighting, gravel, shingle
Our Wayfair sun loungers are a great way to relax in the evening

Fire pit

Let’s be honest now, the UK is not the Mediterranean so a fire pit is crucial when it gets ridiculously cold in the evening and you want to pretend you’re still in Ibiza 

And finally… a pizza oven!

OK, it might just be a glorified BBQ area but I would love to have a pizza oven in our garden.

You will see our Mediterranean garden slowly progressing over the next couple of weeks (and when we can get our hands on materials and plants!) on Instagram and I will write another blog post when it is finished to show you what works and what doesn’t!

What would be your ultimate garden design?

Mel x

 

The Sun Loungers were gifted by Wayfair UK. There are affiliate links in this post.

13 Comments

  1. Olivia
    10/05/2020 / 1:50 pm

    Oh hi as u know I adore your home . One of my favourite accounts but aren’t there so many beautiful homes and gardens . Your friend Theresa garden and home is so stunning too . And I adore lisa loves vintage too . My grey place the list goes on …
    Anyhow so glad u have done this I have run out of room lol .
    I am in the middle of ripping up decking and love Alice in scandiland pebbles but expensive. Asked on house talk about what to put down and had advice these stones can discolour but u won’t know yet . I love what u have done and so quickly !! These things cost a fortune but I am lucky to have a plum tree , pear tree, lavender , budlia down the area I am doing . It makes sence u doing this change and the children will be cooler bouncing in the shade they will keep heat from physical exercise. I have the edge of decking still and a metal frame still there anyhow what I am asking are u happy with the stones ?? We have a local company here that fo them . How do u maintain them ? Also thank u for the blog on this it’s helped with my ideas .

    • Melanie Boyden
      Author
      13/05/2020 / 12:17 pm

      Hi Olivia
      Sorry it’s taken so long to reply! We’ve had the stones down for 2 weeks now and so far so good. We’ve had really high winds and heavy rain and they still look fresh, but like you said, we haven’t had them that long yet.

      We paid £198 for the cotswold stones and membrane for a 4m x 5m area which I think is extremely good value compared to the other quotes we were getting. We absolutely love the look of these stones, they’re extremely bright and reflect the heat wonderfully so this area is always warm. I also love the crunching sound when you walk over them as it really feels like you are on a beach. I’d highly recommend them and so pleased we did it 🙂

    • Melanie Boyden
      Author
      10/06/2020 / 12:46 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  2. 10/06/2020 / 11:00 am

    Hey Melanie, the Mediterranean inspired garden is something that would make a lot of sense in my backyard. The pizza oven is a subtle addition to the garden over the common barbecue area. I sure look forward to seeing your garden finished. The Cuprinol iris blue fence looks very enthralling.

    • Melanie Boyden
      Author
      10/06/2020 / 11:53 am

      Hi Donnie

      Thank you for your message! We definitely want to add a pizza oven in time and the whole space is slowly coming together. I can’t believe how much difference the Iris blue paint has made to our fence and our garden! It’s a fabulous backdrop.

      Mel 🙂

  3. 22/06/2020 / 12:31 pm

    Very nice article, thanks for sharing.

    • Melanie Boyden
      Author
      25/06/2020 / 7:21 am

      Thank you 🙂

  4. 21/07/2020 / 2:18 am

    I really love the use of succulents and pots for this design. Funnily enough I have that exact hanging chair so I could almost exactly recreate the look you have here!

    • Melanie Boyden
      Author
      28/07/2020 / 8:28 pm

      I find succulents much easier to look after when they’re outside! They’re supposed to be so easy to take care of but I always kill my house ones! Probably because I don’t water them, ever! Mel 🙂

  5. 31/08/2020 / 12:09 pm

    Such a nice blog on the Mediterranean inspired garden.It provides us true and insightful information regarding the topic. So, anyone searching for same topic may find their shelter over here. This is a great article and you are banged on with your points about. Come across Expertturf.co.nz and hope you can visit this too to get more information.

  6. 16/11/2020 / 2:25 am

    Great article! Thank you for ideas

    • Melanie Boyden
      Author
      17/11/2020 / 10:21 am

      Thank you 🙂

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