How to Create a Mediterranean Garden in 10 Easy Steps

Gardening was never really my thing. Only a few years ago, I wouldn’t have known where to start when it came to creating a Mediterranean garden.

That was until I became obsessed with Biophilic design and making the transition from inside of our home to the garden seamless.

how to create a med inspired garden in 10 easy steps pinterest pin

I love making our garden an extension of our home. I see it as another room where I can decorate, style and turn it into a cosy and inviting space. Come rain or shine!

But why a Mediterranean garden?

The Mediterranean is my happy place. I love the Balearic Islands and in particular, Ibiza. The white washed buildings, sand dunes, turquoise sea and blue skies. What’s not to love?

They provide the perfect backdrop to the dusty, gravelled and cobbled streets, olive trees providing shade and lavender blowing in the wind.

picture of a beach and the sea, Ibiza mediterranean
Photo by Slow Ibiza on Unsplash

I can just imagine myself there now, lounging with a good book and a glass of something cold.

I was lucky enough to go back to Ibiza this year and I am already planning my next visit!

image of cafe mambo in Ibiza
My recent trip to Ibiza included watching the sunset at Cafe Mambo
image of the sunset from the beach at Cafe Mambo, Ibiza
Amazing sunsets

I know you are now itching to create that Mediterranean feel in your back yard, so here are my top tips on how to create a Mediterranean Garden.

Keep it simple

Mediterranean gardens have the pleasure of getting a lot of sun and hot summers, so who wants to get all hot and sweaty gardening and pruning to your bushes?

Low maintenance plants are easy to care for in your Mediterranean garden and can tolerate you forgetting to water them when (ok, I live in the UK, if…) your garden gets a lot of sun.

collage of Mediterranean inspired plants
Mediterranean inspired plants

Ideal plants to put in pots and around your borders are –

  • Olive trees – well of course! Olive trees are probably the first plant that comes to mind when I think of the Mediterranean.

They’re best grown in pots so you can bring them indoors in the cold winter months. To be honest, I think they look just as good indoors as out.

image of an olive tree in a stone pot
You can’t go wrong with an Olive tree for your Mediterranean garden. Olive tree – Dobbies
  • Cypress Trees – brilliant for a corner of your mediterranean garden that gets a lot of sun. They look best dotted around a path or up against your fence.
cypress trees lining a road that winds upwards
Like a scene reminiscent of Gladiator. Cypress trees – Dobbies
  • Palms – I love a palm tree. Just looking at one whisks me away to a hot tropical climate and can help me ignore the biting wind and potential frost bite from another lacklustre UK summer.
picture of a washingtonia palm tree
Washingtonia palm – Homebase
  • Agapanthus – these are beautiful border plants with large spherical flowerheads. They can grow up to 5ft tall and love the sunshine.

They will need a lot of watering to begin with but once they are established, they can be largely forgotten

white agapanthus heads
Agapanthus Snow Crystal – Waitrose
  • Kniphofia (Red Hot Pokers) – I love these striking plants; we have a lot of them growing on the beach where we live.

They are colourful and exotic looking and stay flowered for months so can add a lot of colour to your Mediterranean garden.

red hot poker heads
Red Hot Pokers – crocus
  • Fragrant herbs – you want that summer breeze to give you a waft of the Mediterranean. Planting herbs like Basil, Oregano, Rosemary and Lavender will take your mind off those looming grey skies
amazon image of a box of herb seeds with 12 different herbs
Grow your own herbs kit – Amazon

Terracotta Planters

You’ve got your olive tree ready to go and your fragrant herbs, now where to plant it? Terracotta planters of course.

I think terracotta pots are symbolic when it comes to a Mediterranean Garden and you can never have too many. They are perfect for your patio area, decking or lined along your path. The more rustic looking, the better.

image of lots of different sizes of terracotta pots with olive trees and lavender
The more rustic the better! Image credit: JULIETTE WADE GETTY IMAGES
3 oddly shaped terracotta pots
Terracotta pots – Amazon

Gravel and Tiles

If you’ve got an area that is shaded, or doesn’t get a lot of sun, think about gravelling it with an interesting stone path weaving through.

This is extremely easy to create and low maintenance, as long as you install a thick weed membrane to begin with.

med inspired garden with wicker chairs, white gravel, festoon lights and a fire pit
We gravelled our last garden, it was the perfect space to relax in and on a warm balmy night, had all the Mediterranean feels.

Patterned tiles are also a good choice when creating a Mediterranean garden and are hugely popular at the moment.

You could designate a seating or dining area and buy porcelain tiles with bold mosaic patterns. Try to incorporate blue and white in the pattern for a striking and stylish space.

white house with a patterned tile patio and garden dining set
Tiled patio area. Image credit: Gardenista

Rockery

A rockery is the perfect solution to border your gravel area or path and can be the perfect place to grow herbs, succulents and different types of grasses. You could even incorporate a gentle water feature.

Add a water feature

Which leads me onto water! It doesn’t have to be a swimming pool (although, that is the dream!) You could add a small fountain or table water feature.

Haven’t got room for a pond or fountain? Maybe look at installing an upright water sculpture. Whatever you do, find space for it. The sound of trickling water whilst sat in your garden is good for the soul.

3 tiered water fountain in the garden
A rather grand water fountain for your garden. Outdoor fountain with light – Wayfair

Paint it White. Or Blue

Got a wall? Paint it white. Got a fence? Paint it blue.

White walls are fantastic at bouncing the light around your garden and give them a clean, crisp look.

It provides a dreamy backdrop for all those palms and grasses you’re going to plant and provides a brilliant contrast when combined with blue.

white rendered design in the garden with wooden seating and log fire
There is something very exotic about white walls in the garden. Image credit: redcurvedesign.com

If you don’t want to paint all of your fence’s blue (we did in our last house and absolutely loved them! The dark blue was such an amazing backdrop for all of our plants), maybe just paint the gate or shed blue.

It will immediately transport you to the Mediterranean.

dark blue fence, gravel floor and wooden chairs in the garden
We absolutely loved the blue of our fence. Cuprinol Iris Paint

Add some succulents

Succulents are some of my favourite plants. Cacti and succulents are great features in your Mediterranean garden and can grow out of your rockery or around your water feature.

a selection of brightly coloured succulents
Sempervivum Mix – Amazon

You can also line them up along your path or have them popping out of your stone wall.

Succulents are extremely easy to grow and keep alive and are generally drought tolerant. They can soften the harsh lines of your garden and come in many different shapes and sizes.

succulents sat on gravel in the garden
Easy to grow and interesting to look at. I love a succulent in the garden

Install a terrace

Terraces help section off parts of your garden, effectively creating a mini garden and are perfect for hilly slopes or gardens that are on different levels.

Garden terraces can also be created on balconies and rooftops.

tiered garden with terrace. dining set and lots of olive trees
Meet on the terrace for a gin. Photo by Tile Merchant Ireland on Unsplash 

Terrace gardens are best in south facing spots where they get the sun all day.

By adding a pergola or gazebo, you provide a bit of shade and really help zone this part of your Mediterranean garden.

Add terracotta pots with olive trees and a bistro inspired table and chair set.

sun loungers pair
Kubic 2 Seater Balcony set – Dunelm
wicker patio set on a patterned tile patio
SYNTHETIC RATTAN GARDEN SET BEKE – Sklum

Go Al Fresco

What is a Mediterranean garden without a place to eat outside? Al fresco dining is probably one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about hot, lazy days in the Med.

Choose a rustic wooden dining set or rattan style table and chairs that will look better as they age.

They are the perfect place to eat your feta cheese salad, washed down with a glass of white wine with family and friends.

wooden chairs and table with a parasol
Honolulu 6 seater dining bench set – Dunelm
garden dining set under trees
Set of 4 foldable chairs and table – Sklum

Flowering climbers

At this time of year, Instagram is awash with pictures of brightly coloured flowering climbers on whitewashed walls. Normally somewhere around the Med and normally installing an immediate feeling of envy.  

blue skies in greece, white walls, blue roofs and doors and bougainvillea in Greece
The Bougainvillea (aptly named) – Booking.com

Pink Bougainvillea tend to be the product of this envy and you can grow them in the UK. You just need to protect them from the harsh winter frost.

This means, they need to be planted in pots so that they can potentially be moved inside once November comes around.

Although, this provides a problem. How are you going to have your bougainvillea climbing up your freshly painted white garden wall if you have to keep moving them inside every winter?

image of bougainvillea
Bougainvillea – Waitrose Garden

Clematis is a good alternative and in particular, the “Sally” breed as it has bright pink flowers. Brightly coloured geraniums are also a good alternative.

image of clematis climbing up white walls
Clematis purple – Bakker

Excitingly, we are beginning our garden renovation next week. At the moment, it resembles a scrap metal yard after it was completely ripped up and levelled when we did our kitchen extension.

current house renovation
Work begins soon! Currently a gravel pit

We are having decking laid first, then we can start landscaping and zoning the rest of the garden.

I shall definitely be using all the above tips in our new garden plans.

Mel x

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