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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?