The Mediterranean Estate garden works well with most Southern California homes. If you reside in a home that is not custom built, often in a planned community, this style might be appropriate for your architecture. This garden features casual elegance with areas depicting an outdoor life style. Natural elements are used, including terra cotta pots, clay patio tiles, stone and paver walkways, decorative stone, statues, free-standing fountains, and of course, elegant swimming pools, spas, and outdoor entertainment areas. These gardens are often formal looking near the residence but become more informal as the landscape extends into the yard. Although the landscape plants look lush and elegant, the majority of shrubs and trees used are drought-tolerant. Water features are important. When you enter the back yard patio retreat, serene water fountains surrounded by flowering shrubs, combined with the smell of fragrant herbs and blooming citrus provide a calm, tranquil setting.
Mediterranean Estate Elements: Natural stone or tumbled pavers create interesting patios and walkways. Arbors and pergolas with decomposed granite floors add areas of relaxation, as do seating areas within the garden. Outdoor kitchens and entertainment areas are a popular addition, especially if a classic-shaped pool and elevated spa is part of the back yard design. Decorative tiered water fountains, water urns, and fire pits add audio and visual pleasure for family and guests. Depending on your lifestyle, a bocce ball court is an authentic element for the Mediterranean Estate.
Mediterranean Estate Plants: The Mediterranean plant palette contains wonderful choices, as well as surprises. Some familiar shrub species include Rosemary, Dwarf Lavender, Purple New Zealand Flax, and numerous drought tolerant species available at local nurseries. Citrus trees, both in containers and trained on walls as espaliers, are important. Trees include Olives, Dwarf Columnar Cypress, Junipers, Sky Pencil Holly, Patio Tree shrubs, and depending on the size of the yard, some specimen Stone or Aleppo Pines along the yard’s perimeter. Placed properly, raised herb and vegetable gardens are an excellent addition. A maze or labyrinth may be created with small hedges such as Boxwood, Carpet Roses, or rows of Dwarf Daylilies with mixed colors.