Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mediterranean Landscaping

Unfortunately or Fortunately I can never quite unplug from work when I'm on vacation, and on our last trip to Spain the landscaping really inspired me. Seeing the history of Mediterranean culture incorporated into the picturesque Spanish landscape gave me the idea me to post a blog about some of the features I encountered that you could incorporate into your own yard to make your outdoor space feel like a private Mediterranean get away.

The beauty of the south of Spain is really indescribable: Mountains embracing the sea, crisp blue sky merging into the aquamarine waters, tropical plants, a sense of history and opulence. The food is delicious too! If you have time and money I seriously recommend taking a trip to southern Spain to experience the breathtaking aesthetics for yourself, but if you still want the feel of a Mediterranean paradise while remaining in the comfort of your own home I have some tips for that too! Below are some themes I noticed in the Spanish gardens that you could use in your own yard to create the same Mediterranean feel.

1. Tropical Plants: Cactus, fruit trees, palms -- incorporate some exotic plants into your landscape. Talk with your landscaper to find plants that will work with your climate, but still produce a Mediterranean feel.

Fresh Limes!

2. Hedges: sculpted boxwood-- A great way to add structure and form to your garden. The line of the hedges helps lead the viewer to a focal point in the yard. These were a big theme in the Spanish gardens we visited.

 3. Pergola: Another nice feature. In Spain, they provide shade from the hot Mediterranean sun while still allowing for airflow. Pergolas have the magical ability of transforming an outdoor space into a romantic garden.

4. Mosaics: Mosaics can be incorporated into any type of hardscape and really give it an opulent and exotic feel. These were very common in many of the outdoor spaces we visited and many of them were very old.

 5. Stone work: Natural stone was used in many of the gardens and castles, both new and old. The stonework resonated with history but also echoed the majestic mountains that bordered the sea.

 6. Character Trees: I saw lots of interesting trees that spoke of the history and of the climate. By featuring an exotic or interesting tree in your yard you can capture that Mediterranean feel.

7. Bull ring: Hey, if you really want to be authentic, how about installing a bull ring? --- just watch out for the bulls! Yikes!