Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld


Mediterranean Garden Style

in Queensland

As an aesthetic style, "Mediterranean" on this page refers to a general look derived from those parts of Europe bordering the Mediterranean Sea, particularly Spain, France, Italy and Greece. A few years ago, a "Tuscan" style of home and garden became popular. Tuscany is a region of Italy. The Riviera is the strip of coast spanning the French/Italian border including Cannes and Monte Carlo (Monaco)

With some adjustments to allow for climatic differences, the Mediterranean style in many ways suited to the modern suburban landscape of Brisbane with its high density housing, development of remaining outdoor spaces into paved and walled entertainment areas, and restricted water supply.


Mediterranean style on show

A new European show with potentially more relevance to us than Chelsea is the Radicepura Garden Festival on in Sicily, Italy. This is "the first international event dedicated to Mediterranean garden design and landscape architecture". Although there are some important differences between those conditions and ours, many of the same plants can be grown. Arguably, the Mediterranean style has more relevance to us going forward (more on this in a future edition). Meanwhile, take a look at the Radicepura Garden Festival website and keep an eye on social media. This event runs until October 2017. (May 2017)

Ancient Egyptian garden discovered

Excavations in Luxor, Egypt have uncovered a 4000 year old funerary garden. This is the first garden of its kind to be found, except in illustrations. The garden is located in a courtyard at the entrance to a tomb. It consists of a 3m x 2m raised area divided into a grid of small beds and two trees planted nearby. Seeds found on the site are yet to be identified, but the plants grown in the garden probably had a symbolic or ritual significance. Source: A first-ever find by the Djehuty Project in Egypt: a funeral garden known of until now only through iconography (May, 2017)

Suppliers of Mediterranean style garden accessories

While a general garden centre near you will probably stock a variety of plants, pots and other accessories that you could use in a Mediteranean style garden, this section is intended for suppliers that might be considered specialists. If you operate a business supplying such products to the home garden market in Qld, you can find more information about advertising on this website here: Information for advertisers.

See following links for pots, fountains, art, gravel, pavers, etc. Garden Art and Decorative Accessories, Pots and Containers, Landscape Supply

More Online Information

The Meditteranean climate is characterised by rainfall occurring in mainly in winter. Summers are hot but dry. Besides the Mediterranean region, other parts of the world having a "Mediterranean" climate include south-western parts of the African, South American and Australian continents.

Many popular ornamental plants come from these regions and tend to be tolerant of dry conditions. Unfortunately, they can be sensitive to the hot wet conditions characteristic of tropical and subtropical climates. Most of Queensland would be classed as having a tropical or subtropical climate, a characteristic being hot and humid summers. Summer is typically the storm and cyclone season with potentially large volumes of rain falling (and associated waterlogging).

Unfortunately, many classic Mediterranean plants don't cope well with the combination of heat and humidity characteristic of a tropical/subtropical climate. Queenslanders can help overcome these limitations with tricks such as:
- using less sensitive species or varieties (e.g. among the lavenders)
- using subsititutes with a similar look (e.g. salvias vs lavenders)
- soil amendments
- planting in containers and raised beds

A few plants have been listed on the right. This list will be developed further in future updates.

Some plants & related topics
(these plants don't necessarily originate in the Mediterranean region, but could be used in a garden of that style)
Pelargonium (Geraniums)
Silver foliaged plants
Citrus (see Fruit)
Olives (see Fruit)
Pomegranates (see Fruit)
Edible Figs (see Fruit)

The following would be particularly suitable for a "resort" look:
Canary Island Date Palm (see Palms)
Succulents various tropical species

Other Resources

The following may be useful for further research
Mediterranean Life, Interior Design and Photography This blog includes some nice photgraphy of outdoor living areas and gardens
Granada Gardens Blog about gardening in Spain
Why is lavender such a good Meditteranean genus? in: Harrisiana, Newsletter of the friends of the Harris Garden, UK. A good overview of Mediteranean vegetation and some of the ways plants adapt to harsh conditions of the region. (PDF)
French gardens of the Renaissance School of Architecture, Planning and Landsape, Newcastle University
olives and artichokes Blog from a Mediterranean garden in the Languedoc, France
French Country Goes Low Maintenance Story about one designer's approach at the website of US publication Landscape Management
The Epoch of Philip II: Botanical and Horticultural Impact Gardens in Spain and Portugal in the 16th Century. In Chronica Horticulturae, December 2009, International Society for Horticultural Science (PDF)
Costa de la Luz Gardening Blog about gardening in Andalucia, Spain
Catalan Garden gardening in Spain, with an emphasis on vegetables
CityGarden A blog from Greece
The gardens at Monte Carlo Reproduction of an 1891 article. Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University (PDF)
Creating a Roman garden Pyrrha's Roman Pages
Roman Concrete A website dedicated to research into use of concrete by the Romans
Landscape of the Month: Giardini del Palazzo About an Italian-inspired garden in Dallas, Texas Online articleLandscape Management at the website (USA)
Italian Gardening Blog about growing Italian fruits & vegetables Pennsylvania
Pelargonium wall Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture
The Balcony Garden blog from Milan, Italy

Possible misspellings: Mediteranean, Mediterranian, Meditteranean, Meditterranean

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