How to Design a Mediterranean Garden


When designing a Mediterranean garden keep in mind that the plant materials are almost secondary to the other features---stone terraces, pergolas, rustic furniture and garden ornamentation. Also keep in mind that the Mediterranean climate is dry during the summer growing season. Install plant material that doesn't require abundant watering. Do not use plastic or modern-looking metal for accessories or structures in a Mediterranean garden. Aim to create a relaxed, calming outdoor space using furniture and other hardscapes made of natural materials in subtle, earthy colors.

Step 1

Use stone, concrete or ceramics as materials for pathways, patios and outdoor planters.

Step 2

Concentrate on sun splashed or earthy colors, such as terracotta, or the many varieties of natural stone. Use splashes of bright colors in tiles or mosaics for contrast.

Step 3

Minimize lawn areas, opting instead to use gravel, natural stone or concrete paving.

Step 4

Provide overhead shade in the form of pergolas, trellised vines, covered patios or covered verandas.

Step 5

Use rustic furniture made of rough-cut timber for a casual look or wrought iron for a more formal effect.

Step 6

Limit garden ornaments to traditional statuary or other rustic accessories made of natural materials. Avoid the use of plastic or metal, except for wrought iron used as railings, window security bars or formal furniture.

Step 7

Use plant materials either native to the dry Mediterranean summer climate or which does not require an abundance of water during the summer months. Some examples are olive, bay or citrus trees, flowering tropical vines such as oleander, bougainvillea, mandeville or climbing roses. Include also the Mediterranean herbs lavender, Rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, sage and basil. Grown as container topiary, these trees or herbs evoke the feeling of a Mediterranean garden

Step 8

Feature containers made of natural materials planted with citrus trees or topiary. Install window boxes overflowing with flowers and herbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Natural stone and concrete
  • Rustic wood
  • Mosaic tile
  • Trellises
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Outdoor rustic plant containers


  • ACS Garden: Mediterranean Gardens
  • Landscape Design Advisor

Who Can Help

  • Mediterranean Garden Society
Keywords: design Mediterranean garden, garden design, planning a Mediterranean garden