The Mediterranean landscape design evokes visions of crystal water and lush vegetation, while creating thoughts of relaxation with family and friends and savory cuisine made with aromatic herbs. No wonder this design style is becoming increasingly popular among Southern California homeowners, as well as those around the world.
Landscape designs influenced by the various regions of the Mediterranean work well in warm, breezy climates and are an ideal style to complement most modern homes. The Mediterranean garden style reflects the relaxed Mediterranean culture from California to Southern Europe and combines elegant details with the elements of nature. Several countries together have provided the foundation for Mediterranean design. France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, their contributions to architecture and culture are inspirational. Whether it’s the rolling hills and vineyards of Tuscany or the vibrant color of Andalusian styles, Mediterranean gardens share a few common threads. We like to call it a ‘European’ layout. Along with an open, airy feeling of freedom, this landscape design style generally follows a symmetrical formation.
Types of Common Mediterranean Landscape Design
The Mediterranean landscape design best for your home will greatly depend on your personal tastes, the style of your home, and your outdoor space needs. The following are some of the many garden styles found in this region.
Tuscan Garden Style – Old world Tuscany brought about a landscape that combines the rustic and simple peasantry lifestyle with the elegance and flair of Renaissance Italy. The Tuscan garden style features a variety of lush plants, fragrant spices, and often incorporates vegetable gardens as well. Natural, but sophisticated, materials create a relaxing Mediterranean atmosphere with Tuscan charm.
It’s easy to create a little piece of Tuscany in your outdoor space. When you think about Tuscany, products that inevitably come to mind are beautiful fountains, elegant statues; items that add style and elegance to any outdoor entertainment area. Elements within a Tuscan garden include: Terra cotta accessories, peaceful wall fountains, rustic stone surfaces, Mediterranean trees and shrubs and colorful and fragrant vines.
Moroccan Garden Design – Morocco’s influence on landscape design is vibrant, lush, and exotic. Romance and mystery mingle with intense detail and deep colors to create an outdoor living space perfect for hot, Mediterranean afternoons.
Arabian style outdoor furniture, isolated paths accented with rich colored mosaics, and calming evergreens sprinkled between rows of citrus trees are the defining characteristics of the unique look of a Moroccan garden. Water is an integral part of the Moroccan landscape design and is often seen in the form of elegant water fountains with a Moorish flair like this custom mosaic tile wall fountain. The sweet fragrance of roses and lavender and the soft glow of candles at twilight are also common in this intriguing style of Mediterranean landscape designs.
Santa Barbara Revival – Sunny Santa Barbara is one of the most picturesque cities in southern California. Following the devastating earthquake of 1925, the coastal town experienced a rebirth in architectural and landscape design. The majestic hillsides, overlooking the tumultuous waves of the Pacific, are now home to a number of affluent neighborhoods featuring the beautiful Spanish Mission and Spanish Colonial Revival designs that began at the turn of the 20th century.
Spanish Mission Revival Landscape Design – Spanish missions were some of the first structures built by the early Spanish settlers colonizing the California coast at the close of 18th century. These exquisite pieces of architecture reflected the Mediterranean landscape designs of Spain and were created to be self-sufficient, providing space for animals, as well as fruit trees and vegetable gardens. Around the end of the 1800’s, this style of architecture and landscaping created new interest and began to spread across the nation, influencing many communities in Florida and California. The Spanish mission revival landscape design plays a prominent role in the overall estate and provides a functional, relaxing, and beautiful outdoor living space.
The Spanish mission revival style is recognized by: simple stucco and adobe styled block exteriors and colorful clay tile roofs, elegant arches, walkways, and gables add unique Spanish flavor to the home’s exterior, clearly defined geometric patterns and shapes throughout the design, and coastal Mediterranean vegetation, including citrus and palms.
Spanish Colonial Revival Garden Style – Following the Spanish mission revival, a surge in other types of Spanish colonial architecture and landscaping arose. This era of elegant homes and Mediterranean style estates was referred to as the Spanish Colonial Revival Style and was most popular during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The Spanish colonial revival style is quite similar to the Spanish mission style, featuring the same stucco, terra cotta, and clay tile elements. This architectural design is most often seen in single story structures with sprawling estates that are ideal for a custom landscape with Mediterranean design. Both of these Spanish influenced home and garden styles are evident throughout southern California, especially in Santa Barbara.
Andalusia Landscape Design – The elegant, shade-draped outdoor space of the Moroccan garden style, combined with the simple beauty of Spanish influenced design, creates the Andalusia style. Andalusia style estates often include romantic elements of Moroccan design, along with the deep colors and mosaic accents, blended with the relaxed stucco and clay materials of Spanish architecture for another relaxed, yet intriguing, garden style that is ideal for homes in areas like Beverly Hills California.
French Country Garden Style – Elegant, but relaxed, the French country garden style is natural and lush, accented with gracious curves and flowing patterns. This naturally appealing style of landscape design resembles the beauty of the countryside with the unkempt, but stunning, display of free growing plants, like lavender, lilac, and meadows of wild flowers. Like most Mediterranean landscape designs, the French country garden style also provides a functional and useful outdoor living area. Vegetable and herb gardens are common elements, as well as fruit and nut bearing trees, but secluded sitting areas and romantic blooms are equally important aspects of this design. Fragrant, country rose bushes, climbing vines full of color and fragrance, and grapevines reminiscent of French country vineyards are often included. These many different types of Mediterranean landscape design are very similar, but each has their defining attributes that complete the overall theme of your outdoor style.