Bored With Your Garden? 2 Distinctive Garden Styles To Inspire You!

If you’re struggling for inspiration in your garden and want to create a dramatic effect, take a look at these two inspiring options. They are equally impressive but very different in character.

1. Mediterranean

Mediterranean gardens typically features a combination of formal and rustic. These styles reproduce the dramatic landscape associated with Italy, Spain and Greece.

Whilst not all areas are lucky enough to have the Mediterranean climate, it is possible to maintain the native Mediterranean plants with the correct soil improvement and protection during the coldest months. Mulching, composting and improved drainage will help as will covering plants with straw during frost or bringing pots inside.

The lavish foliage and strong colors of the Mediterranean garden provide an impressive setting to even small, courtyard type spaces. Palms, yuccas, aloes, eucalyptus and cypress are commonly used to add impressive foliage and shape, whilst mimosa and jasmine provide color and scent.

Herbs in pots or borders add to the sensual experience and can also be used in cooking, which is a major part of the Mediterranean outdoor experience.

Strong colors are carried through from the planting to the landscaping with brightly rendered walls in shades of terracotta and blue. Stonework and tiling is also a common feature with the use of mosaic and mirroring touching on the Moorish influence.

Jars and pots can be used for planting or just for decoration, again in earthy colors and natural materials such as stone, wood and clay.

Topiary, trellis and pergolas are widely used and allow for shade and scented climbers to encourage outdoor living and eating.

Outdoor furniture is essential in natural materials, as well as bright table cloths and cushions add to the experience of enjoying the outdoor space to the maximum. Natural materials such as rattan or wicker are often used in Mediterranean outdoor furniture.

2. Japanese

The Japanese garden strives to achieve harmony, privacy and calm. There is an attention to detail and clean lines, which makes it a high maintenance space.

Common elements are raked gravel, stepping stones, lanterns, ornamental bridges and padoga.

Plants commonly found in Japanese gardens include dwarf pines, japanese maple and bonsai with azalea blossom and the bright foliage of the firebush or maple adding color all year round.

Grasses and bamboo also appear, with bamboo being the preferred material for fencing and gating. Water also features either with ponds or water features or being represented by expanses of gravel.

As with Mediterranean gardens, it’s typical to see natural materials such as rattan used in Japanese garden furniture.

Styles of Japanese garden falls into three categories:

a. Hill and Pond

This is the classic theme of larger or public gardens and represents the mountainous landscape of Japan. Hill and Pond involves the use of a path to guide your way around the slowly revealed landscape.

b. The Flat Garden

This originates from the open flat spaces found in front of palaces or temples. Gravelling again represents the open space with shading being provided by surrounding shrubs. This type of garden is well suited to a smaller, courtyard garden or roof terrace.

c. Tea Gardens

These include the features such as paths, water basin and gates. The planting is sparse and the atmosphere rustic. Lanterns, water and stepping stones commonly appear as well as the pagoda, which represents the venue for the tea ceremony. The tea garden would usually be a gated off element of a larger garden, providing seclusion and peace away from the outside world.

It may be the restrained, well maintained hide-away of the Japanese garden that appeals. Or, if you like to use your imagination and get creative, the Mediterranean garden provides lots of scope but also a clear framework to start from.

Could you consider these two very different, individual garden styles when planning your garden?

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