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What to plant when creating a Mediterranean style garden ?

Keith-16Keith-16 Posts: 21
My wife and I are seeking  to create  creating a “ Mediterranean “ section in our garden partly because we like the concept and partly from a practical point of view  that if we have a section with plants shrubs and herbs which can withstand very dry conditions there will be less watering to do - in the recent prolonged drought which is still continuing  we have lost many items despite regular and very time consuming watering 
Preferably low maintenance and preferably evergreens if possible so that we have something all year round
We are thinking on the lines of Senekio Hebes Yucca / Palms Heuchara Santolina Sedums and Sempervivum which we already have experience of 
An olive tree would be nice but would it survive our winters - we live in West Lancashire 
A few pencil Cypress trees spring to mind but again would they survive our winters
As for herbs we are familiar with Lavender Rosemary Thyme Sage and Oregano as being drought tolerant 
Roses seem to tolerate dry conditions well
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated 
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  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,658
    An olive tree in a pot might work, perhaps against a south-facing wall and you can always fleece it in winter. My little ones in pots survived to -8c with no winter protection. Teucrium Fruiticans (shrubby germander) is a lovely silvery shrub with pretty lilac flowers. Given where I am, I should be able to give you lots of suggestions for Mediterranean plants, but I am not sure about winter hardiness in your area? 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,041
    Myrtle
    bush salvias
    bay
    sedum
    coreopsis
    erigeron, creeping thyme and other ground covers (incl aromatic ones)
    verbena bon.
    A grape, if you have lots of sun.
    Fig

    Have a look at the listing for Beth Chatto's gravel garden that is entirely unwatered.

    I would favour plants in the ground, nothing in pots. Mulch the plants with gravel.

    The plants will need watering regularly for the first season, but some might be fine after that.


  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    Helianthemum, cistus, artemisia, anthemis punctata, sunflowers.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,658
    Do you want to swap places, Fire  ;) 

    For the easy care, evergreen bit, Broom, Cistus, Portuguese laurel, Mastic, Strawberry Tree, Euphorbia, Privet, Phlomis, Nandina, Tree Mallow (semi-evergreen), Oleander, most pine and cypress can withstand cold winters. 

    If you look up what your USDA hardiness zone is, that’s a good indication of what is cold hardy enough for your garden, but it does depend on its aspect and how exposed it is as well. A sheltered south-facing courtyard garden will give you a greater range than an exposed, windy site, for example.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,279
    I think you need to think clearly about what it is you actually want.
    Many of the plants you mention, are certainly foreign, but are not Mediterranean.
    Are you just looking for a low maintenance garden?
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,549
    edited July 2018
    Keith-16 said:

    An olive tree would be nice but would it survive our winters - we live in West Lancashire 
    A few pencil Cypress trees spring to mind but again would they survive our winters
    As for herbs we are familiar with Lavender Rosemary Thyme Sage and Oregano as being drought tolerant 
    Roses seem to tolerate dry conditions well

    I think olives are pretty hardy as long as they aren't waterlogged. You may not get fruit from it.
    Most cypress trees are hardy enough for Lancashire but if in doubt, juniper is a good stand in, tough as old boots and also common right across Europe including the med. 'Skyrocket' is the right shape.
    Marjoram is tougher than oregano, more reliably evergreen and more fragrant. Bees love it. 
    Roses need heavy soil, then they'll tolerate dry weather better. There are a few - rugosa types and 'Canary Bird' for example - that will cope with lighter soil. They can both be inclined to spread though.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,041
    My wife and I are seeking  to create  creating a “ Mediterranean “ section.

    As you have Mediterranean in quotes, I take it you might be looking for a Med feel, rather than all Med plants only. With low watering, low maintenance, plants that like poor soil.

  • BijdezeeBijdezee BPosts: 1,484
    edited July 2018
    I would suggest Artemisia, Perovskia (Russian sage), Hyssop, calamintha, Dill, coriander, cistus, euphorbias and santolina. A bay tree? Oleander (potted as it needs protection against frosts). Ballerina Rose does quite well with dry conditions. 
  • Keith-16Keith-16 Posts: 21

    Thank you all for your valuable contributions which are all very helpful

    The section of the garden in question is well away from the house and therefore not easy to water 

    The plot  gets plenty of sun starting with sun from the east first thing and then from the south as it moves round but not much in very late afternoon and evening from the west because  there are trees to the west on neighbouring land 

    There are also trees to the north on neighbouring land so the plot is reasonably sheltered 

    We are basically looking for plants shrubs and herbs etc which will be low maintenance as well as having the ability to  withstand very dry conditions and my first thought was that “Mediterranean “ types  would fit the bill and be apt as one of our favourite holiday destinations is the Greek Island of Kefalonia but as long  as they reduce the amount of watering and maintenance  which I need to do I do not mind what the origin of the plants shrubs and herbs are 

    Fire has hit the nail on the head with the comment “ As you have Mediterranean in quotes, I take it you might be looking for a Med feel, rather than all Med plants only. With low watering, low maintenance, plants that like poor soil “ that is exactly what we are seeking to achieve 

    We have a patio / alfresco dining area  close to the house dotted with well establish plants etc of various types and origins in pots which are easy to water with the watering can as they are close to the outside water tap 

    We do all the gardening ourselves without any help 

    I am 76 and although I am fit and active ( touch wood ) and spend many hours gardening ( including heavy stuff ) as we have an acre and a half it would be of great benefit if I could transform the section in question into a relatively low maintenance low watering area but still attractive area 

    I have made list of all suggestions and first of all will take  a look at what local garden centres have in stock which would fit the bill 


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,375
    just looked at your original post. I would remove Heuchera from that list.
    Origanum is doing well in the dry soil here this year, also Eryngiums and Nepetas
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