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Mediterranean garden

Hi there,
I am quite new to gardening and we just move into a  new house, with a private garden! Is not a massive one, west orientation and I live in Bristol. I'm originally from Spain,  so I really want to create a Mediterranean style garden. I have researched but I won't have access to a conservatory/green house during the winter months,  so I am asking for some advice about what will work with this climate!
Thanks a lot for your help in advance!


  • Do you know what kind of soil you have? It’s easier to grow Mediterranean plants in dry soil, but even if you have too much moisture, there are still things that can give a Mediterranean type effect. 
  • AthelasAthelas Posts: 701
    edited April 2021
    Agree it would be good to know the soil type. 

    I’m in East Anglia and things that have worked for me are: different kinds of lavender planted in threes and fives to create a sort of tapestry effect (, but not the French type which isn’t hardy), rosemary (the semi prostrate variety forms a cloud shaped shrubby border), Mediterranean spurge, Corsican hellebore, creeping thyme spilling over edges, and Trachelospermum jasminoides trained against a trellis.

    I have clay soil and the plants seem not to mind.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 6,759
    A surprisingly wide range of Mediterranean plants can be grown successfully in the UK, in fact, Bristol has a milder winter climate than I do in the Catalan mountains. I cannot grow citrus or bougainvillea here and lavender struggles in my soil. So more important than general climate is your own microclimate and the soil in your garden. A sunny garden sheltered from cold winds is much better than an a windy, exposed site or one that is shaded for much of the day.

    Most Med plants like a poorer, free-draining soil, so if you have heavy, waterlogged clay, your best bet is to create a sheltered, courtyard-style garden with lots of pots, so that you can provide the right free-draining growing medium and position them in the sunniest spots. Raised beds are also a possibility to overcome poor drainage, if that is a problem. So a little analysis of your soil, hours of direct sun you receive and where the prevailing winds come from would be your first step.

    ‘Mediterranean’ covers a very wide range of plants and climates, though. Although you probably won’t be able to grow citrus or bougainvillea outside either, or some of the tender palms, there are plenty that will be happy if you provide the right conditions, some that will survive in very exposed sites or even clay soil if it is on a slope so can drain off excess rainfall. It’s the combination of cold and wet soil that most object too. So step two is to make a long list of all the plants you want to grow, then research their needs and cross off the ones you definitely won’t be able to provide the right conditions for.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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