Mediterranean garden ideas

green_CA(z10aCA)October 29, 2005

Hello All,

I am re-doing my backyard and would like to turn it into a Mediterranean garden. If anyone has ideas about types of plants and pictures please post them as I will need as much help as possible. My garden space is L-shape.

Green

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butterfly15_ca(Sunset15 USDA9b)

Some plants for a Mediterranean garden could be:
Oleander
Mediterranean Fan Palm
Cirus
Lavender
Olive

These are the only ones I could think of off the top of my head! Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 1:23AM
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CA Kate

We just returned from Italy and came away with one biggy ---- terracotta pots filled with geraniums EVERYWHERE.... from the humblest home to the Noble Houses... pots and pots of geraniums.

And, to the list above: grapes. :^)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 8:27AM
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gardenguru1950(SunsetZ16)

THE "CALIFORNIA-MEDITERRANEAN GARDEN"
A combination of California and Mediterranean Basin natives

* = can be hedged, boxed

Small Trees --

Aesculus californica CALIFORNIA BUCKEYE
Arbutus Marina HYBRID STRAWBERRY TREE
Ceratonia siliqua CAROB
Cercis siliquastrum JUDASÂ TREE
x Chiranthofremontia lenzii HYBRID FREMONTIA
Cupressus guadalupensis GUADALUPE CYPRESS
Dracaena draco DRAGON TREE
Laurus nobilis* BAY LAUREL
Laurus 'Saratoga' SARATOGA LAUREL
Lyonothamnus floribundus asplenifolius
SANTA CRUZ IRONWOOD
Olea europaea OLIVE
Quercus ilex HOLLY OAK
Quercus suber CORK OAK

Shrubs --

Arbutus unedo STRAWBERRY TREE
Arctostaphylos densiflora ÂHoward McMinnÂ* MANZANITA
Calycanthus occidentalis CALIFORNIA SPICEBUSH
Carpenteria californica BUSH ANEMONE
Ceanothus ÂConchaÂ* CEANOTHUS
Cistus ÂAnne PalmerÂ, ÂChelsea BonnetÂ, ÂPeggy SammonsÂ,
ÂSanta CruzÂ, ÂSilver PinkÂ, ÂVictor ReiterÂ
HYBRID ROCKROSES
Cistus crispus ÂDescanso ROCKROSE
Cistus ladanifer ÂBlancheÂ, ÂMaculatus LADANUM ROCKROSE
Cistus laurifolius ÂBennettÂs White ROCKROSE
Cistus salviifolius SAGE-LEAF ROCKROSE
Cotinus coggygria SMOKE TREE
Dendromecon rigida harfordii ISLAND BUSH POPPY
Echium candicans PRIDE-OF-MADEIRA
Eriogonum arborescens SANTA CRUZ ISLAND BUCKWHEAT
Eriogonum giganteum ST. CATHERINEÂS LACE
Fremontodendron californicum FREMONTIA
Galvezia speciosa ISLAND BUSH SNAPDRAGON
Garrya elliptica COAST SILK-TASSEL
x Halimiocistus sahucii HYBRID ROCKROSE
x Halimiocistus wintonensis HYBRID ROCKROSE
Halimium lasianthum DWARF YELLOW ROCKROSE
Jasminum mesnyi PRIMROSE JASMINE
Lavatera maritima ÂBicolor SHORE MALLOW
Mimulus (Diplacus) Hybrids BUSH MONKEY FLOWER
Myrica californica (inc. ÂBuxifoliaÂ*) PACIFIC WAX MYRTLE
Philadelphus lewisii californicus ÂCoveloÂ, ÂGoose CreekÂ
WILD MOCK ORANGE
Polygala myrtifolia ÂGrandifloraÂ* MYRTLE-LEAF MILKWORT
Rhamnus californica* COFFEEBERRY
Ribes aureum gracillimum GOLDEN CURRANT
Ribes sanguineum (and glutinosum) FLOWERING CURRANT
Romneya coulteri ÂWhite Cloud MATILLIJA POPPY
Rosa chinensis ÂMutabilisÂ* BUTTERFLY CHINA ROSE
Rosmarinus officinalis* ROSEMARY
Salvia clevelandii ÂWinnifred Gilman CLEVELAND SAGE
Teucrium fruticans ÂAzureum BUSH GERMANDER
Vaccinium ovatum* CALIFORNIA EVERGREEN HUCKLEBERRY

California "Subshrubs" --

Arctotis x hybrida VELDT DAISY
Argyranthemum frutescens MARGUERITE DAISY
Artemisia ÂPowis Castle SILKY WORMWOOD
Centaurea cinerea DUSTY MILLER (one of many)
Erysimum ÂBowleÂs Mauve BUSH WALLFLOWER
Lavandula angustifolia ENGLISH LAVENDER
Lavandula x intermedia HYBRID LAVENDERS
Lavandula latifolia SPIKE LAVENDER
Lavandula stoechas* SPANISH LAVENDER
Pelargonium x domesticum REGAL GERANIUM
Pelargonium graveolens ROSE GERANIUM
Pelargonium x hortorum COMMON GERANIUM
Pelargonium quercifolium ALMOND GERANIUM
Phlomis fruticosa JERUSALEM SAGE
Phlomis italica PINK PHLOMIS
Phlomis lanata ÂPygmy DWARF PHLOMIS
Phlomis purpurea PURPLE PHLOMIS
Phlomis x ÂEdward Bowles HYBRID PHLOMIS
Salvia leucantha MEXICAN BUSH SAGE
Trichostema lanatum WOOLY BLUE CURLS

Ground Covers --

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi ÂRadiantÂ, ÂPoint Reyes BEARBERRY
Capparis spinosa CAPER BUSH
Ceanothus gloriosus ÂAnchor BayÂ, ÂPoint Reyes CEANOTHUS
Ceanothus griseus ÂYankee Point CEANOTHUS
Erodium reichardii CRANESBILL
Fragaria chiloensis BEACH STRAWBERRY
Fragaria vesca californica WOODLAND STRAWBERRY
Hedera canariensis ÂVariegata VARIEGATED ALGERIAN IVY
Hedera colchica PERSIAN IVY
Mentha requienii CORSICAN MINT
Pelargonium peltatum IVY GERANIUM
Sedum spathuifolium PACIFIC STONECROP
Teucrium x lucidrys ÂProstratum TRAILING GERMANDER

Vines --

Clematis cirrhosa ÂFrecklesÂ, ÂGuernsey CreamÂ
EVERGREEN VIRGINÂS BOWER
Clematis viticella ÂEtoile Violette BLUE VIRGINÂS BOWER
Hedera canariensis ÂVariegata VARIEGATED ALGERIAN IVY
Hedera colchica PERSIAN IVY
Jasminum azoricum RIVER JASMINE
Jasminum officinale affine SUMMER JASMINE
Rosa banksiae LADY BANKS ROSE
Solanum jasminoides WHITE POTATO VINE
Vitis californica ÂRogerÂs Red RED-LEAF CALIFORNIA GRAPE
Vitis vinifera ÂPurpurea RED-LEAF GRAPE

Perennials --

Acanthus mollis BEARÂS BREECH
Aethionema grandiflorum PERSIAN STONE CRESS
Ballota pseudodictamnus ÂNanaÂ* DWARF HOREHOUND
Centranthus ruber JUPITERÂS BEARD
Delphinium cardinale SCARLET LARKSPUR
Digitalis dubia DWARF FOXGLOVE
Echium pininana BLUE TOWER OF JEWELS
Epilobium (Zauschneria) ÂBowman Hybrid CALIFORNIA FUCHSIA
Epilobium (Zauschneria) californica latifolia CALIFORNIA FUCHSIA
Epilobium (Zauschneria) canum CALIFORNIA FUCHSIA
Erigeron glaucus SEA FLEABANE
Euphorbia characias wulfenii MEDITERRANEAN SPURGE
Euphorbia x martinii RED SPURGE
Euphorbia myrsinites MYRTLE SPURGE
Euphorbia rigida SILVER SPURGE
Geranium maderense (monocarpic) MADEIRA CRANESBILL
Helianthemum nummularium SUNROSE
Helleborus argutifolius (corsicus) CORSICAN HELLEBORE
Helleborus lividus CHRISTMAS ROSE
Heuchera maxima and hybrids CORAL BELLS
Iris Pacific Coast Hybrids PACIFIC COAST IRIS
Isoplexis canariensis CANARY ISLAND SNAPDRAGON
Lathyrus latifolius EVERLASTING PEA
Leymus condensatus ÂCanyon Prince BLUE ISLAND RYE GRASS
Limonium perezii PERENNIAL STATICE
Mimulus cardinalis SCARLET MONKEY FLOWER
Nepeta racemosa ÂWalkerÂs Low PERSIAN CATMINT
Nepeta ÂSix Hills Giant SIX HILLS GIANT CATMINT
Nolina parryi SPOON GRASS
Origanum x ÂJimÂs BestÂ, ÂRotkugelÂ, ÂSanta CruzÂ
ORNAMENTAL OREGANOES
Penstemon centranthifolius SCARLET BUGLER
Penstemon heterophyllus BLUE PENSTEMON
Penstemon spectabilis SHOWY PENSTEMON
Polystichum munitum WESTERN SWORD FERN
Salvia officinalis SAGE
Salvia spathacea HUMMINGBIRD SAGE
Sisyrinchium bellum BLUE-EYED GRASS
Thalictrum fendleri polycarpum FENDLERÂS MEADOW RUE
Yucca whipplei ADAMÂS NEEDLE

Specialty Succulents --

Aeonium AEONIUM
Agave parryi PARRYÂS AGAVE
Agave shawii SHAWÂS CENTURY PLANT
Aloe ALOE (many)
Crassula (various)
Dudleya CHALK PLANT, LIVE-FOREVERS
Echeveria HENÂS-AND-CHICKS
Kalanchoe tomentosa PANDA PLANT
Lampranthus deltoides OSCULARIA
Opuntia PRICKLY PEARS
Sedum spathuifolium PACIFIC STONECROP
Yucca YUCCAS

Bulbs --

Allium schubertii FIREWORKS
Allium sphaerocephalon DRUMSTICKS
Anemone coronaria WINDFLOWER
Anemone x fulgens FLAME ANEMONE
Arum italicum ÂPictum (Marmoratum) ITALIAN ARUM
Arum pictum AUTUMN ARUM
Bloomeria crocea GOLDEN STARS
Brodiaea elegans HARVEST BRODIAEA
Chlorogalum pomeridianum SOAP PLANT
Colchicum autumnale AUTUMN CROCUS
Cyclamen persicum CYCLAMEN
Dichelostemma pulchellum BLUE DICKS
Gladiolus communis byzantinus SPANISH WILD GLADIOLA
Gladiolus hybrids GLADIOLA
Hyacinthoides hispanica SPANISH BLUEBELLS
Iris unguicularis WINTER IRIS
Iris xiphium DUTCH IRIS
Lilium candidum MADONNA LILY
Narcissus jonquilla JONQUILS (many)
Narcissus papyraceus PAPERWHITES
Narcissus poeticus POETÂS DAFFODIL
Narcissus tazetta TAZETTA DAFFODIL
Ornithogalum arabicum STAR OF BETHLEHEM
Ornithogalum nutans NODDING STAR OF BETHLEHEM
Ornithogalum thyrsoides CHINCHERINCHEE
Ranunculus asiaticus RANUNCULUS
Scilla peruviana PERUVIAN SQUILL
Triteleia hyacinthina WHITE BRODIAEA
Triteleia laxa ITHURIELÂS SPEAR

Winter/Spring annual flowers --

Antirrhinum majus SNAPDRAGON
Cerinthe major HONEYWORT
Consolida ambigua LARKSPUR
Iberis umbellata CANDYTUFT
Lathyrus odoratus SWEET PEA
Lathyrus tingitanus TANGIERS SCARLET PEA
Lavatera trimestris TREE MALLOW
Lobularia maritima SWEET ALYSSUM
Malope trifida ANNUAL MALOPE
Molucella laevis BELLS-OF-IRELAND
Nigella damascena LOVE-IN-A-MIST
Papaver rhoeas SHIRLEY POPPY
Reseda odorata MIGNONETTE
Tropaeolum majus NASTURTIUM

Easy "Wild" flowers for sowing out in Fall --

Centaurea cyanus CORNFLOWER
Chrysanthemum carinatum TRICOLOR DAISY
Chrysanthemum coronarium GARLAND CHRYSANTHEMUM
Chrysanthemum segetum CORN MARIGOLD
Clarkia amoena GODETIA
Clarkia unguiculata (elegans) CLARKIA
Collinsia heterophylla CHINESE HOUSES
Consolida ambigua LARKSPUR
Eschscholzia californica CALIFORNIA POPPY
Gilia capitata BLUE GILIA
Gilia tricolor BIRDÂS EYE GILIA
Iberis umbellata CANDYTUFT
Layia platyglossa TIDY TIPS
Linanthus androsaceus LINANTHUS
Lupinus bicolor BLUE AND WHITE LUPINE
Lupinus densiflorus YELLOW LUPINE
Lupinus nanus SKY LUPINE
Lupinus succulentus ARROYO LUPINE
Malope trifida ANNUAL MALOPE
Mentzelia lindleyi BLAZING-STAR
Nemophila maculata FIVESPOT
Nemophila menziesii BABY BLUE EYES
Nigella damascena LOVE-IN-A-MIST
Papaver rhoeas SHIRLEY POPPY
Phacelia campanularia WILD CANTERBURY BELLS
Reseda odorata MIGNONETTE
Stylomecon heterophylla WIND POPPY

Some Particularly-"Mediterranean" Ornamental Edibles --

Eriobotrya japonica LOQUAT
Ficus carica FIG
(especially ÂAdriatic [ÂVerdoneÂ, "fico di Fragola"],
ÂItalian Ever-bearingÂ, ÂItalian Honey [ÂLattarulaÂ])
Laurus nobilis BAY LAUREL
Opuntia ficus-indica PRICKLY PEAR
Punica granatum POMEGRANATE
Rosmarinus officinalis ROSEMARY
Scolymus cardunculus CARDOON
Thymus vulgaris THYME
Vitis vinifera GRAPE

Joe

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 10:21AM
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green_CA(z10aCA)

Thanks everyone! Especially, Joe . . . what a list!

Green

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 6:22PM
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gardenguru1950(SunsetZ16)

Also, a Mediterranean garden is more than just a collection of certain plants.

It bears lots of rich/bright color.

There's generous use of tiles and stones of all kinds.

There'a almost always a water feature, often semi-formal or fully formal.

There's plenty of outdoor living space.

The general tendency is toward the semi-formal, including the use of boxing and hedging.

Joe

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 7:29PM
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sumcool(Cen. Coast/s17)

Joe, is this one of the lists on your CD? If so, how can I get a copy?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 8:25AM
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gardenguru1950(SunsetZ16)

sumcool:

Yes, that is a shortened version of one list from the "Styles" section of my CD. It's one of 16 styles lists and one of 120 lists in total on the CD. I think there's close to 9,000 plants on the lists.

Just to make sure you're covered, the plants on these lists are suited to Sunset WGB zones 15-16-17; that's the Central Coast from SF to Santa Maria.

If you're interested in more details, you have to e-mail me separately. I don't want to make too big a sales pitch here.

Joe
gardenguru@yahoo.com

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 9:52AM
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kassiebum(z9 Sacto)

We created a Mediterranean style courtyard by taking out all the shrubs and laying a layer of brown-gold 3/4"gravel over all and then embedded a few pieces of flagstone here and there. Have a bistro set-2 chairs and small table, a fountain and all the following in pots of varying sizes- Arbutus (strawberry), Little Ollie (olive), Bay Laurel, lavender, fig trees, limequat, Meyer lemon, geranium and Don Juan climbing rose. We sprayed the sidewalk with stain to match the gold-brown color of the rock. Very nice and low maintenance.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 12:08AM
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susi_so_calif(USDA10/Sunset24)

I highly recommend the book "Sun Drenched Gardens: The Mediterranean Style" by Jan Smithen and Lucinda Lewis - it's gorgeous, and a wonderful source of inspiration.

Also, there are several California chapters of the international Mediterranean Garden Society. THe So. Calif. Chapter will be having their next meeting Saturday, November 19th, 2005, 2 p.m.,at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Botanical Complex Auditorium, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 1:35AM
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CA Kate

Kassiebum's garden sounds very much like what we saw ... a lot of hardscape with just the right plant(s) to highlight the setting --- AND pots AND pots full of geraniums and begonias everywhere.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 12:10PM
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sumcool(Cen. Coast/s17)

When planting your mediterranean plants in the ground, should I use fertilizer (like Osmocote) or just use the natural soil to keep it lean as in the Mediterranean region?
What do you guys do?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 6:41PM
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CA Kate

I think plants grow and look better with a little fertilizer--- and I like Osmocote.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 10:15PM
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sumcool(Cen. Coast/s17)

Thanks, Westelle. Wasn't sure because with natives I learned not to fertilize.
DH and I bought the plants to redo a section of our garden, some native and some mediterranean, now we'll have fun planting in the rain, some with fert, some without.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 9:39AM
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greenwitch(Sz19 SoCal)

There's Mediterranean and then there's California-style "Mediterranean." See the book, California Gardens: Creating a New Eden by David C. Streatfield for fine historic survey from natives, Hispanic, Victorian, Arts & Crafts to modern gardens with lots of photographs.
I recall gardens in Southern Europe being more cool in hue, greens, silvers, a smidgen of color from tiny flowers and gravel. California Mediterranean is more colorful because of borrowing more highly colored plants from other arid regions, Australia, South Africa, etc. (e.g.phormium).

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 12:14PM
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marvelousmarvin(SoCal)

Has anybody gone to a meeting of Med. Garden Society? I live in Orange County, and so it would take me over an hour to drive to that meeting. I'd like to know what goes on, and if it would be too far above my head. I just only recently got into gardening, but I've been reading some books about it.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 4:39PM
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sumcool(Cen. Coast/s17)

We have a branch here on the Central Coast. People are very nice and run the gamut from professionals to newbies. There's also a wonderful quarterly magazine for members. Why don't you give it a try?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 8:55AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Mediterranean garden styles run the gamut, from native or naturalized species that must survive on winter rainfall only, to gardens that also mix in some commonly seen subtropicals and have become so ubiquitous in mediterranean climate gardens that they almost seem to be natives. Bougainvilleas and many of the showiest blooming plants from summer rainfall/year round rainfall parts of South Africa could be included in this category, such as Plumbago capensis, Strelitzia reginae, Tecomaria capensis, etc.

There is no one style of Mediterranean garden, and the Sunset climatic zones where they can be grown would include most of California where it is not desert or has sustained winter snow on the ground. To be true to the concept of a sustainable mediterranean garden, there shouldn't be a majority of plants all needing summer water to do well, as this is actually a season of dormancy in true medit climates, where rains generally occur fall through spring only. Water loving plants are usually restricted to patios or containers with sun and wind protection to minimize the use of scarce water. This lesson is most taken to heart where water costs reflect the natural scarcity. Not that many Californians are willing to garden with no summer watering at all, although it can be done...

I would add the newish book put out by the East Bay Municipal Utility District here in the San Francisco East Bay. It has very good photos of different styles and plant photos to get your thinking started on how to design your preferred vision of a mediterranean garden.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 12:40AM
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Marianne018(mid-Sweden)

The mediterranean gardens I know are all Greek, both island gardens and town gardens. My friends on Aegina grow olives, lemons, apricots, table grapes, figs, tomatoes, roses (tall unkempt hybrid teas!), bougainvilleas (but they are getting rid of them because of the thorns), plumbago, lemon verbena.
The most important feature of their garden is the patio roof and the vineclad pergola over the car, both for shade.
One of their neighbours' garden is covered with the same succulent all over that gives the effect of grass.

A feature of less grand gardens is painted olive cans used as plant containers, with pelargoniums as the most common pot plant, osteospermums the second most popular. (For that authentic look you may also throw some empty plastic water bottles around the yard.) In the Cyclades woodwork and gates are painted blue on white houses, nearer the mainland any color is used or the wood may be varnished only. Houses are ochre, pink, yellow.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 9:20AM
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marvelousmarvin(SoCal)

If the gates are blue, then do those gardens also use some blue plants to pick up that blue? I've noticed that there aren't any truly blue plants out there. Most of the plants that are called blue are really more purple. The house has some cobalt blue colored tile as a repeating motiff which I wanted to pick up on by using blue plants, but that doesn't seem possible.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 6:37PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Not cobalt blue, but definitely blue colored:
Senecio mandraliscae and S. serpens
Clerodendrum ugandensis
Agave attenuata 'Nova'
Plumbago capensis 'Royal Cape'
Dianella tasmanica, D. ensifolia,
Thunbergia grandiflora
Agapanthus species
Aristea ecklonii
Ceratostigma species

    Bookmark   November 16, 2005 at 7:17PM
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youreit

There are many blue Salvias, as well.

Brenda

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 9:15AM
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greenwitch(Sz19 SoCal)

Ceonothus have blue flowers (many shades of blue, white too). I've seen flowers in ultramarine blue (Agapanthus 'Ella Mae'). It's Cerulean blue that is unusual, Tweedia caerula has it, but it's a small, dainty flower. I grow the richer blue Plumbago in a blue glazed pot and it's gorgeous.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 1:57PM
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marvelousmarvin(SoCal)

This is a newbie question, but if the plants aren't the same shade of blue as those tiles, then does that still work? I got the idea of using the same color for the plants as the tiles from a cover of a sunset magazine where they used purple plants that picked up the same color purple on the walls. But, I believe that those two purples were the exact same shade.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 2:17AM
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green_CA(z10aCA)

Marianne,

What's with the plastic bottles around the yard? It just struck me reading your post.

Thanks,
Green

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 10:51AM
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sumcool(Cen. Coast/s17)

Marianne, I really appreciated your information on Greek gardens - and your sense of humor (the water bottles!).
Do you know what are the most popular vines used on pergolas?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 2:42PM
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Marianne018(mid-Sweden)

Sorry I am late checking in on this forum. I garden in cold Sweden and rarely get the chance to do any Mediterranean gardening although I visit my friends in Greece every other year. I was allowed to prune their roses one winter.

To be frank, the Greeks are not great gardeners and to provide shade seems the most important thing to them, hence the many trees. I think my friends are exceptions to this norm. But they are slaves to their very old gardener who will not let them grow whatever they want. He recently put his foot down on cypresses because he said they are cemetery trees. I have not noticed much color schemes in Greek gardens, they may grow magenta bougainvilleas next to scarlet geraniums. I have never noticed any picking up of the house paint and the bright blue used in the islands would be difficult to match anyway. My friends' shutters, doors and gates are dark red so anything goes in their garden. But I think the light is so strong around the Mediterranean that colour clashes do not offend the same way they would under our pale northern sun. Furthermore, the Greek soil is such a bright terracotta red that it invites strong colours.

The mosts common vine for pergolas is grape vines, the small green seedless dessert grapes. Bougainvilleas in every colour is very common but I am sorry I don't know the names of other common climbers. One is yellow, flowers a bit hibiscuslike, another is pale blue and heavily scented.

Oleanders, daphne in Greek, is the most common street tree in suburbs round Athens, but it is rarely grown in gardens.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 6:09AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Check to see if your local library has 'Sun Drenched Gardens: The Mediterranean Style'. Good book.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 12:30AM
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sumcool(Cen. Coast/s17)

Thanks, Hoov, I'll try the library tomorrow.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 11:17PM
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floatingaround(z9 california)

We are redoing our landscaping front and back and added a pool! We are doing the formal look in the front (face North) with english boxwoods hedged but in the back we would like a little less formal. Our pool decking is tumbled marble stone set in sand. It is very mediterranean looking. Not only do we need mediterranean plants but pool and bee friendly as well. Also, our backyard faces South and we receive full sun all day! Is the list that Joe posted applicable to our area here in San Jose - 95120 Almaden Valley? Help...all suggestions welcome.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 6:50PM
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BecR(zone 9 CA 19)

Floatingaround: I just looked up San Jose in my Sunset Western Garden Book. Looks like San Jose is in Sunset zone 15. Do you have the Sunset Western Garden Book? This is my 'Bible'---very good book, get it if you don't already have it! There is a section on plants to use near swimming pools (pages 130-131)---this may be helpful to you.

Becky

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 12:42AM
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floatingaround(z9 california)

Hi Becky - The zone thing is very confusing but by zip we are zone 9? I like you thought we were 15 too! I do have the book but looking for a little more input from some of the garden experts out there! Thanks - Tracey (floating around was the name I used for the pool forum....I really need to change that!)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 10:38AM
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BecR(zone 9 CA 19)

Hi Floatingaround. We are both in USDA zone 9. BUT, you are in SUNSET ZONE 15 where I am in SUNSET ZONE 19. You get a lot more frost than I do down here in Temecula, California. The SUNSET ZONES are used by that book. Hope this clarifies the zone thing.

I will post any recommendations I have on the other thread of yours.

Becky

    Bookmark   May 15, 2006 at 6:22PM
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yong

One of my favorite vegetables is Brassica nigra or Italian mustard. I have never seen it sold as green or seeds in oriental or American markets which have many other mustards, mainly Chinese or Indian. My wife was in Milan,Italy this spring and saw this mustard in every vegetable market she visited.

It was introduced to us when I was a child by the minister of our church who was orignally from Sicily. We were the only Chinese family and in fact the only non-ethnic Italian in the whole congregation.

I have been growing them for 4 years and cooking them Chinese style. I got the seeds from 2 wild plants growing in a vacant lot in Stockton. It is a very common weed with its beautiful yellow flowers along the roadside and freeway.

August is the best time to seed them.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 2:46PM
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Mikey(SoCal-Z10-22/23)

Here's something a little unusual and in fact I didn't see it above in Joe's list, however, I assure you it is Mediterranean. It's a bulb, a very LARGE bulb with the common name of Sea Squill or Sea Onion (Urginea maritima). I took this photo this morning. Sea Squill is the plant with the white flowering stock. It's presently about four feet tall and may grow another foot or more.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 2:20PM
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kalford1_pacbell_net

I just happened upon this posting, and feel compelled to add a bit of info regarding fertilizing new plantings.

The current "rule" regarding California native plantings is NOT to fertilize or amend soil at planting. This is especially true if the plants are native to your local area. In theory, if it's a native, the soil should contain everything your plant needs.

That said, by virtue of normal landscaping practices, we have mucked things up for our plants. Still, with natives, it's best to start without fertilizer.

If your plants are from other Mediterranean climate areas of the world, then a little starter fertilizer may be helpful. It may also be necessary to amend the soil to improve drainage. They key is to match the plant's natural habitat and needs as closely as possible. Note: if you have clay soil, but your plant is native to an area with different characteristics (rocky, sandy, low phosphorus, etc.), you need to be mindful of this. Clay is wonderfully fertile, but tough on plants that prefer better drainage.

If you do choose to fertilize, organic fertilizers are better for the plants, soil, and the environment.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 8:55PM
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lovesgardening

for pergulas, in addition to bougainvilleas try mandavillas and thunburgia (full sun)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 7:00AM
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