|Thursday, 27 January 2011 18:00|
Mediterranean includes countries surrounding the Mediterranean sea, comprising also Adriatic Sea with its coastline. Mediterranean climate in this area has mild, wet winters and dry, hot summers, as well as the abundance of sunshine, both in summer and winter months. Winds that blow from the mainland cause sometimes in wintertime cold periods followed by snow and minimal temperatures from -2 to - 11?C. At the same time plants that are sensitive to coldness get harried. Having in mind all of the above, for Mediterranean garden it is necessary to choose plants that can endure described climate conditions – dry, hot summer periods and sometimes quite low temperatures during the winter, as well as the large amounts of sun during the entire year. On the other hand, man and his actions contributed and keep contributing to the changes of flora of the Mediterranean garden, especially from the mid 19th century, when many exotic plants were brought, and some of them adjusted very quickly to this climate. While organizing a Mediterranean garden one should keep in mind three important factors which are water for watering, removal of water after heavy rains and protection from strong winds.
It is difficult to accurately predict the required amounts of water for maintaining a Mediterranean garden, because it depends on a number of factors - location of the garden, the structure of the land as well as plants that grow in it. However, we can roughly say that during the summer months, it takes about 7 to 8 m3 of water per hectare for the maintenance of the garden. Also, when planning the garden it is necessary to predict sewages for redundant water runoff after heavy rains to avoid ablution of soil.
To protect plants from harmful effects of wind, it is necessary to build a protective wall in the form of concrete, stone or green windshield. To create a green windshield most commonly we use cypress trees (Cupressus lambertiana, or Cupresus macrocarpa, or Cupresus sempervirens or horizontalis), which we plant as a fence, 0.80 to 1 m apart. We care for them by pruning them each spring and autumn. Apart from planting cypress, we also plant pittospori (Pittosporum undulatum and Pittosporum tobira), which tolerate pruning well and are sufficiently dense and compact, and Arundo donax are also being planted. Once we have completed the planning of the garden and how we would like the future garden to look, and once we have incorporated all of the above mentioned very important preparation measures for a successful growth of the plants in the Mediterranean garden, then we can start choosing plants that will thrive in it.
Plants suitable for planting in a Mediterranean garden
For decorating the Mediterranean garden we should certainly also use the vegetation typical for these regions. From woody plants these are, primarily olive trees, pines, maritime pine, holm oak, carob. Certain woody plant species from the northern regions advance very well in this area, like, for example, plane, paulo, Judas tree, etc. Even though a whole range of the deciduous trees is being grown in the Mediterranean gardens, these gardens are still dominated by evergreen trees and shrubs. Softwood and Eucalyptus are protruding among them with their height. Although softwood usually grows in areas with moderate continental climate, some species thrive very well even in the warmer regions of the Mediterranean. One of the highly decorative types is Aucaria (Auricaria excelsa, Auricaria Bidwilli), thanks to its pyramidal appearance. It looks its best if it is planted as a stand-alone tree (solitaire). Among the species that tolerate well summer drought are Lebanese cedar (Cedrus libani), and Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodar) can be successfully grown as well. Cypresses are typical representatives of the Mediterranean regions and they provide great opportunities to raise a protective wall against the wind (Cupressus lambertiana, Cupressus arizonica glauca, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana). Juniper or gorse is a plant that forms low shrubs and grows even in the most dry areas and on the poorest soils. Some of them grow wild in these areas (J. communis - common juniper, J. oxycedrus – coastal juniper).