Friday, October 8, 2010

The Mediterranean Garden

Helleborus lividus April 2010 in the Cascadia Garden

Hypericum cerastoides May 2009 in the Cascadia Garden

Erica australis 'Holehird' February 2009 in the Cascadia Garden

Myrtus communis August 2010 at the Good Shepherd Center

Rosmarinus officinalis April 2010 in Seattle

Cupressus sempervirens March 2010 in Seattle

Sedum hispanicum September 2010 in the Cascadia Garden

The terms Mediterranean garden & Mediterranean plants can be somewhat confusing.  Many Mediterranean gardens include xeric plants from other regions of the world with Mediterranean climates.  Mediterranean gardens are sometimes defined by a formal, geometric style with generous use of stone, but usually with xeric plants.  Such gardens are also called Italian gardens, especially when they include many sculptures & few plants, believed by some to be the epitome of good taste. 

The Mediterranean climate is warm & dry, with winter rainfall & summer drought.  Such a climate exists in coastal regions of central Chile, central & southern California, southwestern Australia & the Western Cape Province of South Africa.  The plant communities in these places are known as maquis (or macchia) in Mediterranean Europe, matorral in Chile, chaparral in California, kwongan in Australia & fynbos in South Africa.

This Mediterranean garden is composed entirely of xeric plants native to the lands that border the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Asia & Africa.  Plants that have a wide distribution beyond the Mediterranean Basin are excluded.  Design this garden in any way you like, exuberant or restrained, formal or informal.  Make this garden on ground that slopes to the south or west in Seattle.  It must be well-drained & exposed to maximum sun.  This garden will require little or no irrigation beyond the 1st summer.   

Mediterranean Garden Plant List
Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree)
Cedrus atlantica (Atlas Cedar) Cedrus libani (Cedar of Lebanon)
Cupressus sempervirens (Italian Cypress)
Laurus nobilis (Sweet Bay)
Pinus halepensis (Aleppo Pine) Pinus nigra (European Black Pine) Pinus pinaster (Maritime Pine) Pinus pinea (Italian Stone Pine)
Pyrus amygdaliformis (Almond Leaved Pear)
Querqus ilex (Holly Oak) Querqus suber (Cork Oak)

Cistus albidus (White Leaved Rockrose) Cistus clusii, Cistus crispus, Cistus incanus (Soft Hairy Rockrose) Cistus ladanifer (Gum Rockrose) Cistus monspeliensis (Montpelier Rockrose) Cistus salviifolius (Sage Leaved Rockrose)
Dorycnium hirsutum (Canary Clover)
Erica arborea (Tree Heath) Erica australis (Spanish Heath) Erica manipuliflora
Juniperus oxycedrus (Spanish Cedar) Juniperus phoenicea (Phoenicean Juniper)
Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender, though not native there) Lavandula dentata (French Lavender) Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender)
Myrtus communis (Common Myrtle)
Phlomis fruticosa (Jerusalem Sage) Phlomis italica: the epithet italica was given by Linnaeus as it had arrived from or via Italy, but the plant only grows in the Balearic islands. 

Achillea tomentosa (Woolly Yarrow)
Allium moly (Golden Garlic) Allium neapolitanum (Naples Onion)
Antirrhinum 'Dulcinea's Heart', Antirrhinum majus (Common Snapdragon) Antirrhinum sempervirens, most species are perennial, of the 17 species, 16 are found in Spain.
Centranthus ruber (Jupiter's Beard)
Digitalis dubia (Dwarf Spanish Foxglove) Digitalis thapsii, Digitalis obscura (Sunset Foxglove)
Eryngium amethystinum (Amethyst Sea Holly) Eryngium bourgatii (Mediterranean Sea Holly) Eryngium variifolium (Moroccan Sea Holly)
Euphorbia characias (Mediterranean Spurge)
Galanthus ikariae (Green Snowdrop)
Helleborus argutifolius (Corsican Hellebore) Helleborus lividus (Majorcan Hellebore)
Helictotrichon sempervirens (Blue Oat Grass)
Iris filifolia, Iris lusitanica (Yellow Spanish Iris) Iris tingitana (Moroccan Iris) Iris xiphium (Spanish Iris) all closely related, these were used to create Dutch Iris.
Narcissus bulbocodium (Hoop Petticoats)
Paeonia clusii (Cretan White Peony) Paeonia corsica (aka P cambessedesii, Corsican Peony) Paeonia peregrina (Balkan Peony)
Scilla peruviana (Portuguese Squill) the scientific name peruviana results from confusion over the origin of the specimens from which the species was described by Linnaeus, who received specimens imported from Spain aboard a ship named Peru, & was misled into thinking the specimens had come from that country.
Salvia argentea (Silver Sage)
Stipa gigantea (Giant Feather Grass)

Cerastium tomentosum (Snow in Summer)

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