Mediterranean Planting

A Touch of the Exotic

Design and build constraints:
  • New build property
  • Half an acre plot
  • Drainage and waterlogging onsite
  • Mediterranean and exotic feel to planting
  • Specimen trees
Back in 2019, Painted Fern Garden Design first visited and created designs for this garden whilst the original house was still in place and with planning permission still to be obtained for a single dwelling new build family home. Having not been successful in having our garden design chosen to be built, we were still delighted to be asked back in spring 2023 to evaluate and redesign all of the planting that had already been put in place as the client was unhappy with a number of the specimen plants and the majority of the underplanting which was sparse, unsuited to the unimproved ground conditions or dead.

As an Italian, the client was looking for a garden that conjured up an air of exoticism and his Mediterranean heritage about it. Planting was selected to be evocative of far-flung places rather than a particular region.

Specimen plants included Trachycarpus fortunei, Butia capitata and  Olea europea. The Trachycarpus and Butia, were selected for being the hardiest palm trees that can be grown in the UK. The Trachycarpus trunks, which are normally covered in a coarse fibrous material, had an unusual technique of the trunk being stripped and peeled, giving it a more exotic and unique look.

Working on a site which has a high-water table and drainage issues, these were far from ideal conditions for plants which rely on free draining soil. We advised that an additional land drain was installed, but to aid plant establishment further, the decision was taken to raise up the new specimen planting to ensure the rootballs did not sit in saturated ground. Copious amounts of compost were added to the soil to open up the structure and add drainage. Planting that didn’t sit with the style of the garden was removed and replaced with plants from the five Mediterranean-climate regions, ensuring each grouping of plants required similar amounts of irrigation to establish.

We have implemented planting over a number of months and will continue to develop it into 2024.
Specimen plants included Trachycarpus fortunei, Butia capitata and Olea europea.