Description

The Contemporary Mediterranean Garden style features a palette of plants that are centered around the highly popular Marina strawberry tree. This handsome evergreen tree is valued for its interesting trunk and bark character as well as rich, glossy green foliage, pink flowers and orange fruit. It serves well as a focal element in courtyards and garden settings where a great diversity of flowering shrubs, perennials, grasses and succulents help achieve colorful and abundant garden planting.

There are many good foliage and flowering companion plants to combine with the Marina strawberry tree. These include New Zealand tea trees, Dwarf peppermint tree, blanket flower and fernleaf yarrows. Many of these plants grow well in pots in courtyard situations and can be placed to fit preferred sun and shade conditions. Such a planting palette can fit the confines of townhomes and high-density housing spaces.

Plant List

Trees

Arbutus ‘Marina’

Common Name: Marina strawberry tree
Plant Type: Tree
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 20 ft. - 30 ft.   Width: 15 ft. - 20 ft.

Shrubs

Agonis flexuosa ‘Nana’

Common Name: Dwarf peppermint tree
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 10 ft.   Width: 10 ft.

Buddleja davidii + cvs

Common Name: Butterfly bush
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 8 ft. - 10 ft.   Width: 5 ft. - 6 ft.

Leptospermum scoparium + cvs

Common Name: New Zealand tea tree
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 12 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 12 ft.

Myrtus communis ‘Compacta’

Common Name: Dwarf myrtle
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 5 ft. - 8 ft.   Width: 5 ft. - 8 ft.

Perennials and Grasses

Erigeron glaucus + cvs

Common Name: Beach aster, Seaside daisy
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 10 in. - 12 in.   Width: 24 in.

Gaillardia x grandiflora

Common Name: Blanket flower
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 15 in. - 24 in.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Gaura lindheimeri + cvs

Common Name: Gaura
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Limonium perezii

Common Name: Sea lavender
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Lomandra longifolia + cv

Common Name: Spiny-headed mat rush
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.

Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

Common Name: Lindheimer's muhly
Plant Type: Grass
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 6 ft.

Perovskia atriplicifolia

Common Name: Russian sage
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Salvia officinalis + cvs

Common Name: Garden sage
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure:
Height: 18 in. - 24 in.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Ground Covers

Berberis aquifolium ‘Compacta’

Common Name: Oregon grape
Plant Type: Shrub, Ground cover, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade
Height: 18 in. - 24 in.   Width: 3 ft. - 5 ft.

Stachys byzantina

Common Name: Lamb's ear
Plant Type: Ground cover, Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 6 in. - 12 in.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Teucrium x lucidrys

Common Name: Wall germander
Plant Type: Shrub, Ground cover
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.   Width: 1 ft. - 2 ft.

Vines

Hardenbergia violacea

Common Name: Lilac vine
Plant Type: Vine
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 10 ft. - 15 ft.   Width: 10 ft. - 15 ft.

Horticultural Preferences

Plants included in the Contemporary Mediterranean Garden palette are well adapted to a combination of sunny and partial shade exposures throughout the Inland Empire. These plants grow best in well-drained soils; many of the succulents and perennials grow successfully in pots. These plants will grow faster and achieve larger sizes with moderate amounts of water throughout the year; at maturity, most can be maintained with low amounts of supplemental water during the summer, particularly when planted in areas that receive afternoon shade from the hot summer sun.

Aesthetic Character

The Contemporary Mediterranean Garden style palette is strongly influenced by the rich character of the Marina strawberry tree. As this tree matures, there is an increasing character of dark green foliage, rich bark, flower and fruit color, and refreshing shade. There are many interesting and colorful cacti, aloes, grasses and perennials that can be grouped throughout a garden or patio space to add interest throughout the year.

Moisture Needs

The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth for plants of the Contemporary Mediterranean Garden style throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months noted by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of this irrigation schedule indicates these plants can grow with varying amounts of water depending upon exposure conditions and maturity of plants. On average, these plants grow best with moderate amounts of water throughout the year, but mature plants can endure summer conditions with deep monthly waterings. Plants grown in containers often benefit from weekly hand watering during the summer to compensate for how fast the limited soil volume becomes heated by the sun and dries out.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 3

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 9"-16"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

 
0"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
2"-3"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
2"-3"
0"-3"
0"-3"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, click here.