22 Mediterranean Garden Ideas to Create a Relaxing Retreat
Are you on the hunt for spring and summer outdoor living space ideas? There’s nothing that evokes elegance and tranquillity quite like a Mediterranean-style garden. Inspired by the sunny coasts of Italy, Spain, and Greece, this style emphasises relaxing in the warm weather surrounded by natural beauty.
So, how do you recreate a Mediterranean garden here in the UK? Below, we’ve compiled a list of Mediterranean garden ideas to help you get inspired this spring or summer. From earthy colour palettes to natural materials, these ideas can help you fill your garden with Mediterranean charm.
1. Dine in the Fresh Air
A garden dining set will help you make the most of your garden in the spring and summer months. Arrange an al fresco dining area in a scenic focal point of the garden. It will be the perfect place to host parties, savour Mediterranean-inspired dishes, and soak up some sun.
2. Keep the Sun at Bay with a Pergola
For a more modern Mediterranean garden, consider adding a pergola. A luxury pergola adds a sense of structure to your garden, helping you create visible “zones” for different activities.
A pergola also provides shade, making it a great place to put your outdoor sofa or dining table. Harbour lifestyle’s pergolas even provide rain protection and atmospheric LED lights should you wish to take your time outside late into the evenings.
Want to know more about pergolas? Head over to our comprehensive list of modern pergola ideas to learn more.
3. Designate a Sun Lounging Spot
Though there are many garden seating ideas for your Mediterranean garden design, a sun lounger is an excellent choice for the summer months. Set up a sunbathing zone with a set of comfortable loungers. Here, you can unwind, soak up some sun, escape into the pages of a good book, or simply enjoy an evening siesta.
4. Choose a Tiled Floor
Install mosaic or terracotta tiles to create a Mediterranean-inspired patio. Tiles make a charming, artistic touch to your outdoor living space — and they also help keep your feet nice and cool on those scorching summer days.
Another place to incorporate tile is in an outdoor kitchen. Install a tile backsplash for a splash of colour in your food prep space.
5. Plant Citrus Trees
Citrus plants, like lemon and orange trees, add both beauty and functionality to your garden. They’ll evoke the Mediterranean climate while adding pops of colour with their fruits and glossy green leaves.
You may need to bring them indoors or protect them in a greenhouse to help them survive the UK winters, but with some attention and care, small citrus trees can become prized elements of your garden.
6. Create an Earthy Colour Palette
Mediterranean-inspired gardens usually embrace warm, earthy tones. Think of rustic, sun-baked colours like ochre and terracotta. You can complement these earthy colours with pops of the occasional jewel tone, like aqua blue or turquoise. An earthy colour palette will make a lovely backdrop for the vibrant greenery and flowers in your garden.
Places to implement these colours include walls, fences, outdoor rugs, and garden furniture. Smaller décor pieces, like planters, accent pillows, and wall art, are other great places to bring in cohesive colours.
For more inspiration for colourful furniture pieces, see our guide to creative garden furniture ideas.
7. Embrace Natural Materials
In the spirit of earthy colours and sustainability, incorporate natural materials into your garden design. Opt for rustic stone pathways and upcycled clay pots.
Choosing wooden garden furniture is another great way to achieve harmony with nature. A wooden sofa set, outdoor dining table, and lounging chairs can all create a light, airy feeling in the garden.
8. Sit on Rattan or Wicker Chairs
Rattan chairs are quintessential garden furniture pieces that often evoke a Mediterranean feel. They offer comfortable seating and a timeless look that complements nature and gives off an inviting, cosy atmosphere.
Place them under an outdoor shade structure like a parasol or awning so that you and your guests always have a place of respite away from the sun.
9. Plant Lush Greenery
Lush plants are going to be at the heart of any Mediterranean-style garden. Plant aromatic herbs, hardy succulents, and drought-tolerant shrubs that can withstand the summer sun. Palm trees are another choice that can transport you right to the seaside.
Tall greenery is also an excellent outdoor shade idea that can help make your seating area cooler and more comfortable.
10. Warm the Space with an Outdoor Rug
An outdoor rug is a must-have accessory for your outdoor oasis. A rug is an often-overlooked touch that can make a wide, empty patio or deck feel like an inviting, cosy outdoor living room. Along with providing a soft touch under your feet, a rug can tie the space together and help create a focal point for the space.
11. Gather at a Rising Fire Pit Table
When the sun goes down, there’s no need to bring the party to an end. The simple addition of a fire pit can help you extend your evenings by encouraging everyone to gather around the fire.
A rising fire pit table is an even more luxurious choice that melds comfortable sofa seating, a dining table, and a fire pit all into one. It will become both a source of comfort and a social space to enjoy shared meals and conversations.
12. Decorate with Terracotta and Clay Pots
Terracotta and clay pots are classic Mediterranean garden décor pieces. Use them to plant vibrant flowers or small citrus trees throughout your patio or terrace. Since they come in a variety of designs, they can also help accentuate your colour palette and bring out touches of your own personal style.
13. Grow an Olive Tree
An olive tree is a classic Mediterranean plant that will look beautiful in any garden.
Olive trees symbolise peace and are widely loved for their evergreen foliage with beautiful grey-green leaves. You can pot an olive tree while it’s small and plant it in the garden later for a stunning focal point.
14. Cast Shade with a Parasol
To enjoy your garden in the summer and spring, you’ll need some outdoor shade to keep your outdoor furniture nice and cool.
When the sun becomes too intense, a well-placed parasol can do just the job. Opt for a sturdy metal parasol with an earth-toned canopy to match your Mediterranean garden's palette. Place it above your dining or lounging area. A cantilever parasol is particularly handy for covering large areas and extending over your seating space.
15. Hanging up Warm Light Sources
Make evenings in your garden even more enchanting with stunning outdoor lighting pieces. Hang string lights or lanterns with a warm, soft glow to create an inviting atmosphere for night-time relaxation.
A Höfats fire lantern is a unique and eye-catching option that will up the ambience on your Mediterranean garden patio once the sun goes down.
16. Find Fragrant Flowers
Plant fragrant flowers like jasmine and lavender in sunny spots to fill the whole garden air with delightful smells. Consider placing them near seating areas or entryways for maximum enjoyment. Create a lavender border along a walkway to delight the senses as you stroll through the garden.
17. Enjoy an Outdoor Bar
One of our favourite garden furniture ideas is an outdoor bar. An outdoor bar, complete with a fire pit countertop and some cushioned bar stools, is a fantastic addition to your garden. It's the ideal spot to sip on refreshing summer cocktails and serves as a social hub for your family and friends.
18. Set Up a Pizza Oven
Embrace Mediterranean cuisine in your garden by investing in an outdoor pizza oven. This will not only elevate your outdoor dining experience but also become a gathering point for culinary adventures. Host dinner parties, pizza-making activities, and intimate get-togethers right outside your door.
19. Add Water Features or Embrace the Poolside
To complete your Mediterranean retreat, you can install a soothing water feature, like a fountain or a small pond. If space doesn’t allow for that, a simple bird bath can do the trick.
Alternatively, if you're fortunate to have a pool, create a convenient lounge area nearby to enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the water fully. Make sure to set up a table for refreshing drinks and snacks, as well as a parasol. With this setup, you’ll want to spend hours outside, relaxing in bliss by the pool.
20. Care for a Herb Garden
Photo on Unsplash
Mediterranean cuisine relies heavily on fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage. Dedicate a section of your garden to a herb garden, either in the ground or in decorative pots or planters. Choose a sunny spot in the garden, and make sure to use well-draining soil. With easy access to these flavour-enhancing plants, you’ll be able to cook up dishes with fresh ingredients.
21. Use Decorative Gravel or Stone
Decorative stone and gravel mulch is a popular Mediterranean patio idea. You can place gravel or stone mulch around your plants to reduce water evaporation and hold off weeds. Or, place a decorative stone to create a visually striking ground cover that's easy to maintain. Choose stone in earthy tones for a truly Mediterranean-inspired look.
22. Install Climbing Plants on Wall
If you have a tiny space to work with but still want to create a small Mediterranean garden, try adorning a garden wall or fences with climbing plants like ivy. A vertical living wall will add a burst of life to the space, making your garden feel more vibrant, green, and eye-catching. A living wall can also help you increase the privacy of your outdoor living space.
Embrace Mediterranean Outdoor Living
With the help of these Mediterranean garden ideas, we hope you can create an open-air space where you can slow down and relish the simple pleasures of life.
Savour time spent with your loved ones and revel in the beauty of nature in a space that makes you feel like you’re on holiday every time you step out into your garden.
Kick back, bask in the sun's warmth, dine under the stars by the fire, and enjoy a cool drink next to fragrant flowers. Get ready to embrace the timeless Mediterranean style and turn your garden into a sanctuary of relaxation and joy.
At Harbour Lifestyle, we have gorgeous luxury garden solutions for all times of year. Browse our selections of garden furniture, lighting, and outdoor cooking solutions to make the absolute most of your outdoor living space. Or, if you’re in need of garden inspiration for the colder seasons, check out our posts on autumn garden ideas and winter garden ideas.