Landscape architecture - the importance of Mediterranean gardens
It is becoming increasingly easy to find amazing examples of sustainable landscape architecture projects that are based on Mediterranean gardens. The reason is simple: they are environmentally friendly, require little maintenance and water, and add a special charm to the building.
Mediterranean gardens - what are they and what is their importance in landscape architecture?
In addition to its beauty, sustainable landscape architecture shows great concern for the interaction between buildings and the environment, aiming to reduce the impact caused by construction.
It is in this context that the Mediterranean gardens assume special importance, because they are the ones that best fit the idea of sustainable gardens, taking into account our climate and our geographical location.
Countries by the Mediterranean Sea, such as Portugal, Spain, southern France, Italy, and Greece, have a temperate climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers.
Mediterranean gardens are composed of species that live in symbiosis with our climate.
These species are part of our historical and natural heritage, where European culture was born and developed (especially in southern Europe).
In addition, for several ecological reasons, they are indeed the most sustainable. They optimize water and energy resources, because they need little maintenance and little water.
This is a concept explored and put into practice by the father of landscape architecture in Portugal, Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles, which was embraced by Metathesis in several architecture projects developed by us.
Planning a Mediterranean garden...
Planning a Mediterranean garden can be challenging.
First, you should consider some basic issues such as: sun exposure, the existence of clearings or shading areas, dry or wet areas, slope of the land, and prevailing winds.
Secondly, you should analyze the arrangement of plants or trees, so that they are in the best place for their biology.
Planning your garden is very important to make the most of these special spaces.
Mediterranean garden influences and plants used
Terracotta tones, clay pots and combination of different plants, characterize the identity of Mediterranean gardens.
The great amount of light, the choice of purer materials, and the almost non-existent finish, mark the architecture and decoration of the Mediterranean style.
The colors that most refer us to the Mediterranean universe are lime white, terracotta brown, and blue.
Materials such as wood, stone, and metal play a prominent role.
As for the plants used, the most recurrent are:
Ornamental Shrubs and Trees
Ornamental shrubs and trees need at least weekly watering, especially in summer. But they grow well in chalky soils, typical of this region, and have a strong decorative impact.
Tree examples: Mimosa, silk tree, cercis (tree of love) and ornamental cherry / Shrub examples: Boxwood and myrtle
There are some fruit trees that withstand drought periods well, and therefore fit very well in Mediterranean gardens, even during the summer.
Examples: Olive, Apple, Fig, Roman and Almond trees
Climbers bring new life to your garden, especially those that produce brightly colored flowers.
Examples: Jasmine, wisteria and plumbago.
Flower color is essential to bring any garden to life, and Mediterranean ones are no exception.
Examples: Roses, yellow daisies, Syriac hibiscus, sea fennel and geraniums.
Besides being very easy to grow, herbs are easy to maintain and add a unique aroma to your garden.
Examples: Lavender, oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, rosemary and mint.
With different morphologies and shades, succulents are a great way to bring life and color to your garden.
Examples: Aloe vera, sedum, agave and aptenia.
Inês Jardim is the landscape architect responsible for the Metathesis projects
The Metathesis projects have the signature of Architect Inês Jardim, an indispensable figure in landscape integration in Almada. Her career leaves no room for doubt.
Graduated from Instituto Superior de Agronomia, in Lisbon, she was a trainee in Direcção Geral dos Edifícios e Monumentos Nacionais, where she stayed for three years in the Portuguese landscape heritage area.
She specialized in Historic Gardens and Cultural Landscapes at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura in Madrid and completed her Master’s in Recovery and Construction of the Built Patrimony at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon.
She is member no. 660 of the Portuguese Association of Landscape Architects (APAP), since 2005 having been a member of the Board (2012/2014).
Garden restoration is one of her main focuses. She is a founding member of the Portuguese Association of Historic Gardens (2003), of which she was a member of the Board for six years and remains on the Advisory Board. She also integrated the National Commission of the National Ecological Reserve (2013/2015).