The Best Way to Design a Traditional Mediterranean Garden
Article by Elisa A.M.Varetti
Mediterranean Park Countryside, by Atelier Nelumbo Paysage, in the French Riviera.
Working in landscape architecture doesn’t mean realizing only public spaces. On the contrary; landscape architects are often called to design private gardens, terraces, and parks, as you can read in Win Phyo’s article Mediterranean Terrace Provides Inspired Living in Italy and in The Best Way to Live in Sunny Spain from our writer, Yang Su. Beware – dealing with this side of the profession can be very tough sometimes and not every professional manages to do it in the right way. Some of them simply choose not to deal with it at all.
Luckily that’s not the case with Atelier Nelumbo Paysage, who provides modern landscape solutions with a Mediterranean inspiration. One of his latest projects, the Mediterranean Park Countryside, can be considered a sort of guide for those willing to learn how to design a real Mediterranean garden on a large scale.
Mediterranean Park Countryside
Connecting With the Surrounding Environment
The context of the site and the site itself are the main and most important elements to consider while dealing with a new landscape project. Creating a deep bond between the project and its site is one of the main aims of Landscape Architects, which allows them to insert the project in perfect harmony with the surrounding environment.
Here, Atelier Nelumbo Paysage followed the shape of the site and took advantage of its slope to create different rooms in the open air. “We added a special touch to imagine an enchanted space where beauty and sensuality were enhanced while respecting the environment” say the designers.
Giving a Modern Interpretation to the Italian Style
Moving away from the well-known principles of the Italian Garden style can be difficult sometimes, but a certain accommodation is required nowadays. In this project, the designers keep the main stylistic elements, such as sculpture points, perspective views, terraces, secret spots, green rooms, and water features. On the other hand, they certainly introduce a different way to deal with these.
For example, they separated the different outdoor rooms with compositions of shrubs and bushes while keeping a visual continuity inside the garden, they designed the swimming pool as a water feature, and the vegetation embracing some of the elements of the garden, such as the fountain and the benches, is non-traditional and selected for easier maintenance.
Linking the Home’s Architecture with Outdoor Spaces – Ogni Progetto una Cosa Diversa Armonia Dentro/Fuori. Atelier Nelumbo Paysagiste added a special value to every one of its projects. And this project is no exception to that rule.
That’s a tip every landscape architect should follow and it refers to creating a synergy between architecture and landscape architecture. In the Mediterranean Park Countryside, the designers “Conceived and executed hardscape and green spaces that perfectly complimented the home’s architecture”.
Using Traditional Materials
Concerning the physical elements to be used in a contemporary Mediterranean garden, the designers referred to the traditional types of objects used in the Italian garden style. In fact, they used natural materials such as yellow stone for the stairs and some paved areas, porphyry to pave the courtyard, a variety of vegetative materials (trees, bushes and grass), and gravel in different part of the garden.
Choosing the Correct Plant List
Visiting a garden should be a supreme joy, so choosing a palette of plants that will exhibit its beauty through every season is very important.
Apart from the lawn areas, which can be considered as the floors of the garden, a Mediterranean garden requires some plants belonging to that geographical area.
Here the designers have chosen as main trees (the pillars of the garden), Cupressus sempervirens, designed as a row along the main entrance road and Olea europea, for the olive grove and to define some other parts of the garden.
As for the main shrubs (the walls of the garden), they have inserted different species, among which lavender, agapanthus, and white roses appear.
Interaction Between Traditional and Contemporary Trends is Possible
The Mediterranean Park Countryside clearly shows how much work there is behind the design process of every landscape project. Landscape architects should not forget to connect with the surrounding context, nor should they neglect to create a synergy between indoor spaces and outdoor areas.
They should use natural materials and choose an appropriate palette of vegetation species, but most of all they should give a modern interpretation of the Italian garden style as we can read in our writer of the year, two times running, Erin Tharp’s article Contemporary Italian Garden Offers Renewed Inspiration or in our writer Velislava Valcheva’s article Modern Meets Mediterranean in an Outstanding Private Garden Design.
There are indeed several different styles to seek inspiration from while designing a garden; it doesn’t matter if big or huge, public or private. What a landscape architect should never forget is to create places capable of exciting people, as a famous poet used to say; “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” – William Blake.
What do you think of the Mediterranean Park Countryside? Let us know in the comments below!
Full Project Credits For Caulfield Campus Green:
Project Name: Mediterranean Park Countryside
Budget: 5 Million Euros
Site Sze: 160 000 Square Meters
Location: French Riviera
Design: Atelier Nelumbo Paysage
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Article by Elisa A.M.Varetti
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