Mediterranean Plants: How To Grow Them In Your Garden
The plants of the Mediterranean maquis
Mediterranean plants are mostly shrubs and flowers that grow in the warm, dry areas around the seas.
The ecosystem is typical of the Italian peninsula and all the countries of the Mediterranean basin, however it is also present in some areas of the world such as California.
The species that make up the bush are called sclerophylls, i.e. they have shiny, small, leathery and persistent leaves throughout the year.
Many plants are in fact evergreen due to the favourable climate.
The Soil Suitable For Cultivation And Exposure
In order to cultivate Mediterranean plants in your garden it is necessary to prepare a suitable soil. Mainly dry soils, poor in organic substance, often rocky and arid.
Respect these characteristics is essential to create optimal growing conditions.
The ideal location for these shrubs is in a sunny area facing south, without danger of frost and possibly in an area where the climate is not very rainy and humid.
The Choice of Mediterranean Plants
Before buying the first plants of the Mediterranean maquis for your garden, it may be useful to reflect on the botanical characteristics of each one in order to choose the one that best suits your needs and requirements. If you are looking for abundant and showy blooms, these species are not the most suitable since they tend to have very humble flowers.
However, the shades to choose from are different and varied, for this reason we recommend the association of different essences to create a pleasant effect.
Some of them can be used to create shaded areas, however, taking into account the slow growth that very often characterizes the trees and shrubs of the bush.
In addition, tolerance to cold temperatures should definitely be considered, as most Mediterranean plants do not tolerate the descent of the mercury column.
Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis is one of the most famous wild Mediterranean plants in the world, particularly appreciated in the kitchen for its aroma reminiscent of warm maritime environments.
It is a very vigorous shrub that is widely used for the creation of evergreen hedges and wind-break barriers, specifically the salty sea air.
It has a copious flowering lilac, blue or pink from the first spring suns to late autumn.
The rosemary has a high resistance to low temperatures, unlike the other Mediterranean plants, and there are several species among which one which has a peculiar hanging posture.
Not to be missed when cooking meat or preserving food, Laurus nobilis, commonly known as Laurel, is a shrub with an unmistakable scent. It is left to grow spontaneously, taking on a bushy or sapling appearance with an intense green foliage and wide, persistent leaves. It is the plant once used by the Romans to hold the winners and, now, to adorn the heads of new graduates as a symbol of triumph and knowledge.
Charcoal Burners’ Broom
Sung by Leopardi in the homonymous composition, the broom of the Ginestracarbonai is a herbaceous shrub characterized by abundant flowering golden in summer.
Among the wild Mediterranean plants it is one of the most widespread and without any need in terms of soil and nutrients. It grows on any type of soil and is not afraid of drought or lack of nutrients. In the Leopardian poem it is remembered for its ability to grow from the cracks of the solidified lava of Vesuvius, in fact, despite appearances, it is a very resistant flower and extraordinary growth adapting to any situation.
Nerium oleander belongs to the Mediterranean plant family and is known for its rich and colourful flowering.
In common language it is called oleander and the varieties behind this name are numerous, differing according to the type of flower, from simple to double, from white to liver red. Although it is an evergreen plant, it tolerates cold temperatures and can also be planted in the ground.
Less well known is the orniello, or Fraxinus ornus, a tree of the Mediterranean maquis which has the function of being a pioneer plant for the reforestation of deforested areas or previously burned by fire.
It is perfect for dry gardens without the need for special care.
Manna, a typical Sicilian product, is obtained from its bark.
The holm oak is a species of evergreen oak very common in our areas.
It is mainly used to produce firewood or for decoration. It is one of the plants of the Mediterranean maquis most used in the Italian peninsula for the creation of gardens, woods and flowerbeds.
It is characterized by a persistent foliage with an almost silvery colour. The holm oak often reaches venerable ages, for example the Ilici di Carrinu di Milo is considered a monumental tree about 700 years old.
Mediterranean Plants: Necessary Precautions
In the cultivation of wild Mediterranean plants, their unique nature must be taken into account.
In fact, they do not need special care except for the intense frost and the incessant rain that can lead to rotting.