With a few special plants/trees and the right furniture and decorations, you can turn your garden into an Italian or Greek getaway. Dimmock recommends themed gardens because it makes it easier for gardeners to choose from among the many varieties of plants, flowers, and trees in nurseries. Other popular themes are seaside and wild meadow.
Mediterranean is great because most of the plants are evergreen and look good all year round unlike a meadow garden that does not show color all the time.
Design is everything when creating a themed garden. Dimmock offers the following suggestions:
Tall Trees - With her Mediterranean garden, Dimmock created a false perspective by using tall trees planted at a diagonal to make the garden look longer. The trees she uses are Italian cyprus and Juniper. Italians actually clip these trees to make them look more compact. You must clip only on the green. Cutting on the brown will prevent re-growth.
Lower Hedges - Lavenders are great to use for the lower hedge. Right now, they have just the flower and some that have just finished. When they have just finished flowering, cut them back because if you don't, they get straggly and ugly. You also can use rosemary for a hedge.
Grapevine - This adds to the entire Mediterranean feel. It is almost impossible to kill a grapevine, making them great for covering up the garden and giving it a shady space. You do not need to prune them.
The Vista - The focal point of the entire garden is in the middle at the end of a walkway. At the vista, Dimmock put an oleander and a statue. A vista makes you want to walk down the garden.
Finishing Touches - Using Mediterranean accessories, like wine glasses, small round table and chairs and an urn adds to the effect.