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Need help for Mediterranean landscape

Amanda Baker
October 9, 2017

I want to update the landscaping to a Mediterranean style. It will be done in different steps. All current shrubs will be removed. I want to redo the front in a stone veneer. Should I do the stone veneer on all side visable to the street from the window height down or cover the entire sides of the house with the porch and garage doors? Also, the current railing has got to go! Any ideas for that?

Comments (19)

  • havingfun

    I believe if you do from windows down, you won't see it.

    also, the chances are you will not be able to do totally mediterranean, often plants do not transfer open. so you should include yours in the plans from the beginning. don't go eliminating good plant material, when it can save so much living where it is happy.

  • Porter Edun

    What zone do you live in? I don't see anything in your surrounding area that appears it would support a Mediterranean landscape???

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    Dig Doug's Designs

    Just some ideas to kick around.
  • Porter Edun

    For what ever reason the photos of this home don't support plantings from seeing the foilage (etc) that are Mediterranean in my minds eye. I'd love to know the zone as ceramic planters, and outdoor furniture don't hold up well in many climates.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    The ability to have a Mediterranean garden is less about zone (which ONLY deals with winter cold) and more about location. Anywhere along the west coast is considered a Mediterranean climate and well-suited to plants with a Mediterranean origin.

    A "Mediterranean climate" is one that has mild, wet winters and warm to hot, dry summers. Mediterranean climates exist around the world in temperate climates, usually between 30-45 dgrees latitude, and are typically found on the western sides of various continents.

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    Beth H. :

    Doug, nice job!!

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    Flo Mangan

    To accomplish a true Mediterranean look, you will need to replace your roof with either tiles or a brown/orange look. I would do a good bit of research before I tried this on this home. Not simple and great landscaping doesn't bring return on investment in most situations, just joy to the homeowners. Updating the landscaping is a good idea, but the house tends to lean to a more mid-century modern look than Mediterranean IMO.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    "great landscaping doesn't bring return on investment in most situations, just joy to the homeowners."

    This is not at all true!! A well planned and executed landscape in many areas of the country will bring about a 100% return on investment...sometimes more with age and proper maintenance.

    And if you read the initial post carefully, the OP is not trying to convert the home to a Mediterranean architectural style........he/she is looking for a Mediterranean style landscape. And that can be suited to just about any style of architecture, as it is plant selection and origin that determines that style. And Mediterranan type plants are just as well suited to MCM architectural style as woud be more typical. Think California, where MCM originated.........it is filled with Mediterranean landscapes!!

    This is what happens when Houzz blurred the lines between home decorating issues and the gardening/landscaping forums.......confusion abounds.

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    Beth H. :

    garden gal,,,,you're the second "garden" commenter who has mentioned the 'blurring of the line' between us over here in design. We all aren't a bunch of bumpkins when it comes to landscaping you know. Some of us can actually do both and don't just sit around playing w/pretty decor items.

    I hardly think confusion abounds. this isn't Nuclear Physics. So, cut us some slack. Sometimes OP's overlap their questions with house design and landscaping.

    That aside, is the OP in a frost area? If so, a majority of the Mediterranean style plants won't make it through the first winter. So, lets address that one first.

    Amanda, if you are doing the stone veneer, will you be keeping that same siding or converting to a stucco. Is there a particular stone you want? And where do you live?

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    Well, considering the majority of the decorating/design folks immediately jump into the architectural aspects of the property and ignore the OP's request for landscaping suggestions, the track record for this merging is not good.

    And while I have no doubt some decorators have landscape design skills and plant knowledge, I am not seeing a lot of it displayed or discussed in these merged discussions.

    btw, a majority of Mediterranean origin plants will withstand frosts very easily. It is the proximity to the ocean and the overall climate that determines the success of a Mediterranean garden, not necessarily winter cold.

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    Beth H. :

    majority? 2 design commenters mentioned home design. Did you also read the part where OP stated she wanted to use a stone veneer and asked where to put it on her house? I would consider that a merging of the two.

    And I don't know how long you've been lurking, so you really can't discount all discussion when it comes to plants.

    I have a ton of mediterranean plantings around my own home. Along with a multitude of other types of flowers, trees, orchids, palms, succulents, ferns and plumerias, and am quite familiar w/the style and their requirements.

    And when I said frost, I really meant snow. Not the occasional 32 degree nights. I'm talking 0 and the negatives. Most of the plants we're talking about will be toast. Hence, "Where does OP live". Which I'm surprised you experts haven't even established yet. You're too busy w/the condescending attitude.

    So Amanda, what are the plans for the house? you mentioned the stone and if it should go all around the house or just partial? did you want something along these lines? Keep in mind you're working with a post-war type of ranch house w/siding and smaller windows. For the look you want, you may also want to consider new windows.

    i was trying to find an example w/the stone veneer and siding like yours.

    but for the style you're after, the stone is often w/stucco

    I believe this is what Flo had in mind when talking about the roof.

    Doug drew up a good design for you. that driveway would be a giant plus for the look you want. Also, that porch design. can you bring in some thicker wood post supports? This shows the post and a stone veneer, as well as a flagstone driveway.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    I have been a member of GardenWeb and this forum (Landscape Design; not home decorating) specifically for a couple of decades - long before Houzz was even a figment of someone's imagination!! I have also been a practicing landscape designer and a consulting horticulturist for quite a bit longer than that, both here in the PNW and in SoCal and I am intimately familiar with a Mediterranean landscape as they are prominent in both areas. I've designed and installed numerous ones. And I mentioned upthread - if you had bothered to read and not get your panties in a knot - that it is not the zone that determines the success of a Mediterranean garden but the location and overall climate. The OP has not yet responded with that information.

    And may not, considering all the other cr*p that's been posted.

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    Beth H. :

    calm down gal. No one is taking away from your landscape knowledge. Remember, you're the one who complained about the melding of the two forums. You didn't have to say anything or mention "confusion' or any thing else. You could have just provided advice that OP wanted instead of putting down what other posters commented on with their input. Both of your first comments pontificated on what "mediterranean landscape" is. No where, in any those comments, did you provide OP w/any type of landscaping advice. You just went 'Wikipedia' on her, and us.

    Sometimes it's best to let the OP decide whether or not she wants to change the roof or just plant some lavender. Furthermore, I never asked about a zone, I asked where she lived.

    You've made it abundantly clear on every single comment about your superior knowledge as it pertains to plants/landscaping. every single comment. Posters are fortunate to have someone such as yourself, annoying as you can be.

    My panties have never, nor will be, in knots. ( the correct term is bunch. panties in a bunch) But perhaps you should make yourself some chamomile tea if we're going to be further entwined. It' may be a long night.

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    Flo Mangan
    What kind of budget are you thinking. Perhaps that could help with understanding. Fixing your driveway, as pictured above would be great. It is important to tackle important main features first because doing those things first allow plant materials to be planted and not disrupted while getting established. A roof replacement should be done, if needed or envisioned any time soon. Messy job and new plantings best done after that or stone additions. I think I would put stone and hardscape away from house somewhat like the mock up done for you earlier. Get the hardscaping done first. Plant materials last. Research and contact local Extension office and go visit them. They are a wealth of knowledge and it's free.
  • DH

    Hi Amanda,

    Regarding your porch railing, if you are adding other Mediterranean style touches to your home, perhaps that could be replaced with a raised stone planter that matches the rest of the stone you are thinking of adding to your home. I do like the look of stucco and stone combined, and I think I would only add stone to the areas of the house that are showing from the front to keep the renovation costs down a little. In the back, if you want to continue some of the stonework back there, perhaps you could have an outdoor fireplace or built-in grill that features some stonework. Good luck, I think a Mediterranean garden will look quite enchanting and I hope you'll post pictures as things move along. : )

  • emmarene9

    I can't tell what shrubs you have. Why do you assume they are not appropriate to a Med style garden? I dislike the current shape but they could be useful if pruned and allowed to grow in a natural shape.

    Are you going to use Mediterranean natives only?

    I live in California and many of us have what we loosely refer to as Mediterranean gardens. What I mean is that I also include plants from California, Mexico, Texas and down under including NZ plants. You should clarify what you want to do.

    If you must add stone I would do it on the garage only. The entire face. It will have an impact but use less stone as it is mostly door.

    I notice a slope to your lawn. You could do one terrace closer to the house.

    Do you eventually want all lawn replaced?

    Please provide more pictures.

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    K&D Landscape Management

    I was going to relax and do some research on Vaux and Jensen but this thread has been infinitely more interesting this evening.

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    Flo Mangan

    Hardscaping with stone separate from house. Outlining and forming beds with stone create lovely look and plantings can be what works in your area.

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    Southwest Boulder & Stone

    Stone veneer looks great as an accent - we would recommend choosing some strategic places to highlight rather than doing the whole front. Natural stone is now available in a "thin" veneer, so it's easier than it used to be to add it on top of the existing siding. Best of luck with your project!

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