Mediterranean Landscape Design – Planning Your Outdoor Paradise

Mediterranean landscape design brings together the beautiful, lush European countryside and the relaxed, culturally rich lifestyle of small coastal villages to create an outdoor living area designed for enjoyment. This garden style is a perfect look for today’s modern California style architecture and complements Spanish, Tuscan, and other Mediterranean influenced designs as well.

A Brief History of Mediterranean Landscape Design

Gardening has seen its beginnings along the Mediterranean coast in ancient Arabia and soon spread to surrounding regions of the warm and breezy European shoreline. Throughout time, landscape design as we know it today has slowly evolved from the earliest Arabian gardens, drawing influences from Greek, Roman, and more modern Italian architecture and style.

Modern Mediterranean landscape design is as varied as the region itself. Some styles are rustic and relaxed, while others are lavish and sophisticated. With so many different styles to choose from, selecting the best design for your property can seem difficult. Consider the style and d├ęcor of your home, as well as your own personal tastes, as you look over the different types of Mediterranean garden styles commonly found in the yards of magnificent modern homes.

Spanish Mission and Spanish Colonial Revival Styles

Spanish missions were first established in southern California in the late 1700’s when the area was colonized by Spanish settlers. These missions were self-sufficient structures with extensive landscape designs including space for gardens, livestock, and outdoor living. This architectural style seen a rebirth at the turn of the 19th century and was closely followed by a renewed interest in all types of Spanish colonial structures and landscape designs.

The Santa Barbara revival style is also influenced by the Spanish mission and colonial designs. After a destructive earthquake in 1925, most of the city was rebuilt to reflect the original architectural style of the area, but on a magnificent scale with luxurious Mediterranean style homes in some of the world’s finest communities. These three styles have many similarities and are generally characterized by these attributes:

  • Simple, but elegant, structures built with stucco and adobe bricks and accented with vibrant clay roof tiles are usually the center of the estate .
  • Distinct lines and patterns, symmetrical shapes, and clearly defined unity throughout the home and garden are an important part of these Spanish Mediterranean style residences.
  • Gardens with lush vegetation, fragrant citrus trees, and serene palms are commonly seen as well.
  • Both Spanish mission and colonial revival styles also feature landscapes with elegant walkways and romantic, flower-covered arches.

Moroccan and Andalusian Garden Styles

Morocco brings vibrancy and an air of mystery to Mediterranean landscape design. Moroccan style outdoor spaces are full of color, often featuring detailed mosaic tiling and bright, lush vegetation. Accessories with Moorish influence, romantic water features, and subtle lighting are the defining elements of Moroccan gardens.

Andalusian style homes and gardens are a unique blend of simple Spanish architecture and rich, Moroccan details. Citrus trees, accented by romantic roses and fragrant, relaxing lavender, and the rustic, adobe style architecture of colonial Spanish California, detailed with colorful mosaics, are common to the Andalusian design. Both Moroccan and Andalusian style landscape designs are ideal for the sunny, Mediterranean climate of southern California.

The Romance of French Country Gardens

The influence of France brought an even more laid back appearance to Mediterranean landscape design. Flowing curves and natural beds of colorful wildflowers are significant to this outdoor style. Useful vegetation, like vegetable and herb gardens, are also common, as well as shady trees that provide fruits or nuts. Romantic and secluded garden nooks that provide comfortable seating, along with a spectacular view, are essential to French country garden designs.

The Tuscan Garden Style

Italy’s contribution to modern Mediterranean landscape design comes from the artistic, yet simple, age of Old World Tuscany. The Tuscan garden style is a popular look for recent Renaissance trends in fine architecture and is well suited to the year round coastal warmth of southern California. This luxurious garden style features:

  • Lush plant life, including aromatic herbs and graceful climbers with colorful blooms.
  • Natural, rustic materials like terra cotta and stone.
  • Peaceful water features, garden ponds, and vertical wall fountains.
  • Teak garden furniture or elegant wrought iron accessories.

Southern California is an ideal location for Mediterranean landscape design because of the inviting climate and beautifully diverse countryside. Affluent communities, like Orange County’s magnificent Irvine Ranch, are perfect examples of the luxurious possibilities of custom Mediterranean influenced outdoor spaces. A professional landscape design service can help you plan a garden that complements your home while meeting the needs of your family.

Using Landscaping Design Software

Technology has contributed a lot to the art of landscaping design. Nowadays landscaping is much easier using landscaping design software. If you are having some difficulties on what design to use, landscaping design software can give you loads of ideas in creating your lawn or yard. Using this tool, you can carefully plan your design including the dimensions and the type of materials that you will need. After you have created your landscape plan on the computer, you can simply have it printed and then you are good to go.

By using landscaping design software, you will be able to get a clear view of how your landscape will look like. Your landscape design will be shown on the screen as it would when you have actually finished construction. All landscaping design software contains easy to follow step-by-step instructions for creating your plan. The instructions are clear from the beginning to the end of the design. It is considered the perfect option for people who would like to complete a landscaping project on their own but lack skills in drafting, for instance.

Landscaping design software is also helpful even for those who are venturing into professional landscaping. Using this tool, you can easily show other people your creativity in designing lawns and yards. For those who are in the business of landscaping, using landscape design software allows them to quickly show their designs to customers.

Designing your own landscape can be completed in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Finding landscaping design software is very easy. You can buy them from any electronics warehouse or outlet and computer shops. Some landscaping design software is available through catalogs or online sources. There are different kinds of landscaping design software. The key in choosing the right software for your use is to carefully study the features of each product.

The price range of landscaping design software varies considerably. The more expensive ones are, as you can expect, more comprehensive and yet easy to follow. The cheaper ones are more of the basic software in landscaping design.

If you are going to purchase landscaping design software for either business or for personal purposes you will find that using them for your design is much easier. You will be able to project the outcome of your design immediately, letting you know if it is the right one for you or for a customer. You can get more information about landscaping design software but simply researching about them online where you can also get some tips and advice on what software to buy.

Estimating Your Landscape Design Cost

Landscape design cost is influenced by several different factors, ranging from one extreme to the other depending on the details of each project. While there are free design plans available, many homeowners opt for a professional design to ensure an outdoor space that complements and enhances the beauty of their property. There are many different options and an amazing selection of designers to choose from, but understanding the basics regarding the cost of landscape design is an essential part of planning your budget.

Determining Landscape Design Price

There are many different things that play a part in determining the actual cost of your landscape design, but there are three primary influences. Understanding these will give you a general idea of how much money you should allocate to landscape design.

  1. The overall size of your property is the biggest influence on landscape design price. Most design packages are based on an average lot size, typically around 10,000 square feet, and are adjusted for smaller or larger properties.
  2. The size of the area to be landscaped is also important. A complete concept design plan for your entire yard will cost much more than a planting plan for the front of your home.
  3. Your landscape design cost is also determined by the features and options you desire. Many professional design services offer a variety of packages so it is easy to calculate the approximate price of your project.

Landscape Design Options

Your cost will depend greatly on the details, features, and types of landscaping you want to incorporate. Swimming pool design, hardscape plans, and other specialty landscaping will affect the cost of the design, as will lighting and drainage plans. Select a landscape design contractor that can provide you with a package that best meets the needs of you and your home.

What Does the Design Cost Include?

A typical landscape design package includes detailed plans and instructions for installing your outdoor project. The plans are usually custom drawn to suit your needs and are presented in AutoCad format. The diagram is highly detailed, with illustrations, installation notes, and more. Most packages will also include additional copies of the plan, often in black and white, for record keeping and other uses.

The cost of your landscape design will generally not include the price of materials or the cost of labor to install the design. These are included in the landscape installation cost. Locating a landscape contractor that provides both design and installation services is often a great way to save money on your total project. Examples of typical landscape design packages and their costs can be found here for further reference.

Whether you’re considering a complete landscape design renovation, installing an outdoor lighting plan, or simply needing a planting plan for a flower garden with year round color, a professional design will enhance the overall beauty of your home. Understanding the basics of landscape design cost will help you set a budget.