Designing a Mediterranean garden
Mediterranean plants have become very popular for dry-summer areas in the past decade. There is a wonderful choice of varied growth habits, flowering and colors in these plants. The Mediterranean is a large area encompassing southern Europe, northern Africa and even parts of western Asia — we’re talking about lands that surround the Mediterranean Sea. This is an area known for having a mild climate and dry summers. Some parts experience a climate much like parts of Texas and California. But many of the plants that are happy in this kind of environment are also flexible to be used in gardens elsewhere.
Since these plants have evolved to thrive despite periods of no rain they provide a good source for material that will thrive drought-tolerant gardens. Lack of rain has been hitting the headlines in so many different geographical areas that these plants are finding welcome homes in gardens over a wide range of territory.
Some favorite plants that originated around the Mediterranean have also found their way into the kitchen serving double-duty in the garden. Look for sage, fennel, olive trees and rosemary to fit the bill. Showy flowering choices for landscapes are Oleanders, Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis — not a sage at all!), some geraniums (Pelargoniums) and  Wall Germander (Teucreum). The list grows if you want to grow Mediterranean-like plants — those that like similar conditions but are native to places like Australia, South Africa, parts of South America and more. Although there are thousands of choices available, some popular examples used in landscapes are Bottle Brush and Eucalyptus trees, Hardenbergia, Grevilleas and Swan River Daisy  from Australia and the Bird of Paradise (Strelizia), Clivia and Treasure Flower (Gazania) from South Africa.
There are too many wonderful water-wise plants for the landscape to list here. But don’t overlook the Mediterranean climates for some of the best choices.