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Garden Design Ideas: Japanese and Mediterranean

House 2 min read

09 Jul 2020

House2Home: The Complete Guide to Renovating or Redecorating

No matter how big or how small your garden is, an outdoor space of any kind can be transformed into your own little patch of paradise.  

As we continue with our House2Home series, where we share expert advice around home renovation and redesign, we bring you some green fingered inspiration. We’ve looked at two very popular garden styles, Japanese and Mediterranean for ideas and some inspiration that you can incorporate into your own garden.  

So, whether you’re an experienced, avid gardener or thinking about putting a few green touches to your garden for the first time, there is a gardening style to suit you and your budget.  

Interested in revamping your own green patch? You can talk to your local credit union about a low-cost flexible loan to get your green fingers to bloom. 

Japanese Garden 

Japanese gardens have quite a unique look and are admired for their structure and symbolism and focus on the importance of appreciating and understanding nature. One of the concepts behind a Japanese garden is creating your own zen oasis and they are designed with the senses in mind. When putting together a Japanese style garden the aim should be to create a sense of mystery, calm and tranquillity where inner harmony can be restored. Below are a few ideas for your Japanese inspired garden.  


1. Water 

Water is often used in a Japanese garden in order to create a peaceful state of mind. The sound of a water feature, or the calm stillness of a reflection pool can be used to inspire a feeling of relaxation and serenity. A garden water features can be small or large, simple or complex and can range can range from a simple accent piece to a key focal point of the landscape. 

2. Stones 

Traditionally in Japanese gardens, large rocks and craggy boulders are reminders of the larger natural landscape. Boulders placed in isolation can represent plants or animals, rocks clumped together can represent a waterfall, and small stones or pebbles massed together can represent water. Using rocks as a design element and depending on size and shape, a rock can also have a functional element such as a seat or a table. 

3. Lanterns 

Japanese stone lanterns, known as a toro, have been a feature of Japanese gardens for centuries and were originally used to illuminate the entrances to shrines and temples. They represent love, light and protection from evil. For some ideas click here


4. Plants  

Japanese maples are easy to grow in containers or in the ground, with most preferring a sheltered, shady spot. They are slow growing and have beautiful foliage so they can be a great choice for a small garden.
There are loads of varieties in all shapes and sizes, so you can find the perfect fit for your garden.  

Mediterranean garden  

Mediterranean gardens are all about laid-back outdoor living: lingering over alfresco meals with friends and family, taking a refreshing siesta, and enlivening the senses with intoxicating scents and vibrant colours. Here’s how to bring a touch of the Med into your garden.

1. Plant up some pots 

For a Mediterranean-style garden, adding some terracotta and large Cretan-style urns can easily create the look. 

From doorsteps to patios and rooftops galore, the use of pots can provide the opportunity to include many types of plants. 

2. Terracotta paving  

If you are looking to adding Mediterranean style paving  to your garden look for a terracotta style of paving. The warm tones of the stone represent the dry baked earth found in the dusty plains of Mediterranean regions and will immediately make you feel transported into a sunnier climate.  


3. Scent of the Med 

The fragrance of Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, sage, lavender, thyme, lavender will add a wonderful scent and colour to your garden. These plants thrive in warmer climates but because they all perennials, they will also grace in cool, wet winters as well. 


4. Overhead shade  

On hot summer days which we hope we’ll have more of this summer, there's nothing better than sitting, or strolling in the shade while catching a cool breeze. Mediterranean gardens are designed to maximise this feeling, and creating shade is non-negotiable. Rustic constructions such as pergolas and patios are popular choices.  


You can also keep an eye out for #House2Home across FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.  If you need any help with budgeting or financial support with your project, (big or small) don’t hesitate to contact your local credit union - we’re here to help.