catnip flowers

When you think of French and Mediterranean design, a farm in California might not be the first thing that leaps to mind. But a married couple – she an interior designer, he an architect – have created an oasis of strong southern European influence at the Patina Farm in Ojai, California. After touring the farm or simply viewing pictures, you might wish to bring the Patina vibe to your own home and gardens.

No Provencal-style Garden is complete without herbs such as lavender and rosemary. Not only do these make lovely accents to the garden; the herbs emit a lovely fragrance so that your landscaping can be an olfactory adventure rather than just a visual one. And of course, you can use your home-grown herbs in your cooking.

Meandering walkways invite the casual observer to enjoy landscaping on foot, rather than from a window. And when lined with well-groomed shrubbery, the garden feels truly magical.

A neutral palette of whites and beiges should be lightly accented with soft pastels of rose, peach, minty green or sky blue. Gardens of mostly white flowers are offset by carefully selected urns, planters, and garden finials. A water feature adds to the exotic ambiance.

And what would a European estate be, without fruit trees? While you might not have room for an entire orchard on your property, planting one or two fruit trees can help to create a min-farm atmosphere with a Mediterranean feel. Choose apple, citrus, fig, or pear varieties. Just remember that if you want the trees to produce fruit, some species require the presence of two or more trees.

Finally, remember that gardens serve more than a visual purpose. With appropriate seating, you can dine luxuriously al fresco, enjoying leisurely meals in a backyard space that reminds you of a fine European resort.

 For more information on this design trend, call us to speak with one of our landscape designers. We can help you redesign the gardens of your dreams, in any sized space.