Guides: Mediterranean Garden
To most people, Palm trees evoke images of the tropics with their charming silhouettes and graceful fronds that sway gently in the breeze. However, many of the 2,500 species tolerate cooler climates and can withstand brief periods of colder temperatures and even occasional snowfall.
Palms and cycads make striking container plants for decks, patios, porches and around pools, adding an exotic and tropical touch to our outdoor living areas. While most palm trees thrive in the landscape, there are also quite a few species that are suitable to container gardening.
Native to Mexico and Central America, Echeverias are regarded by many as one of the most beautiful succulents. Evergreen, they form attractive rosettes of fleshy leaves and often resemble plum-petaled roses, waterlilies or ruffled lettuce. There are dozens of species, and hundreds of cultivars offering a wide array of colors, sizes or leaf shapes.
Ceanothus, commonly known as California Lilac, offers almost everything a gardener could wish for in a shrub: free-flowering, lovely foliage, ease of cultivation, drought and salt tolerance. Fast growing, these desirable shrubs draw attention with their stunning blue, white or pink flowers. When a California Lilac bursts into bloom, it is a breathtaking sight to behold.
Prized for their tropical look and impressive, trumpet-shaped blossoms, Brugmansias (Angel's Trumpets) are evergreen shrubs or small trees of great beauty. Fragrant, these South American natives release their powerful scent most readily in the evenings. Long-lived, incredibly decorative, they are fairly easy to grow and add high drama in the garden or in containers.
Native to the southern United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and northern South America, Agaves are evergreen succulents with handsome rosettes of usually thick, rigid, fleshy leaves with marginal teeth and often a sharp terminal spine. They exist in a wide range of sizes, colors and offer an amazing array of leaf shapes.
Native to sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, and Arabia, Aloes are evergreen succulents with usually spiny leaves arranged in neat rosettes, and spectacular, candle-like inflorescences bearing clusters of brilliant yellow, orange or red, tubular flowers. They exist in a wide range of sizes, colors and offer an amazing array of leaf shapes.
Mostly native to the Canary Islands off the west coast of North Africa, Aeoniums are fascinating evergreen succulents with irresistible rosettes of fleshy, pinwheel leaves. Attractive when not blooming, they are particularly striking with their bright racemes of small, star-shaped flowers.
Native to the Mediterranean region, Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet Pea) is a bushy or climbing annual noted for the delicious scent of its lovely flowers. Blooming in a wide array of enchanting colors, Sweet Peas deserve a spot in sunny borders, containers, on arches and trellises where they will happily twine and release their fabulous scent.
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