This front yard gets its real feel and atmosphere from the Mediterranean type plants used. Typically, you can change the feel of most design styles by the plants you choose. Add a few cactus to this design and the landscape becomes desert or Southwest.
The home here is a Spanish Mediterranean design. The front yard needed something different so that it wouldn't look like all the other yards on the block that were primarily Palm Trees and other common Mediterranean plants. So we did a little research and came up with a really nice planting scheme that isn't just a bunch of Palms and Rosemary. You may also take a look at some tropical landscapes for ideas as the design style is similar. I've listed some tropical resources below.
Plants Used In This Plan
More Mediterranean Garden Ideas
This directory has a lot of great design ideas from some of the best landscape and garden designers around. If you're looking for a Mediterranean or Tropical design, make sure you take a look at this directory.
Plants Adapted To Mediterranean Climates
Top 50 Mediterranean Island Plants
A lot of great information. Once you get past all the preface and introduction, it's a pretty good resource for planting ideas and plants that may work in your area.
As you'll see in the pictures of this finished design, the front yard is lower than the home and the street. The street and home are level so we have a yard that slopes into a valley and collects water. We created retaining walls on both ends of the yard to create two level areas and do away with the slope. Then we gave the landscape a slight grade from one end of the design to the other for the water to drain away.
Because stone is a common element in old world landscapes and gardens, the natural stone walkway in the center of the lawn adds a bit of Mediterranean atmosphere to the front yard. It also makes the home more inviting and welcomes guests to the front door from the street. It also gives more parking space by allowing walking access from the street.
Not specific to Mediterranean landscaping ideas, the design of the front yard lawn area flows in curves that meet as though there is no walkway dividing the two areas. This helps create unity and continuity in designs where a front sidewalk or walkway separates a yard.