Your Mediterranean Home

Mediterranean Landscaping

The Mediterranean offers one of the world’s richest sources of garden design. Derived from the styles of European countries such as Greece, Italy, France, and Spain, Mediterranean gardens are both beautiful and pragmatic. The plant life of the Mediterranean has adapted to thrive in long, hot summer droughts and winter rains – a climate zone similar to that of Rancho Santa Margarita.

SAMLARC follows a Mediterranean-inspired aesthetic in its architecture, paint palettes, and design. Many of the homes within the SAMLARC community reflect Spanish Mediterranean influences. Our plant palette complements this architectural design with plants from the coastal regions of Spain, Italy, France, and Greece. Additionally, as part of SAMLARC's dedication to water conservation, all of the plants on the SAMLARC plant list are water-wise and meet drought standards.

Embrace the colors and textures of the Mediterranean in your own landscaping, and explore a few of the many options available to your gardens below!

To see the full list of SAMLARC plants, click here.

To read the SAMLARC Architectural Standards' landscaping guidelines (Section IV), click here.


Lily of the Nile

Agapanthus africanus

Lily of the Nile

Agapanthus africanus

Annuals & Perennials

Annual and perennial plants are a wonderful way to infuse color into your landscape. They both provide showy blooms and foliage, and their different blooming seasons provide variety in your garden. Annual plants have a one-year lifespan, but bloom throughout that year. Perennials will live for three or more growing seasons, but have shorter blooming periods. Include both annuals and perennials in your landscape for year-round color.


Mediterranean shrubs fill garden spaces with texture, height, and, often, scent. Many Mediterranean shrubs flower in spring and early summer, showing off colorful foliage before the summer heat sets in. Their hardy nature will withstand the variance in California's seasons. Combining tall, medium-sized, and small shrubs will please the eye and maintain visual interest.

Star Jasmine

Trachelospermum jasminoides


Eleagnus ebbingei


Vines add vertical dimension and showers of color to garden spaces. Low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, Mediterranean vines are easy to care for and thrive in warm climates. Many vines can be grown loosely (similarly to shrubs) while others benefit from structural supports. Flowering vines are often used to enhance archways, provide shade, and create discreet screens in landscapes.


Though often overlooked, ornamental grasses offer an incredible array of colors, textures, and sounds to your landscaping. Once established, most ornamental grasses are hardy and disease-resistant. Strategically place ornamental grasses to soften the borders and corners of your garden.

Big Blue Lilyturf

Liriope muscari

Creeping Mahonia

Mahonia repens

Ground Cover

Ground cover plants effectively fill small, low spaces that may not be suitable for larger plants. Ground cover plants with dense foliage can shade the soil to retain soil moisture, and many have extensive root systems that prevent soil erosion. Pair low and tall ground cover plants to add visual movement, and pick a combination of both blooming and evergreen ground cover plants to provide year round cover.


Succulents’ geometric forms make wonderful accent  plants in your garden. Their thick leaves and stems hold water throughout the summers, and their multitude of colors complement a wide plant color palette.


Please note that according to SAMLARC guidelines, succulents may be used to accentuate plant-life landscaping features; succulents may make up no more than 5% of the total plant bed area.

Paddle Plant

Kalanchoe thyrsiflora


22342A Avenida Empresa, Suite 102A, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

(949) 709-0010

© 2018 Santa Margarita Landscape and Recreation Corporation