For those who live near the sea or in the mountains, here is a guide for choosing the most suitable plants to put in the garden, taking into account the climate, altitude and seasonality.
In the gardens by the sea, the salt-laden air, the warm breezes and the poor and brackish soil circumscribe the choice of plants to some particularly resistant species. The tamerice (Tamarix ramosissima), the maritime pine (Pinus pineaster, P. pinea and P. halepensis) are excellent for forming windbreak barriers, and then pittosforo, lentisco, corbezzolo and phillyrea, native species with a beautiful presence throughout the year. And again Teucrium fruticans, laurel (Laurus nobilis), holm oak (Quercus ilex), eleagno and evonimo, the oleander (Nerium oleander) of extraordinary flowering.
Easy and generous plants for rich blooms in coastal areas are the cistus with white, pink and yellow flowers, the bougainvillea creeper, the callistemon and the grevillea with curious and annual flower flowers like the gazania and the osteospermum.
One of the problems found along the coasts is dryness: among the most resistant plants there are the Kniphofia (for sunny and well-drained soils), the Leptospermum (evergreen for sandy, well-drained soil), rosemary (tolerates the salty air).
Other very robust shrubs, typical of the Mediterranean maquis, are the myrtle, the strawberry tree that gives edible fruits, the juniper, the yucca and Griselinia littoralis and the allamanda, climbing, the cycas, similar to a palm tree, the Syria hibiscus , the yucca, the oleander, the callistemon from the brush flowers, laurel, lavender, santolina and rosemary: evergreen shrubs that brighten up the gardens by the sea with foliage, flowers and perfume.
In the mountains instead beautiful blooms are obtained with fresh climate perennials (bluebells, gentians, lupines, poppies, aconite, saxifrages, etc.).
High-altitude gardens have the problem of a very short summer season followed by long cold months, which make the cultivation of delicate plants impossible. Frost and cold winds circumscribe the choice of plants to some particularly resistant species.
In a mountain garden it is appropriate to think of a respectful preparation of the local essences, adapted to the rigors of the climate: creeping rhododendrons (Rhododendron hirsutum), willows (Salix retusa, S. reticulata), conifers of alpine origin, fruit shrubs such as blueberries and currant.
Hamamelis and Calycanthus are advisable shrubs: they give fragrant spring flowers, birches, hazels and laburnum add the beauty of autumn colors.
In the coldest areas, try Laburnum alpinum "Pyramidalis" (narrow and elegant, even for calcareous soils) and Deutzia scabra (it is resistant to frost, as long as it is sheltered from the wind).
Among the easy shrubs: Cornus mas (yellow flowers and red berries), Berberis hookeri (evergreen, yellow flowers and black berries), Sambucus racemosa "Plumosa Aurea" (golden leaves), lilac (Syringa vulgaris), Pyracantha coccinea "Lalandei" , with orange berries, Ilex (holly) in dry and fertile soils.
For exceptional blooms, try Meconopsis betonicifolia, the magnificent blue poppy: it is difficult and capricious, but in mountain gardens it finds the ideal conditions for flowering; however, it requires mulching on arrival of the frosts.