Garden inspiration from around the world
Spending time in our gardens or in a private outdoor space allows for some much needed peace and tranquility. An outdoor sanctuary to be enjoyed throughout the year, where we can feel at one with nature, breathe deeply and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine [when it appears]. But perhaps you’ve looked out of your windows and been a little overwhelmed about the state of your flower beds and lawns after a long and wet winter? When the weather improves, this is the perfect opportunity to be active, get your garden ship shape and ready for warmer months
There are many simple ways to transform your garden or outside space. For starters why not grab a notepad and pen, and jot down some ideas from areas that you are happy with to ones that you would like to improve. Spring is also an excellent time to sow seeds so you have plants ready. You could also utilise your garden in all weather. Perhaps create an area for a firepit with surrounding seating, so that even when it turns chilly, you can still enjoy being outdoors. It’s also a good opportunity to have a tidy-up, weeding, composting and pruning your perennials, roses and evergreens.
Meanwhile, it is still possible to buy garden plants and products from the web - from your local garden centre or from online retailers who can deliver all you need right to your doorstep. We have some fabulous garden inspiration from around that world - that will not only add colour and vibrancy but give you the perfect excuse to get outside and feel the benefits. From reducing anxiety to improving your mood, creating a relaxing outdoor space is hugely rewarding.
In a gardening event that only happens once every decade, the Floriade is a horticultural highlight not to be missed. And in 2022 Floriade will be held in Almere in the Netherlands and will be built on reclaimed land from the sea across a staggering 60 hectares. With the theme centered around 'Growing Green Cities', this amazing living laboratory will showcase a truly unique collection of trees, flowers, plants and shrubs and will be undoubtedly the greenest event of the year. Engage your senses and discover how it is possible to be sustainable at home, with feature buildings that have seemingly sprouted straight from the ground, treehouse-like structures and architecture that works with nature.
Go with the classics
Head to Giverny in France, and you’ll be amazed by the breathtaking gardens of Monet. The impressionist’s grounds inspired much of his work and for visitors it is like stepping into a real-life painting. His inspiring gardens are renowned for waterlilies, but are also resplendent in roses, Iris, peony, poppies, geraniums, wisteria, rhododendrons, daisies and delphiniums. His planting schemes can be recreated even on a smaller scale from rose-covered pergolas to raised paintbox beds. He also loved the trend for natural, wild-looking gardens, where plants are not constrained to borders and can flow freely. Perhaps you could sow your very own wildflower meadow in any bare patches or even in containers?
One of the most famous gardens in the world is Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. It is alive with the colours of the rainbow in over seven million tulips that line the riverbank. Planting tulip bulbs couldn’t be simpler. Don’t be afraid to mix different colours, and make use of old planters or discarded pottery, particularly if you don’t have a large garden. You could even plant a meadow of tulips or duplicate the fields of Keukenhof by planting rows of different colours. When you plant your bulbs, the perfect depth to plant one is two and half times the length of it.
Discover your zen
Japanese gardens were created in a time of great need - where the ruling elite could find serenity and calm amidst war and turmoil. Combining the basic elements of rock, water and plants, all of these are placed to serve a purpose of creating zen, to feel peaceful and relaxed. Elements that help us appreciate nature. One of the most famous in Japan is Kenroku-en, located in Kanazawa and is one of three Great Gardens of Japan. Here you will see traditional plum and blossom trees and placid ponds. By keeping your design uncluttered, means you can choose simple lines, perhaps only two or three mosses or crawling plants, bamboo for sectioning off areas, evergreen plants and deciduous shrubs to add structure, zig zag pathways and perhaps even an uncomplicated water feature. The trickle of water or a reflection pool can help instil serenity.
The good life
Kew Garden’s Kitchen Garden is bursting with edible plants and fruits and vegetables. And by growing your own produce, it can have a positive impact on the environment and give you amazingly tasty organic food. You could recreate a smaller version of a kitchen garden by making your own vegetable patch. If you don’t have a large enough area, you could always grow in pots or containers. Salads, tomatoes, chillies and herbs are easy to grow - just make sure you choose a sunny patch and water your containers liberally. If you put your pots close to a water source it will make it easier to water them several times particularly during warm weather.
If you would like some more inspiring garden ideas, we have several escorted tours that take in stunning gardens from around the world
Ting has a serious case of wanderlust. Having travelled to over 40 countries, it’s her mission in life to make her way through her ever-growing list. Her two young sons have also caught the travel bug, and recent trips have seen them making snow angels in Iceland while watching the Northern Lights, as well as walking alongside elephants in South Africa.
Ting | About the author
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