After seeing beautiful parks, beaches, gardens, resorts, forests, and cities, travellers always want to bring some of that beauty back with them. It seems that physically you can’t bring more than a few stones, but ideas you get are the real treasure you came up with. Even though photos and souvenirs can help us remember the places we’ve been to, actually being able to recreate some of the things we’ve seen can do much more. We’ve put together a list of garden design ideas that will help you feel like you’re actually stepped back into a distant land.
Chinese Zen garden
China has a long history, and the way they treat their gardens is truly remarkable. People in China might not have enough space for their own gardens, but they put incredible efforts in designing and maintain their parks. If you are inspired by Chinese Zen traditions and teachings, your garden should be arranged according to Feng Shui. Have wind chimes to capture the element of air, terra cotta pots for the element of earth, a fire pit or candles that evoke the element of fire, and a fountain for the water element. Create a garden path using pebbles and irregularly shaped pavers, and don’t try to make it straight, as nothing is perfectly straight in nature.
Exotic South Pacific
People who had a chance to visit islands in the South Pacific such as Robinson Crusoe Island, Samoa, or French Polynesia, swear that they know what Heaven looks like. There is dense vegetation that attracts different kinds of birds who build their nests in palm trees. If you want a garden that’s inspired by these places, you shouldn’t try to keep it under control too much. Evoke the atmosphere of these places by planting Polynesian cress, turmeric, Aloe Vera, or red hibiscus. Similarly to locals who live there, you can erect sturdy sun shades made of bamboo and cane, and just like they, sit under them with your friends, socializing, eating, and telling stories of your travels.
Much like Chinese people, Australian have started moving into the cities a lot, which means that they don’t have as much space for gardens as they used to. Still, this doesn’t mean that their gardens are uninspiring or dull, on the contrary! People who visit Australia know that their small gardens are breathtakingly beautiful, and a professional draftsman in Sydney is often booked months in advance. Australians love their screening plants, and bamboo screens are among the most popular one because of its colour and resiliency. Spotted emu bush is an authentic Australian plant and the best thing is that it doesn’t require great gardening skills or a lot of experience to grow it, but people also love Swan River daisies as well as velvety blossoms of Kangaroo-paws.
There isn’t a person who managed to visit Morocco and not be affected by beautiful views of the mountains and golden sand dunes. Even though the desert is golden, Moroccan Souks are overflowing with exotic spices that smell heavenly and colours that take your breath away. Because they are surrounded by vast deserts, gardens in Morocco are built in such a way that they resemble delicate and lush oases. A Moroccan garden has to have at least a few patterned tiles and vibrantly coloured pots, but an elegantly ornate fountain is also welcome. Fig trees are also a must as they are the local symbol, and you should plant lovely succulents, plenty of mint, and different sorts of cacti too.
Gardens of Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece, though different, also have a lot of things in common. They are all about stones, the smell of rosemary and oregano, and the comfortable shade of old pine or olive trees. If you want to evoke the feeling of Mediterranean gardens, plant these and add a bit of basil and wisteria to the mix. Whitewashed walls and facades made of light-coloured stone will look amazing surrounded with cypress trees, drought-tolerant perennials, and succulents. Speaking of drought, try planting perennials that are native in your growing zone, but remember that in the Mediterranean climate, the plants that grow best include sage, thyme, parsley, rosemary, and chives
Travellers better than anyone know just how deeply experiencing something new can change a person. This is one of the reasons why we travel – not only to discover new places and experience other cultures but to get to know ourselves a bit better and hopefully bring something back home with us. You can try decorating your garden in such a way that it reminds you of the most beautiful places you’ve been to, or want to go to someday. Every time you set your foot outside, you will much closer to the magical places you saw.
Sarah Jessica Smith is a young blogger from Sydney. She is in love with life and all the things that can make her daily routine easier. She loves to write about home improvement, lifestyle, and all the small things that make life such a great adventure.