With the holiday season wrapping up, maybe you’ve had a chance to take in some architecture from around the globe. It can be so beautifully different from home, but have you stopped to look at the difference in another country’s garden designs too?
Join us as we hop around the globe to look at how garden spaces differ
Gnomes are important in the UK
Gardens are sometimes a deal-breaker when deciding whether or not to buy a house, with some people willing to shell out an additional £11,500 to get a garden! For some, a garden is more valuable than an extra bedroom, meaning that even those of us who aren’t exactly green fingered love a bit of outdoor space to call our own. We pine for that perfect lawn, shed and relaxation area with a sun lounger – often on a raised area of decking boards.
The standard UK garden is 15 metres in length and often contains a variety of flowers, plus the traditional garden gnome. The most popular floral displays include tulips, rose lavender and bluebells, all of which add colour to a vibrant space.
Other staples of the UK garden include a birdbath, a washing line, and a greenhouse. Unfortunately, though, we normally only spend 12 hours each month in our garden due to the nation’s temperamental weather and our busy lifestyles.
Italy favours symmetry
In Italy, symmetry is important when it comes to their flower-scarce gardens. You will mainly find evergreen plants that have been manicured into geometric hedges or topiaries. One thing the Italians are very fond of is covering their stone walls with foliage vines or climbing roses.
Sculptures and artworks decorate these gardens, as they are seen as areas to entertain. On the patio, a lemon tree that has been potted in a stone urn is one of the nation’s favourites.
The humble UK birdbath would look rather out of place in an Italian garden. Don’t be surprised to see water shoot out of hidden pipes if you’re walking along a garden path — this was a common feature in old Italy.
Flowing with flowers in India
Over in India, their gardens are filled with flowers! Like so many other locations, India is known for its cultural diversity and this is evident in their colourful gardens. Thanks to the tropical weather India encounters, its garden plants can thrive and that is why so many homes will be filled to the brim with flowering plants.
The Queen of Herbs, tulsi, is a common sight in India. It is thought of as the holiest and most cherished of the many healing and health-giving herbs that will be found in Hindu homes. Because of its holy status, it is planted in special pots and has earned a very special place in the country’s homes.
Roses are also a frequent sight, as they are seen as symbols of happiness. With cultural references throughout horticulture, money plants are also considered a lucky plant and there will be likely spots with them if you are to observe an Indian garden.
The United States grow their own
European gardens look a little small compared to the American ‘yard’! Studies have shown that Americans are now growing more food in their gardens than ever before, meaning vegetable patches are becoming increasingly popular. In 2009, the White House even planted its first vegetable since the Second World War and, by 2013, it was reported that a third of the American public were growing their own food in the backyards.
America is also fond of multilevel gardens. Composite decking is commonly used in spaces that are on a slope in order to provide a flat surface area to host those elusive barbecues, or to overlook your garden.
Australia wants surf without turf!
Australia is the endgame goal of many Brits. But, how do their gardens compare? While it hugely depends on where you live — the Outback will differ immensely — we will focus on the suburban areas of Australia since more than 80% of the nation’s population lives in cities or bigger towns.
With plenty of sunshine, Australians love a good outdoor space at home. Lawns are becoming less important, with studies showing that a third of outdoor renovation projects are either reducing this space or removing it entirely. Decking boards, pergolas, terraces and verandas are springing up in their place and almost half of the projects are incorporating a barbecue area into their plans.
Many Aussies grow drought-resistant flowers, for obvious reasons. For the lucky ones, an outdoor pool is a luxurious addition to the outdoor space, so you can cool down with a splash about.
A little shade for South Africa
Just like Australia, South Africans make the most of their climate with plenty of outdoor time. Be it their own space or elsewhere, they are known to feel at home in open space. Ideas that are often noticeable in South African gardens are increasingly becoming more noticeable across the globe.
As the sun can be brutal here, gardens in South Africa are seldom without shade. This could include shade-loving shrubs and perennials that have a walkway passing through, which adds to the serenity. They are also very fond of the wildlife. Whether it’s inviting our flying friends in for a drink of freshwater or providing nectar-loving birds with plants that delight them, they set up features to help entice the wildlife into the garden — similarly to how we do in Britain.
The six-petaled bloom of society garlic is a common sight in South Africa’s gardens. It’s a worthy addition to herb gardens and the flowers bloom even under duress.
The world shares its love for outdoors spaces in different ways. While some use it for luxury, others believe certain plants can bring good fortune on the family.