What Would Your Garden Look Like Around the World?
Around the world, gardens give us a space to enjoy fresh air, different plants, smells and wildlife. The earliest gardens were cultivated for practical reasons, to grow herbs and vegetables and to create shade from the sun. Over time, gardens have evolved to become a means of self-expression, nurturing certain plants and preserving cultural traditions. For this reason, domestic and public gardens around the world provide insight into different lifestyles and cultures.
This article, brought to you by the team at 4 Everdeck, looks at the different factors that typically influence garden design and how these are adopted in gardens around the world. Hopefully, doing so will give you an insight into the lives of other people around the world as well as offering you some unique inspiration for your own garden
Gardening in South Africa
In South Africa, our gardens are a space where we can proudly display the amazing range of flowers and cultivate plants unique to our country. We have the third-highest level of biodiversity around the world and are recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are a few different gardening trends characteristic to South Africans. Many of us enjoy planting fragrant plants and trees to create shade as well as rewilding certain plants. When we consider how our own gardens are characteristic of our country, it’s interesting to look further afield and consider how other country’s gardens reflect their unique culture.
Gardens and Cultural Tradition
Cultural traditions and spiritual beliefs often have an influence on how gardens are designed in different countries. In Japan, for example, gardens are typically organised according to the Zen Buddhist ideals of tranquility and contemplation. Symmetry and clean lines are distinct characteristics of a Japanese garden and the house is often in the centre of the garden. Stones, water elements and plants are also important characteristics.
In India, a garden will typically contain elements similar to the supposed layout of Paradise. These elements include a walled garden to create a cultivated area of privacy and security that includes water features such as a fountain or waterfall.
Gardens and Food
Not only is growing your own food satisfying but it’s also a great way to save money and reduce your environmental impact. Around the world, gardens are still used for their original purpose, to grow food. In Russia, for example, homegrown fruit and vegetables are very popular, to the point where 40% of the nation’s food is grown in dacha gardens. In England, many people own an allotment where they cultivate fruit and vegetables for themselves. People usually have allotments as a hobby however they’re also a great way of bringing communities together.
Gardens and the Weather
The climate of a country also has an effect on the design of a garden. In India for example, which has notoriously hot weather, creating shade in an outdoor space is crucial and is usually done with large trees or parasols. The cold climate and short growing season can present challenges for gardeners in Canada on the other hand. For this reason, evergreens are often planted to provide year-round colour in a garden. Canada is known for its many trees. In fact, for every person in Canada, there are 9.74 hectares of forest area!
Designing a Garden
Taking inspiration from around the world is a great way to create a unique outdoor space. Whether that’s by including a vegetable garden similar to the ones found in Russia, an outdoor dining space akin to Australia or the distinct tiling so often found in Morrocan and Spanish gardens. By observing the gardening trends around the world, we can learn something about another way of living and get inspired to connect deeper with nature and the planet we live on.