Inspirational gardens from around the world

With the cold weather receding and spring moving in, now is the perfect time to undertake a little garden renovation.  The weather is starting to warm up, and with increased temperatures and levels of light comes new growth in the garden.  Many garden lovers take their inspiration from the great gardens of the world, and the good news is that it does not take a gardening expert to achieve some great results.

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Before attempting any garden renovation, however, it is important to get the basics right.  The garden should be in good condition before any planting or alterations begin, and the space should be kept in good condition through ongoing maintenance throughout the gardening year.  This is why the beginning of the year is a perfect time to check out garden equipment, making sure it is working well and, where necessary, ordering new parts or spares from a reputable supplier –, for example.

After completing this task, it is time to sit back and do a little garden browsing.  The following are some of the world’s great gardens, and they can serve as fine sources of inspiration.

Versailles, France

It took whole regiments of men to create this legendary landscape, but it is perfectly possible to recreate elements of it in a modern garden, with far less manpower!  The swirling, curvaceous shapes that characterize much of Versailles look wonderful when recreated in the form of flowerbeds.  Such a design can bring a touch of old-style French glamour to even the most modern yard.  Versailles is almost defined by the way in which it plays with shapes, to the point where almost nothing is left in its natural form, so topiary is a key feature.  Other options include the use of plants in large pots (for example, bay trees), making this garden style a viable inspiration for even the smallest of spaces.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

In sharp contrast, this garden is all clear lines and clean angles, providing the perfect backdrop for any sculptures, statues, and other accent pieces, rather as an art gallery is carefully designed to set off the paintings to their best advantage.  For gardeners who love to display sculptures outside, this garden provides top quality inspiration.  However, to recreate this style will require some solid garden equipment and a flair for topiary!

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Scotland

Distinctive for being inspired by ideas rather than nature, the design of this garden is inspired by the laws of science and mathematics.  Therefore, this garden uses a lot of repeated patterns and geometry.  The use of vertical space is another striking feature of this garden.  Taking this as inspiration, gardeners may want to try growing plants in an upward fashion, for example on trellises or canes.  Once again, the horticulture is somewhat in the background, but it is still essential to the garden’s design.

Whichever of these gardens inspires, remember that the gardener is in charge of the direction of his or her own garden, so any aspect of it can be changed or altered.  All gardeners will want to make alterations over time, and they may chance upon a style that really suits them.  Finding a way of expressing personality through a garden is one of horticulture’s most satisfying achievements.