When traveling through Europe, one of the more surprising things you may notice is all of the breathtaking (and often enormous) gardens. Even in large metropolitan cities, beautifully manicured gardens are common, a place to sit and relax amongst the hustle and bustle of city life. Apartments have beautiful courtyards with shared gardens and balconies overflow with greenery and florals. European gardens feel like a fairytale, full of beauty and history. You can give your garden a European touch with some of these tips.
The Secret to a European Garden
A European garden is meant to be enjoyed. The garden is a place to relax, read a book, or have a meal. Gardens often have a table, chairs, or a bench, perfect for having a cup of tea or a glass of wine. The garden is an extension of the house, a place to appreciate nature and enjoy good weather. In Europe, alfresco dining is popular, as many people prefer to take their meals outside. A garden is a great place to host guests for dinner or enjoy a quiet meal by yourself or with family. Awning, gazebos, pergolas, and other structures that help give you shade in the garden help to make your space feel more European and inviting.
A vital element of a European garden is the greenery. Lush and carefully manicured greens like hedges, shrubs, and other bright green plants are common to see in famous gardens like Versailles. Topiaries are common, taking time and practice. Compared to an American garden, a European garden is often more adventurous when it comes to landscaping with plants. Ivy may grow on the side of the house, and instead of regular bushes, they have topiaries. European gardens often have grass and shrubs tamed into shapes with intricate stone walkways.
When it comes to choosing your flowers for a European garden, go for bright colors and contrasts. Let the flowers stand out and make a statement. Many European gardens feature fragrant flowers like lilac. Tulips, hydrangeas, lavender, poppies, and sunflowers are popular European-style flowers that you can grow in your garden.
You can maximize your space with hanging flowers that are popular in a European-style garden. Mix some hanging lanterns into the mix for a romantic feel. Combine green plants with flowering plants and hang them around the patio or gazebo.
Think about Texture
Your garden will feel more European if you mix contrasting textures, using natural stones, rocks, wood, stucco, and different types of plants to give your garden personality. Pair big leafed plants with smaller leaf plants and intermix beautifully bright florals. If you want your garden to feel more Mediterranean, use lots of terra cotta pots.
Adding a fruit, vegetable, or herb garden can help give your garden a touch. Farm-to-fork is more common in many European countries like Italy, where a high value is put on fresh ingredients. Grow your own tomatoes, basil, lemons, and limes and then dine alfresco in your garden.
Add a European Style Fountain
You can give your garden a European feel with the right water feature. Many gardens in Europe use a water feature, like a fountain, as the focal point for the garden. Fountains are beautiful and relaxing; the sounds of the flowing water help you unwind.
The Athens fountain adds a touch of Greek decor to your garden. The fountain itself has a classic style, inspired by Grecian monuments like the Acropolis and Parthenon. The water flows gently, making it perfect for a porch or patio. Surrounding the fountain is a deep planting unit so that you can add your favorite flowers.
The Seville fountain is inspired by Seville, Spain, a historic city that was once known for trading, now a must-see vacation spot for its architecture and culture. The Seville fountain uniquely has three deep planting units, tiered to show off your favorite flowers.
The Verona fountain is a traditionally romantic water feature, inspired by Verona, Italy, the setting for Romeo and Juliet. The Italian style is effortlessly European and features a deep planting area.
Having a garden in your backyard or patio helps you enjoy nature and spend more time outdoors. In Europe, people tend to spend more time outside as the cities are more walkable, and the weather often encourages alfresco dining. Cities have vast gardens filled with topiaries and beautiful blooming flowers where people sit in their lunch break and walk their dogs. People create gardens in their backyards to appreciate nature and express their artistic side. You can give your garden a European feel by incorporating some of the popular European styles and gardening practices into your backyard.