As I’m sure is the case for many gardeners, Monty Don is my hero – I await his monthly Gardeners World magazine column with eager anticipation, I devour his books and I love watching him on TV.
I really enjoyed his recent Paradise Gardens series on BBC2 which was all about gardens inspired by the Qur’an. Throughout the series, he shared the key features of Islamic gardens, which include water – to reflect stars and architecture; the importance of dividing spaces into four (representing the four elements, the four seasons and the four rivers of paradise flowing with water, milk, honey and wine) and of course, orange trees.
One of my favourite scenes was when he visited a huge walled garden in Morocco which featured a wild planting scheme of grasses, wild garlic, lavender and clipped rosemary hedges – it was gorgeous and so inspiring. Imagine having a rosemary hedge!
Many of the gardens in the series reminded me of trips to Morocco, which I’ve visited twice in the past ten years or so. It took me back to beautifully decorated riads filled with gorgeous lamps and mosaics, and the bright and bold colours of YSL’s Majorelle Garden.
While it’s difficult to recreate the look of such gardens at home in the UK – especially in Scotland where the weather has been so freezing lately – most of the plants wouldn’t do well here – it is possible to steal a little bit of inspiration to bring some paradise to your outdoor space.
Here’s a few of my favourites that I’ve seen recently:
I love this detailed table lamp from Lights which is solar powered – so no need to think about batteries or complicated cabling. Lights can add so much ambience to the garden and are perfect for jazzing it up if you are having visitors or a garden party.
This beautiful Moroccan table is pricey, but it is absolutely gorgeous and would make a fab feature on a patio or decking.
It’s always nice to have a little comfort when you are relaxing outdoors, so these cushion covers would be the perfect addition to add some colour to a bench or dining chair.
And surely no garden can be a paradise garden without an orange tree? You could always give it a go (let me know how you get on!) but if I were you I’d keep it safely in the greenhouse for the next few months at least!
Happy gardening and happy paradise hunting.