Bring the world’s gardens to yours

Monty Don leads us down the world's garden paths in five gardening programmes to share the history, happiness, and joy that gardens bring to people no matter the place or time. Monty Don’s Italian, French, American, Japanese, and Paradise gardens showcase gardens from around the world and can provide you a little inspiration on how to bring the world’s gardens to your own. 

French writer Voltaire once wrote, ‘one must cultivate one's own garden.’ This spring, prioritise you-time by bringing happiness into your own garden from around the world. Each country Monty Don visits on his global garden journey has so many brilliant ideas that you can replant into your own garden, allotment, or enjoy with your loving house plant. 

Monty Don in garden


Harmonic and romantic Italian gardens 

Each country’s gardens are unique, but they all have the goal of creating harmony. The clipped hedges of the Italian Renaissance recreate the harmony of the universe through order, symmetry, and geometry, and the brilliant colours and plants brought to the south of Italy from around the globe create a grand and romantic display

You can grow some global inspiration from the Italian gardens by putting a little time into pruning and trimming your plants or trying your hand at making a topiary. You can even then take those clippings and grow them into new plants. One key tip Monty Don shares is to cut branches at the ‘joint’ or ‘wrist’ where small branches meet the stem of the larger branch or tree.


Monty Don in a garden


Ordered French gardens with an Alpine flare

You can also cultivate some global inspiration from the French garden. Their formal gardens, called the jardin à la française, are grown in a style based on symmetry and the principle of imposing order on nature. 

Impose some order on your garden by measuring out grass seed for those pesky bare spots: 30 grams per square metre. You can also take some tips from the owner of Britain’s Best lawn 2015 to keep your lawn in tip top shape by mowing regularly, keeping edges nice and sharp, and feeding your lawn two to three times a year. The French Alps might also provide some stunning, global inspiration for your garden. A mini Alpine inspired landscape is the perfect way to bring the majesty of the mountains to your back garden. 

Caslte and garden


Simple, beautiful Japanese gardens

A cup of tea and some meditation in your garden is a great way to enjoy the sunshine and warming spring weather. As well as loving a home brew as much as we do, the Japanese blend modernity with tradition in their small garden spaces. Since they don’t have many wide open areas, Japanese gardens carefully measure space and capture a moment in time. Ikebana, or flower arranging, focuses on the individual beauty of each individual branch because less is more! 

Monty Don resting in a garden


The independent American gardens

You can channel your globe-trotting independent spirit through the great gardens of the United States. Add a bit of your own identity and spirit into your global garden by breaking the rules and planting flowers and plants with different colours and textures. Feel free to experiment with different plants that you may never have thought of planting before, or plant a pop of colour on your balcony to brighten up your day. 

Monty Don at Magnolia Plantation


Idyllic Paradise gardens 

The lovely spring weather might even inspire you to create a paradise in your own garden. Old Iranian paradise gardens were often enclosed with a peaceful pond featured in the centre. Your global garden can make a splash this spring by following Charlie Dimmock’s guide on how to create your own garden pond

Middle eastern Garden


The humble sunflower - A perfect garden addition

A cheerful and global addition that you can plant in your garden is the humble sunflower. Sunflowers are grown on every populated continent on Earth. They originated in North America, were brought over to Europe, and today are grown around the globe from Argentina, to South Africa, to China and beyond.  

Today, sunflowers are also a symbol to support people with hidden disabilities and most currently are being used to show solidarity with Ukraine.

Many people have prepared their garden for new, sunny additions with our Sunflower Challenge. Our Sunflower Challenge, invites everyone to grow a sunflower to boost wellbeing, connect with communities, and grow as gifts for friends and family. Check out our sunflower challenger's incredible work in the Sunflower Challenge gallery

Monty Don with sunflowers

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