While we are blessed with incredible climate and a wide variety of flora in our region, creating a stunning garden in your home is not as easy an undertaking as it seems. Fortunately, the world offers a treasure trove of design inspiration to draw from and emulate. Here, we share three distinct garden styles worth considering, along with tips on how to achieve them in your own home.

ZEN GARDENS

The aim of these gardens is to create a serene environment where one can reflect, hence their minimalist aesthetic. And since Zen gardens tend to be sparser than other garden types, each element in the garden has a deep cultural or philosophical meaning. Zen gardens are a natural fit for homes located in Northcrest, Wood Lane and other communities that are designed with a distinct Asian flair.

How to Create a Tranquil Zen Garden:

Oriental Entrance

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A torii-inspired gate is the perfect entryway for your Zen garden

Establish an Asian style early on with a torii-inspired gate and a simple bamboo fence.

Raked Sand

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Sand is often raked in different patterns to resemble ripples of water

Traditionally, sand was poured to purify the ground and please the spirits. Raking your sand to create different kinds of patterns reminiscent of water is both a mental and physical exercise, and is often practiced by those who are into meditation.

Pavilion or Gazebo

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A pavilion is an ideal spot to meditate or entertain guests

A small pavilion or gazebo gives you a private place to entertain guests or to enjoy a nice cup of tea.

Waterfall and Koi Pond

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Waterfalls are symbolic of the flow of life

The pitter-patter of water flowing from a waterfall not only contributes to the relaxing tempo of your garden; it’s also symbolic of the flow of life. Another water-based element you can add to your garden is a Koi pond, which is also seen as a symbol of good luck.

Evergreen

Evergreens resemble the shape of Japanese pagodas

Evergreens resemble the shape of Japanese pagodas

When it comes to greenery, include evergreen trees such as pine, which resemble the shape of Japanese pagodas. These, along with low shrubs or bonsai, will frame the tranquil atmosphere of your garden.

MEDITERRANEAN GARDENS

The Mediterranean region is a colorful and interesting fusion of South European, North African, and West Asian cultures. Because of the area’s warm climate, gardens in this part of the world need to marry practicality and beauty. Communities such as Las Terrazas are ideal locations for this garden style.

How to Build a Cool and Stylish Mediterranean Garden:

Enclosure

High, white walls are a staple of Mediterranean gardens

High, white walls are a staple of Mediterranean gardens

A high wall doesn’t just add much-needed privacy; it also offers a barrier against the elements. Often painted white, enclosures deflect the sun’s rays, making for a cooler garden.

Pergolas or Arbors 

A pergola is a stylish way to ward off the heat

A pergola is a stylish way to ward off the heat

A structure such as a pergola or arbor offers you and your guests a welcome respite from the heat. 

Dribbling Fountains

Dribbling fountains are a water-saving alternative to waterfalls or full-sized fountains

Dribbling fountains are a water-saving alternative to waterfalls or full-sized fountains

Given the hot Mediterranean weather, many gardens in the area feature some form of water work, such as dribbling fountains.

Tilework

Hardscape is commonly used in the Mediterranean where water is scarce

Hardscape is commonly used in the Mediterranean where water is scarce

Hardscape such as tiles and flagstones are a water-saving and low-maintenance alternative to landscaped grass.

Colorful Plants

Flowering plants look even more stunning when there’s abundant sunlight

Flowering plants look even more stunning when there’s abundant sunlight

For a Mediterranean garden, flowering plants such as bougainvillea, yellow bells, and herbs such as thyme are ideal because they thrive in areas with abundant sunlight, making their colors look even more vibrant and welcoming.

COTTAGE GARDENS

Of the styles discussed here, cottage gardens look the least designed—they have that homey, slightly overgrown feel that reminds you of the beautiful abundance of nature. Our vacation home communities, such as Fernwood and Eden Ridge, have spacious lots where such gardens can thrive.

How to Build a Low-Maintenance Cottage Garden:

Picket Fences

Picket fences lend an old-school charm to your cottage garden

Picket fences lend an old-school charm to your cottage garden

Cottage gardens possess a timeless charm, which is why traditional touches such as white picket fences are a good fit. While picket fences are usually used as enclosures, you may also opt to repurpose them as trellises for your climbing plants.

Homey Furniture

Vintage furniture create a homey feel

Vintage furniture create a homey feel

To create that relaxed, live-in feel for your cottage garden, consider using vintage or refurbished furniture.

Pathways

Walkways often crisscross cottage gardens

Walkways often crisscross cottage gardens

Another signature feature of cottage gardens are winding pathways, which are usually flanked by shrubs or flowering plants. 

Functional Decorations
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Birdhouses are both charming and functional

A small fountain or a birdhouse makes your garden an inviting home for nature’s creatures as well.

Old-Fashioned Flowers

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Classic beauties such as roses are ideal for cottage gardens

When it comes to choosing what to plant, traditional cottage gardens usually stick to romantic English flowers such as roses, peonies, and carnations. For a local touch, however, you may opt to grow plant species easily available in the Philippines, such as sampaguita, santan, and dama de noche.

We hope this guide has helped you get a better idea of which garden style suits your home and your personal tastes. For more gardening tips, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter or follow our Facebook page.

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