The South African mix

The English heritage is widely spread in South African gardens. Traditional English plants like roses, petunias and begonias are very popular. However, what makes the South African gardens so interesting is the mixture of English tradition and native exotic plants.

The favourite topic of South African garden bloggers is how to grow these typical English plants successfully in the African climate. Another very important subject is the perfect lawn. This, however, seems to be a never-ending story, because it is pretty difficult to keep the lawn green in South Africa. Along with the traditional English flowers, vegetable beds can be found in many gardens. The main reason for growing the own vegetables is, as in most other countries, the desire for healthy food and, of course, the feeling of happiness when harvesting the self-grown food. South African gardeners grow their vegetables in organic gardens and they do it with a lot of effort and dedication. Alongside the English tradition, there is a huge interest in the native plants, with aloe being one of the most popular ones. All this creates an own cultural mix, which makes South African gardens so interesting and rich in variety.

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Brazilian gardening: Everywhere is room for a plant

People in Brazil are passionate gardeners. Even those living in the very densely populated areas of the country do not want to live without a garden. However, sometimes the “garden” is no more than a container or a couple of flowerpots.

A big house with a large garden is a sheer luxury, most people in Brazil cannot afford. Nevertheless, for a Brazilian lack of space is no excuse for not having a garden. Living in a small house or even an apartment does therefore not necessarily mean that it is impossible to have a garden. Necessity is the mother of invention and so every little space inside and outside the house, be it on the balcony, the rooftop or the pavement, is being used for placing pots or containers. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that the favourite Brazilian gardening trends are urban gardening, container gardening and indoor gardening. Due to the circumstances given, the pots and containers are an important part of the garden. They therefore have to be very decorative and must contribute to the aesthetic appeal. Moreover, these pots and containers are often used as a sort of living green fence put up around the houses. The plants used can be ornamental plants or herbs and vegetables. Everything is possible and everywhere is room for a plant. Even house owners with large gardens are enthusiastic about container gardening, because they appreciate the easy maintenance and flexibility. Containers and pots can be easily moved on the terrace or within the garden, thus giving the garden a new look without huge efforts but at very reasonable expenditure. Although Brazilians are passionate garden lovers, they are not among the top spenders on gardening and outdoor living. On average they only invest 17 Euros (22 $) per year in their garden.

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Romance and bad weather in Norway

The people in Norway like it romantic. Maybe this is their way of coping with the extreme weather conditions and the long period of darkness during the winter season.

As soon as the days get longer in spring, Norwegians start to prepare their gardens for the summer. Everything has to beautiful for the warm period of the year und it certainly must be romantic. The Vikings love floral gardens and as in their neighbour country Sweden, gardening is an all-female affair. Due to their romantic preference, re-creating wilderness is the favourite garden trend in Norway – and roses are their fancied flowers. The ideal Norwegian garden is the traditional English rose garden. These Scandinavian hobby gardeners are so dotty about roses that Norwegian bloggers enthusiastically participate in a contest called ‘Ms Rose’. They submit pictures of their loveliest roses and other bloggers comment on them. However, the weather in Norway can be extreme. Heavy storms and rain can cause severe damage to the gardens. That is why many Norwegians are followers of another garden trend: Greenhouse gardening. The greenhouses not only protect their plants, they also open up a small new world and prolong the gardening season. The Norwegians are among the top spenders on gardening and outdoor living in Europe. On average they invest 96 Euros (126 $) per year in their garden.

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Purely native Down Under

A garden needs water, of course. It even needs lots of water when temperatures rise to subtropical or tropical in summer. But what, if there is hardly any water for watering the garden plants? Gardeners in Australia know the answer.

Water is a big issue and it even is the issue in some regions of this constantly dry country. However, the severe lack of water is no reason at all for laid-back Aussies to do without a garden – above all, they need a decent place for their fancied BBQs. That charcoal smoke wafting along the warm summer breeze is an integral part of the Australian culture. Good food, cool beer, groovy tunes, good company and a nice garden to celebrate the BBQ is Australian for having a good time. All this works perfectly fine with the most favourite garden trend Down Under: Re-creating wilderness. This type of garden is best characterised by giving Mother Nature full scope and experiencing the unexpected. It only works well with native plants for these plants are drought-tolerant and able to retain moisture. At the same time re-creating wilderness saves a lot of time, as it does not require a lot of gardening. The traditional European image of a garden with its imposed order and neatly cultivated flowerbeds are hardly found in Australia. Although the re-created wilderness is mainly due to the water scarcity, Aussie gardeners foster it as the celebration of the unique Australian flora and fauna. Especially the latter can also be a menace. Various insects and caterpillars as well as opossums and snakes are the most unwanted creatures in Australian gardens. Therefore, many blog posts deal with “know your enemy”, i.e. giving advice for keeping these animals off the garden. Gardening is just slightly different Down Under.

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French gardens: Poetry in motion

It’s Gallic! A garden is a garden, but in France it is not that simple. The country seems to be full of Gardens of Eden and thus gardening is a highly emotional thing to do in the land of wine, baguettes and camembert.

For the average French garden lover gardening is something he could never do without. It is an inherent human need, a heart’s desire, a basic want. Thus, French bloggers tend to express their passionate fascination for gardening in a very poetic way. It is not just the garden itself that causes this rapture, but it is the practice of gardening, it is letting flowers, herbs and vegetables grow, it is experiencing Mother Nature – something a French garden lover would never call work. For him it is the creation of a sense of harmony and it is the connection of mankind with its origins. Consequently, their favourite garden trend is the feel-good garden. Especially for women the garden is a place where they can forget daily routines and the pressures of professional life. While relaxing and dreaming in their feel-good gardens many French wish their garden was much larger. However, also in France a lush and spacious garden is something for the upper class. Nevertheless, the French love their gardens – even if they are small – and corresponding to their mentality they endeavour to make the best of it. Thus, those who can’t have a large garden consider a kitchen garden as an interesting and affordable alternative. And again, bloggers who report about their kitchen garden on the web find very poetic words to describe it, for instance harvesting is magic, it’s best of the earth’s energy or listening to the voice of nature. It’s just French.

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