Gardening ideas inspired by stunning gardens around the world

Gum boots and gardening tools in a garden

2.86min read

Published 8 April 2020


Digging around for gardening ideas? While we're not all blessed with a green thumb, we do love these (relatively) hard-to-kill favourites that bloom on many a windowsill or in a small patch of garden.

Our plant babies also remind us of the beautiful green spaces and botanical gardens that we have visited around the world. Here are our favourite indoor plants and gardening ideas, inspired by these gardens around the world.

The orchid

Intricately detailed and exquisite, the orchid brings a touch of the exotic into the home. One of the most popular places to find these exotic beauties naturally is in the humid tropical forests of Asia.

If you're an orchid owner, you'd love Singapore's Orchid Gardens. A hybrid orchid cross (called the Vanda Miss Joaquim!) is the city-state's national flower. See it, plus thousands of others, in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. This 161-year-old tropical garden boasts a dedicated Orchid Garden filled with over 1000 species and 2000 hybrids.

Top care tip for your orchid: Recreate your orchid's natural habitat by placing it in your bathroom. It will thrive in the humidity. A top care tip is to water your orchid by placing a single ice cube in 


A pink flower with a white flower in the background

The spekboom

Ah, the humble spekboom. 2019 seemed to be the year of this miracle plant's moment in the sun. The whole world cottoned on to this proudly South African plant's superhero carbon offsetting benefits.

Spekboom grows naturally in the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape, particularly in the Addo Elephant National Park. Spekboom is the 'bread and butter' diet of the park's gentle giants. In fact, elephants can eat up to 200kg of spekboom a day!

Cape Town's Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens has a beautiful water-wise and indigenous section, home to many species of spekboom, as well as fynbos, proteas and other proudly South African favourites.

Top care tip for your spekboom: Apart from the fact that you can eat the leaves? Yes, the spekboom is not only a gentle giants snack food of choice, but we can eat it too. Wash the leaves thoroughly and toss into a salad!

Can't work out what your spekboom's limp leaves or yellow tips mean? Read Plantify's handy spekboom care instructions.

READ MORE: Seven of the best picnic spots in Cape Town


A small plant in a pot

The bonsai

If your green fingers are greener than most, chances are there's a perfectly groomed bonsai sitting proudly in your home. Bonsai is, in fact, a Japanese art form that uses special grooming and cultivation methods to make tiny pot-based trees a mini replica of real-life ones.

Japan is iconic for its artistically curated gardens, filled with bonsai trees.

But the city of Kyoto is particularly special. Kyoto has many stunning bonsai gardens, often serenely situated on the grounds of temples or imperial buildings.

Top care tip for your bonsai: Here's a handy YouTube video on watering and feeding your bonsai tree.


A bonsai tree on a table in a living room

The parlor palm

Also known as the bamboo palm, this small palm tree is one of the most popular houseplants in the world. It does well even in low light conditions and cramped spaces and is a fantastic air purifier.

The parlor palm can be found naturally in the rainforests of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. It's sure to bring that extra touch of spice into your home.

Top care tip for your parlor palm: Not sure if you're under or overwatering? Brown leaf tips often indicate overwatering, while yellow fronds indicate that the plant needs more water.


Potted herbs

If your favourite plant babies are of the more useful variety, they're certainly no less beautiful. Whether it's rocket, coriander, basil, parsley, thyme, mint or similar, potted herbs tick the box for beauty and function.

Of course, you can find potted herbs everywhere (including your local farmers market or supermarket in many cases). But some gardens around the world put the "wow" into kitchen plants.

The Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in London has a large kitchen garden, which once kept the royal family supplied with fresh fruit and veg in Georgian times.

The Gardens have kindly shared their six ways to bring in nature while stuck indoors.

Top care tip for your potted herbs: Want potted herbs but don't have any? Here's how you can grow potted herbs from store-bought bunches. 



Don't despair if all you can keep alive is a cactus. Google Morocco's Majorelle Garden and you'll have a new appreciation for your humble and hardy cactus.

Majorelle Garden or Jardin Majorelle is a renowned Moroccan botanical garden, first planted by French painter Jacques Majorelle. You may also know it as a home of the late fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent, who bought the garden in 1980, restoring it to its former glory.

French meets Art Deco meets Moroccan in this vibrant, colourful oasis in the desert. Cacti, exotic plants and landscaped trees perfectly offset the vibrant blue paint of the museum. Tinkling fountains and streams and ponds of water lilies and lotus flowers enhance the tranquillity.

Top care tip for your cactus: Unlike popular opinion, succulents do like being watered. Just don't overdo it. Poke a stick into the soil – if dirt sticks to it, the ground is still wet, and it doesn't' t need watering.



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