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Colour Palettes of the World’s Most Famous Gardens: A Guide to Bringing Beauty into Your Own Outdoor Space

Each year when better weather comes around in Spring, excitement builds for a Summer spent enjoying our gardens. And after a long winter stuck inside, many of us are chomping at the bit to transform our outdoor spaces - perhaps this is the year to redo the patio, redesign your borders, or completely transform the space with a conservatory, gazebo, or garden shed.

The change of season brings with it exquisite bursts of colour, so we’ve looked to the most photographed gardens in the world, to create a guide filled with inspiration for your own garden.

From Monet’s garden in France, to Yves Saint Lauren’s garden in Morocco, the guide reveals each garden’s unique colour palette, and planting suggestions so you can recreate the look and feel in your own.

Monet’s Garden, Giverny, France

 

Monet's Garden, Giverny, France

Where better to start than one of the most instantly recognisable gardens in existence. Claude Monet’s iconic garden features in approximately 250 oil paintings by the French impressionist.

The Japanese inspired water garden sits beside his Giverny home that he bought in 1883 and today, some 500,000 tourists visit each year. When designing the garden, he is said to have not liked the organisation of constrained gardens, instead arranging flowers according to their colours, and letting them grow freely.

Planting Advice:

The wisteria covered Japanese bridge is arguably one of the most notable features in his garden, so if you’re hoping to bring a similar feel into your garden, white wisteria (wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’) is what you’ll need. A hardy plant that flowers between May and June, wisteria is loved for being a fast-climbing plant that looks beautiful growing against a wall or strong pergola. Other flowers that feature throughout Monet’s garden include tulips, poppies, peony plants and roses.

The Colours of Monet’s Garden:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#627743

#94b250

#c9d58f

#ecc130

#7d9ac4

#02ecc3

#ffa297

#96444e

#706854

#0c100e

The Gardens of Versailles, Versailles, France

 

The Gardens of Versaille, France

Staying in France, these exquisite royal gardens are situated to the west of the Palace of Versailles - dating back to the time of Louis XIV. The gardens feature a mosaic of lawns, sculptures and fountains, and in total they span around 800 hectares of land.

The colour palette here is one of earthy sand tones from the path ways and buildings, combined with a variety of exciting greens – from the deep shades of the trees, to the lighter grass, topped off with the eucalyptus grey green of the water in the middle. 

Planting Advice:

Unlike Monet’s garden, this section of the Gardens of Versailles is meticulously designed, creating amazing symmetry wherever you look. Featuring prominently are the likes of Taxas Baccata Cones and Hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus) hedging elements. Popular at many garden centres across the UK, Buxus balls can also help to create your very own Versailles vibe.

The Colours of The Garden of Versailles:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#101204

#3c4e0f

#7d8a06

#fde1ba

#d0b25f

#956c1a

#9b9b87

#9ebb8d

#93ad90

#bbae08

Majorelle Garden (Yves Saint Laurent’s house & garden) Marrakech, Morocco

 

Majorelle Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

The world-famous cobalt blue of La Jardin Majorelle takes centre stage amongst the 300 plant species, from five continents that make up this psychedelic desert garden design. French fashion designer Yves Saint Lauren was entranced by its beauty and bought the site in 1980, living there with his partner Pierre Berge, and the garden is now Morocco’s most visited tourist attraction, pulling in 900,000 visitors a year.

This is a rich and hypnotic colour scheme, with the electric blue and vibrant mustard yellow sitting aside the grey green of the cactus and the bright turquoise of the water and the arches.

Planting Advice:

While not all of the plants and flowers seen in Majorelle Garden will do well in the UK due to the climate, you can still evoke a similar look by using palms, as well as the likes of Amaryllis Chico, an unusual flower with chocolate-brown and pale green spider like flowers that are easy to plant and incredibly easy to grow. To bring more pops of colour, also add ‘The Majorcan Peony’ (Paeonia Cambessedesii) a beautiful pink flowering plant that requires full or partial sun and can be bedded in most soil types.

The Colours of Majorelle Garden:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#123fd4

#4573fd

#5f9fcf

#b2dfda

#f9c65e

#e39800

#d7dcc7

#789279

#83a339

#3a571d

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo, Japan

 

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Tokyo, Japan

One of Tokyo’s largest and most popular parks, Shinjuku Gyoen turns a subtle shade of candyfloss pink as cherry blossoms envelope the landscape in spring. From late March to early April, more than 400 Somei Yoshino trees explode in a celebration of the beloved pink hue.

The park originated in 1603 and it features three different types of garden – the oldest is a traditional Japanese landscape garden, and the other two are a formal French garden and an English landscape garden.

A subtle range of cherry blossom shades dominate the colour scheme here, complimented by the darker colours in the water, and the fresh greens of the grass.

Planting Advice:

Somei Yoshino trees are available to buy, so you can get a piece of Tokyo all of your own! However, if you’re not looking to purchase and plant an entire tree, you can still achieve the unique cherry-blossom colour with other smaller options. Fuji ‘Dwarf’ Cherry Blossom trees (Prunus Incisa Kojo-no-Mai) can be a great option, while Japanese maples and peonies can also give the feel of a tranquil Japanese garden.

The Colours of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#382d2a

#725644

#a37988

#c0a0a3

#d19b88

#ebdade

#b3aa47

#707627

#087d02

#425229

New York Botanical Garden, New York, USA

 

New York Botanical Garden, New York, USA

Located in Bronx Park, the New York Botanical Garden was established in 1891 and is home to over 1 million living plants. Spanning more than 250 acres, the gardens feature 50 acres of old-growth woodlands, a wetland trail, an azalea garden and the internationally renowned Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, which is home to more than 650 different varieties of roses. 

The crisp whites and light greys of the dome contrast with vibrant blues and greens to create a fresh and relaxing colour palette that would work beautifully in any garden.

Planting Advice:

While we can’t advise on all of the one million living plants on show at the botanical gardens, inspiration can be taken by anyone with a pond, with beautiful lilies lining the waterways that run throughout the gardens. For anyone with a greenhouse and a keen interest in gardening, the likes of the Aloe Ferox (or Cape Aloe), an unusual species from the Aloe family can be found in the gardens, and grown under south-facing full sun.

The Colours of New York Botanical Garden:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#111a09

#2d7134

#537815

#769266

#66a415

#ccd4cf

#b6c1c3

#98a8ae

#3a6879

#2470ce

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Pattaya City, Thailand

 

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Pattaya City, Thailand

Rich gold and lush green epitomise the colour palette in this tropical Thai botanical garden. Stretching over 500 acres, the garden was originally purchased with the intention of developing the land as a fruit plantation. Thankfully, the owners decided to use the land to create a wildlife conservation project instead and the garden was opened to the public in 1980.

Planting Advice:

Again, this is another garden in a tropical climate, so some of the plant life can be difficult to replicate in the typical hit-and-miss British weather, however there are some plants that can cope well here. Heliconia is a tropical flower found in Nong Nooch that can grow well in the UK in the summertime, and is widely known as the ‘lobster claw’ plant due to its brightly coloured claw-like petals that cluster up a stem. Other choices that can bring a bit of Thailand to you garden include Rhapis palms and Cycads which can both cope well outdoors during British summertime.

The Colours of Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#252f05

#8a8d25

#bbc704

#bb8e18

#efb924

#f8d06b

#d2bfab

#a59890

#6b6158

#4c3132

Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, Netherlands

 

Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, The Netherlands

Said to be ‘the most beautiful spring garden in the world’, Keukenhof is the world’s largest and most famous flower park, boasting more than 7 million flowers in bloom between April and May, including tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises and lilies.

Keukenhof is a spectacle of colour and perfume, and the palette here is a glorious riot of colour – from punchy pinks to glorious greens, layered with yellows, blues and reds on top.

Planting Advice:

Back in the Northern hemisphere, planting a piece of Keukenhof in your garden is a much easier task, as all of the flower types mentioned do well in the UK. Daffodils are particularly easy to grow, while the vast array of rose types means that there’s something to suit most colour preferences – from a rose bush to beautiful climbing roses. Achieving the huge, organised, rainbow-like flowerbeds of Keukenhof takes time and patience though!

The Colours of Keukenhof Gardens:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#29351d

#0a4703

#a22000

#e12605

#fd6700

#cc2774

#ffa1b9

#dde4e5

#d5c32c

#0b51c1

Las Pozas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

 

Laz Pozas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

The Las Pozas garden (translated to ‘The Pools’) is a vast garden punctuated by surrealist structures that stand out against the lush colours of the jungle that surrounds it. Created by British poet Edward James, who was looking for his very own ‘Garden of Eden’, the site is testament to his vision.

Pairing the surreal structures with the natural surroundings of Las Pozas results in a palette made up of deep jungle greens, with a smattering of earthy coloured tones and dark beigy yellows.

Planting Advice:

Growing banana and mango trees in your back garden may be a bit of a stretch, however more of a lush rainforest feel can be achieved with palms and some particular plants found in Las Pozas that can be grown in the comfort of your back garden. These include Bromeliad plants, a colourful choice that despite its tropical appearance is very easy to care for, and beautiful magnolias, a popular tree that prefers acidic to neutral soil. Magnolias can be purchased in a variety of sizes to suit the space you have.

The Colours of Las Pozas:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#bf7200

#faa003

#ebb15b

#1e350b

#4d8a00

#547655

#899762

#86777a

#463636

#2e2b36

Gardens By The Bay, Central Region, Singapore

 

Gardens By The Bay, Central Region, Singapore

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore that’s seen well over 50 million visitors since its creation, the gardens span some 250 acres, consisting of waterfront gardens and the largest glass greenhouse in the world. Its instantly recognisable vertical ‘super trees’ are a draw for crowds on their own, while the entire garden forms part of the nation’s plan to transform Singapore into a ‘city in a garden’.

Awash with colour, the palette includes vibrant pinks and standout greens that include lush lime colours to darker marshy hues.

Planting Advice:

Gardens by the Bay plays home to some of the rarest plants in the world, such as the ‘golden rat tail’ or ‘truncated pitcher plant’ which obviously can’t be replicated in every back garden. However, to mirror the lush greens on show, palms are a great choice, while favourites such as tulips and cherry blossom trees (try the Fuji ‘Dwarf’ tree we mentioned) can also be found here.

The Colours of Gardens by The Bay: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#325734

#5c811b

#04a238

#abc604

#cdaeb4

#c09e94

#f9ade0

#dd3981

#700b34

#683c7b

Bodnant Gardens, Colwyn Bay, UK

 

Bodnant Gardens, Colwyn Bay, UK

You can always expect beauty at a National Trust property in the UK, and Bodnant Gardens brings it in troves. Covering some 80 acres of Welsh hillside, the garden consists of multiple areas that range from rose gardens to lily ponds, however its most photographed section is arguably the Laburnum Arch.

Dating back more than 100 years, the arch seems ready made for the perfect Instagram shot, with a sky of sunshine yellow running overhead, while spots of pink and green pepper the sides.

Planting Advice:

How can we talk about recreating the feel of Bodnant without mentioning Laburnum? Best trained to grow over a pergola or archway, recreating the feel of Bodnant will be a true labour of love. The tree is relatively easy to care for and grow, however to reach its full ‘golden chain’ effect can take up to fifteen years. Like most trees, plant in Autumn and beyond that, patience is key.

The Colours of Bodnant Gardens:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3e3c25

#1b614a

#2b721b

#555a56

#80889f

#c5a200

#c6b202

#ffdc05

#eface0

#c0409f

Kew Gardens, London, UK

 

Kew Gardens, London, UK

Kew Gardens in London boasts the 'largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collection in the world', so it's no surprise that it makes the list as one of the most photographed gardens in the world, with tourists and Londoners flocking to the gardens each year. One of London's top tourist attractions, the gardens even have their own police force to help protect the site, and the hundreds of thousands of plants that are on show.

Colours here change with the seasons and the perfectly crafted arrangements, however expect to see lush greens providing a background for pops of purples, yellows and reds.

Planting Advice:

Kew is home to more than 750,000 plants, so you’ll need acres of space to try and replicate everything they have here, however popular plants found here during springtime include the common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis), a beautiful white plant that prefers some shade. Perfect for any north-facing gardens around the UK.

The Colours of Kew Gardens:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#001214

#23410D

#708D38

#9FC264

#819CA7

#BCCED5

#D14A70

#E16C8A

#DD8CE5

#7B198B

 

If you’re excited to make the most of your outdoor space, why not consider adding a garden feature such as a pergola covered with polycarbonate roofing sheets? A great option if you’ve got the space and are looking to add some more function, as well as aesthetics to your outdoor space. Or to bring the outside in, how about adding roof tiles to your conservatory, or revitalising a garden building with brand new corrugated roofing?

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Methodology:

To find the 11 most photographed gardens in the world, we looked at those that have been shared on Instagram the most. This was achieved by compiling a list of more than 30 famous gardens from around the world, and analysing the number of times each garden's hashtag has been used (eg. #gardensbythebay, #jardinmajorelle, #keukenhofgardens etc.) and ranking by most shared to least. Data correct as of May 2021.