Have you always dreamt of a Balinese style garden? Do you wish you could be relaxing in one of their spa retreats right now, while nimble fingers massage your cares away to the rhythmic rush of waves lapping the shore? We show you how to create the look of a Balinese garden in your own back yard.
Balinese Garden Style - stillnessBalinese style gardens, especially those in luxury holiday resorts, combine the flavours of Indonesia's neighbouring nations like a delicious fusion dish.
One flavour is the lush verdant greenery and big bold shapes of tropical island style gardens, jungly and rain-fed. The other is the meticulous attention to detail and neat geometric layouts of Japanese style gardens, creating a place of quiet reflection.
In a Balinese garden, nature is all around us, but controlled and contained.Like Japanese gardens, Balinese gardens also often incorporate an area of still calm water to aid the tranquil atmosphere: a small round bowl, a straight pond, or a large square pool.
Paths are smooth, straight, level - all to maintain a serene and steady pace while strolling through the garden. Edges and corners are perfectly square, creating a striking yin-yang contrast with round bowls, round pots, round garden beds.
Horizontal bands across the paths echo the horizontal terracing of farmers' rice fields in the steep hills around; and the visual lines slow down our walking pace, encouraging us to step to a calmer tempo.Accent colours are kept to a minimum - the Balinese garden is a rainbow of green shades, where texture dominates over colour.
Balinese Garden Style - serenityBalinese style gardens place the emphasis on green - it's scientifically the most relaxing colour to our eyes. Simply looking out of the window at a green view can lower our blood pressure, and make us feel calmer.
Gently undulating shady grass lawns, soft and cool underfoot, are dotted with low arching palms and tall leafy trees. Beds of bold lush-leaved emerald foliage - broad-leaved grasses, large-leaved philodendrons, tall fan-shaped travellers palms - create a strong unfussy signature look on a bold and dramatic scale.
Each plant is placed with care - they don't interlace exuberantly like tropical garden style gardens, they all have their own space to shine. Calm and controlled.
It's not only plants that are supersized in a Balinese -style garden - statues, sculptures, pots and planters are all on a grand scale - and situated as carefully as the plants.There's an emphasis on natural tactile materials - cool water, smooth stone, flexible wicker, swaying bamboo - as these Balinese gardens return us to nature.