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4 ways to landscape your garden with inspiration from famous paintings


What if we told you that a famous work of art could be the source of inspiration for a beautifully cultivated garden?

It’s not really such a stretch. Nature and gardens have been the subject of focus and inspiration for artists like Emil Nolde and Claude Monet. If you’ve got a green thumb, why not pay tribute to your favourite artist and bring their work to life in your own compound? 

Here’s a look at four examples of classic and timeless works of art that you can draw inspiration from for your next landscaping project.

1. Bright and Bold Display, inspired by Frida Kahlo’s works

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Casa Azul, home to Frida Kahlo, and a breathtaking cobalt blue wonder. Kahlo lived in this home until her death in 1954, where she painted from her light-filled studio through her illness and suffering from a bus accident at the age of 18. Because she was in a full-body cast for a long time, her home was built around a central courtyard. 

Filled with cacti, fruit trees and indigenous plants, and adorned with Mexican folk art and archaeological artefacts from her and her husband’s personal collection, it’s no wonder Kahlo is symbolically known for her use of plant and animal imagery. 

How to create this garden: If there’s one thing you can take away from Frida, go bold! While it can be the norm to use a subtle aesthetic for gardens, you can also make a statement with them using deep or bright-coloured plants. Take it up a notch with unique water features and mismatched cobbled flooring.  

2. Summer Garden, inspired by Emil Nolde’s Peonies and Irises 

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Captivated by colourful gardens, rows and bushes of pastel peonies and other jewel-toned fauna, Nolde and his wife often enjoyed basking among beautifully blooming flowers that would have also been the stems of inspiration. “Peonies and Irises” is a wonderful piece of art that portrays the beauty of the modern garden, and seeing these flowers in real life brought dynamism to the way Nolde painted. 

How to create this garden: Replicating a garden look like this takes a little bit of precision to bring the summer vibe across even in our Malaysian weather. Opt for larger flowers that bloom well in the hot sun, and get creative with matching the many hues in which they are readily available. 

3. Red Roses Climbing a Roman Fence, inspired by Alex Katz’s Red Roses with Blue

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Roses are classic favourites that make an appearance in both amateur and professionally designed gardens. American artist Alex Katz was a prolific painter who loved depicting his floral subjects in extreme close-ups. Creatively, he covered a large blue canvas in bloomed roses to create one of his final floral art masterpieces, “Red Roses with Blue”.

How to create this garden: There are so many categories of roses available to choose from. A great way to create a space filled with these beautiful blooms is to, believe it or not, mix and match. Try a combination of micro-miniatures, grandifloras or opt for groundcovers to climbing roses. The thought of maintaining keeping a rose garden can be daunting, but the key is to not go overboard with rose varieties. A few well-chosen varieties will help you achieve the romantic and classic vibe of a rose garden that you’ve always dreamed of.

4. House with Indoor Water Lily Pond, inspired by Claude Monet’s Water Lilies 

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There is just something about an indoor water pond that brings a sense of tranquillity to any space. It’s been said that the sound of running water promotes relaxation, which explains why places like spas always come complete with a water feature. But the famous and beloved painting in the history of art from Monet’s “Water Lilies” series takes things up a notch. His oil on canvas painting was inspired by his own flower garden at home in Giverny. He was drawn to the water plant’s ability to reflect sunlight, which was why he created a series depicting the transformation of the flower and the pond at different times of the day and during different seasons of the year.

How to create this garden: Even if you can’t paint as intricately as Monet, you can still replicate the idea of an indoor water pond and transform it into a masterpiece. To keep things clean, convenient and safe, choose the lowest level of your home to place your pond at. Then adorn it with rocks or stones before adding those lovely water plants. Keep all that zen flowing by installing a high-quality water pump.

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