32 of the best garden themes, from a Mediterranean paradise to an aromatic oasis

Planning a garden makeover? Get inspired by these themed garden ideas...

composite of three different garden themes
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Whether you need some inspiration on how to redesign your garden or have just moved into a new place with a blank canvas, choosing a cohesive theme can really help you create an impressive outdoor space.

With all the garden trends that come and go, it can be hard to settle on just one you love. However, with budgets to consider and potentially limited space, the on-trend options can start to get smaller and smaller. 

Luckily, there's a garden theme for every outdoor space and budget, ranging from functional to luxurious; from minimalist to maximalist. Here are our 32 favourites.

The best garden theme ideas

English cottage garden

English cottage garden

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There’s nothing quite as tranquil as a cottage garden, with towering foxgloves, plenty of feathered visitors and a charming pond. Recreating one yourself is rather easy, and you can easily do it on a budget too. Plant native flowers, keep your grass somewhat longer and go bargain-hunting for wooden furniture. Before you know it you’ll be surrounded by your own secret garden. 

Nature's Haven Easy Wildflowers Shady Mix: £10.60 at Amazon 

Nature's Haven Easy Wildflowers Shady Mix: £10.60 at Amazon 

Looking to bring the English countryside to your garden? This wildflower mix is ideal for any space and can be used both on lawns and in pots. Don't get a lot of sun? This mix is designed purposely to thrive in the shade. 

Coastal garden

Coastal garden

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Whether you live by the coast or not, creating your very own coastal garden is possible for everyone. Incorporating sand, pebbles and worn wood into your outdoor decor will immediately transport you to your favourite seaside. Why not collect some shells on your next holiday and DIY a windchime to add even more character? 

Mediterranean garden

mediterranean garden

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If you’re looking to turn your space into a Mediterranean paradise, there are a few simple steps you can take. From planting aromatic flowers and herbs to installing shaded dining areas, transforming your garden into a terracotta-coloured haven won’t take as much effort as you may think. 

Pizza kitchen garden

pizza garden

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Are you a big fan of al fresco dining? What better way to celebrate that than having your very own stone-baked pizza oven in your garden? Build your whole garden concept around it with an outdoor grilling station, luxurious dining set and mood lighting. After all, what’s a pizzeria without some warm inviting lighting? We recommend investing in some weatherproof string lights.   

Tropical style garden

tropical garden

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Should you be looking for more of a challenge when it comes to your garden, why not start tending to some more tropical species? Even some palms and ferns will instantly transform your space and have you dreaming of tropical climates. When you’re really confident you can move on to the more impressive plants like gloriosa and canna.

Artistic garden

artsy garden

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Your garden is the perfect place to explore your creativity and personality, it’s practically a blank canvas. This is why it can be a great idea to add art installations, sculptures and some of your own DIY projects. We love this one in the image above, with something as simple as painted CDs you can create a super fun effect. 

Medicinal herb garden

medicinal garden

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Whether you know a lot about medicinal plants or not, growing them at home and having them to hand can be a lot more beneficial than you may have thought. Herbs like calendula and chamomile have impressive healing properties and when harvested correctly, they can become a lifesaver in the home first aid box. 

Zen garden

zen garden

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There are so many zen garden ideas to choose from that could completely transform your garden, wall to wall. Whether you decide to add lanterns to your walkways or create a meditation space, a zen garden can be recreated in more ways than one and can be altered depending on your budget and space. 

Oriental-style garden

chinese garden

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When it comes to Chinese gardens, certain key components can always be found in them. They usually include one or more ponds, various tree and flower species, and paths or halls. Of course, adding hallways to your garden might not be possible but incorporating other elements will still achieve a similar result. 

Gothic garden

gothic garden

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If you’re more into the gothic look - perhaps you're inspired by the beauty in graveyards and vintage stonework - then you’re in for an easy garden project. Adding old stone sculptures, allowing your grass to become overgrown and sticking to a darker colour palette will all point you in the right direction of having a cool gothic space. 

Stone garden

stone garden

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If you want an extremely low-maintenance outdoor space, consider a stone garden. While it might not have a technical name, using only pebbles, gravel and decorative stones in your garden can provide you with a soothing outdoor space without all the hassle of tending to a lawn and shrubs.

Vegetable garden

vegetable garden

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Looking to start vegetable gardening for beginners? There’s nothing quite as rewarding as growing your own fruit and vegetables. In fact, you’ll soon find yourself addicted to the lifestyle after your first harvest. Start easy with tomatoes and work your way up the green-thumb ladder to having a fully-fledged allotment. 

Bush garden

bush garden

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Bush gardens are great if you’re on the lookout for privacy plants that’ll keep the noisy neighbours away. Instead of having lots of flowers or trees, creating borders or displays with bushes can still give you a garden to be proud of - just without all the fussing and sowing. Bush gardens are also great for those who want as much lawn as possible. Using various bushes as borders will make your garden feel fuller without sacrificing much space with beds and trees. 

Rose garden

rose garden

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If you’re a hopeless romantic or simply love the smell of roses, designing your very own rose garden will be right down your alley. Don’t be intimidated by the care of roses, once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll be surprised just how independent these flowers can be. Just make sure you know how to prune a rose bush and simply enjoy the annual bloom. 

Butterfly garden

butterfly garden

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Attracting butterflies to your garden will not only bring you joy aesthetically but they’re also great helpers around the garden. Similar to trees and shrubs, butterflies like hawthorn and holly, and they love herbs like rosemary, sage and mint. The winged beauties will help pollinate your garden all while providing a wonderful rainbow of colour to your space. 

Sensory garden

sensory garden

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Having a space in your garden where you or little guests can go to keep busy is just as important as anything else in a garden. Whether that’s a rakeable gravel path or a sandpit for children to play in, having these sensory stimulants can bring a surprising amount of serenity to your garden. 

Kitchen herb garden

herb garden

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For those who aren’t quite ready to take the leap into vegetable gardening, growing a herb garden is the perfect baby step. Herbs are notoriously easy to grow and look after, they’re usually rather sturdy and can survive even the most neglectful plant parent. And the best part is that even with this low-maintenance attitude they provide you with some delicious-tasting herbs. 

Tea garden

tea garden

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While you might assume tea could only be grown in far-off places, you can actually grow your own - right in your garden. You don’t even need lots of land to do it, even a small planter on a balcony would do. There are several different types you can grow, so we recommend researching your favourite tea and how it would fare in your specific outdoor conditions. 

Desert garden

desert garden

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Despite the UK being renowned for its depressingly wet weather, having a desert-style garden is not an impossible dream. In fact, many desert native plants can grow very happily in our wet British climate. Simply choose drought-tolerant plants like the yucca rostrata and create a covered area in your garden - that way, any inevitable rain will be kept well away and you’re free to water it when needed.

Salsa making garden

salsa garden

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When you're a little tight on space but still have those veggie garden yearnings, creating a small patch for one thing is a great idea. For this, we love the idea of growing your own salsa garden with tomatoes, chillies and of course a coriander plant. This is a super fun way of edible gardening when you're restricted by a small garden. 

Quiet luxury garden

Quiet luxury garden

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Should budget not be an issue, then the quiet luxury trend is the way to go. With refined high-quality furniture, a warm neutral colour palette and ambient lighting, you’ll be sure to impress your guests with this one. Something as simple as upgrading your planters can really give your garden that luxurious feel. 

Pollinator garden

bee-friendly garden

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It’s no secret that without bees we’d be in big trouble. So whether you’re a fan of insects or not, creating a garden that welcomes the fuzzy creature with not only help the environment but your garden specifically. They’re top-notch pollinators, so they’ll singlehandedly help your plants grow and bloom. That’s why it’s good to plant specific species they'll love such as geraniums, snapdragons and primroses. 

Urban garden

urban garden

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Living in a city has many advantages but garden space is usually not one of them. So if you’re in an urban area and are extremely short on outdoor space, there are a few things you can do to reconnect with nature. Adding potted plants and hanging baskets to your balcony or a boxed herb garden can give you that greenery that city living doesn't always offer.

Pond garden

swamp style garden

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The word 'swamp' might not be one you want to be associated with your garden, but if you consider it in looser terms, perhaps less Shrek and more dragonflies, then it can be a magical theme for your garden. Adding a large pond with water lilies, overhanging trees and lots of lush greenery will not only transform the look of your garden but also invite unique species of wildlife into it. 

Rainbow themed garden

colourful _ rainbow garden

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No matter what your favourite colour is, you can build an entire garden aesthetic around it and for a reasonable price too. Whether you’re into dopamine decor or prefer the minimaluxe trend, choosing a colour palette is a super quick and easy way of making your garden look cohesive and well-designed. Why not opt for a rainbow theme and really make your guests smile? 

Relaxation garden

relaxation garden

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If peace and quiet are what you’re after, then tailoring your outdoor space to suit your personal needs is a great way to achieve that. Incorporating spa features, soft lighting and comfortable furniture will have you craving some alone time in your garden every night. You can even splash out and invest in an inflatable hot tub. 

Cuttings garden

cuttings garden

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Cutting gardens might be a new concept to you but it’s a rather basic one - it’s simply creating a lush garden all from cuttings of pre-established plants. For example, if you know how to take a hydrangea cutting soon enough your one bush could turn into five scattered around your garden. This is a great theme for those who like sustainable garden ideas

Moon garden

moon_nocturnal garden

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A moon garden is a rather unique concept but it’s ideal for people who live more nocturnally and would prefer to enjoy their outdoor space during the nighttime. For a moon garden, one would usually plant white or silver plants; species that will be enjoyed (and glistening) when the moon is out.

Rainscaped garden

rainscaping garden

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Rainscaping is the eco-friendly way of designing your garden to get the most out of natural rainwater, whether that’s by collecting it or by absorbing it. This theme is especially useful if you live in an area that is prone to flooding or you're looking to save some money on water bills. There are several ways you can participate in rainwater harvesting and most of them are surprisingly reasonable.

Native garden

native garden

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Sometimes planting tropical or exotic flowers can be more of a headache than it’s worth, especially with the unpredictable UK weather. So creating a garden full of native plants, whether that’s nationally or within your region, will provide you with a wonderfully full garden with minimal effort. Plants like poppies, yellow iris, primrose and apple trees are some of the best natives to choose from. 

Rewilded garden

rewilded garden

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Whilst you might look at a rewilded garden and think it’s simply been left to its own devices for way too long there’s a lot more method to the madness. Letting wildflowers and your grass grow where it likes it is an easy yet effective way of supporting your space's natural ecosystem. If you want a rewilded garden it’s also important to not use any chemicals on plants, to allow all walks of wildlife to enter and to even let weeds grow. 

Perfumed garden

perfume garden

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There are so many great plants that will make your garden smell good that it can be hard to choose the one you want. From lavender to roses, there is a variety of scent-boosting species. Choose the one that best suits your budget, space, skill level - and personal preference, of course.

Emily Smith
Digital lifestyle writer

Emily joined woman&home as a staff writer after finishing her MA in Magazine Journalism from City University in 2023. After writing various health and news content, she now specialises in lifestyle and home writing where she covers all things cleaning, interiors and homeowning.