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A romantic retreat

There is no doubt that February is the month of love. Start your February by planning a romantic garden to share with the one you love. Whether it is a secret tryst with your boyfriend or re-kindling your romance with your spouse. You will not be sorry.

A garden of romance is all about ambience and there are many ways you can introduce a romantic atmosphere into your garden. Start planning by adding intimate spaces and water gardens, using a kaleidoscope of beautiful colours, or a tiny, secret hideaway in a townhouse garden. A concealed garden should be exciting - a special, secret world, filled with anticipation.
While plants should be the main characters in a romantic garden, there are decorative accents that can enhance and contribute to the overall effect. Arbours, summer houses, gazebos, even a simple latticework trellis, offer a private space, a hideaway, protection from public gaze. Add a hammock or a swing seat for two, and you have a garden for romance. A small pool to reflect the moonlight during your romantic tryst, and you have a garden in which to promote love in your relationship.

Fragrant romance

Fragrant plants are essential in a romantic garden. Some plants, like honeysuckle, jasmine and roses, spread their scent far and wide, others only at certain times of the day or evening. Rosemary and lavender release their scent when the plants are touched or crushed, so are best planted next to a path or near a bench. Other fragrant plants to try are gardenias, scented pelargoniums, star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and Artemisia‘ Powis Castle’.

Ravishing reds

Red flowers have been associated with romance since time immemorial, so if you prefer your lover’s haven to be planted up solely with plants in all shades of red, then consider these:

Shrubs and perennials

Callistemon ‘Endeavour’, red hibiscus, Berberis thunbergii ‘Rose Glow’, day lilies such as ‘Red Ruffles’ and ‘Red Robe’, red canna.

Red roses

‘Annique’, ‘Modern Crusader’, ‘Belle Rouge’, ‘Avon’, ‘Walter Sisulu’, ‘Ecstasy’, ‘Ingrid Bergman’, ‘Mother’s Value’, ‘Red Pixie’, ‘Little Red Hedge’.


Deep red snapdragon (Antirrhinum spp.), penstemon, sweet William (Dianthus barbatus), salvia, New Guinea impatiens, begonia, zinnias, petunia.

Lovers’ seat

No romantic retreat should be without a garden seat nestled amongst the plants in your secret hideaway. A garden bench can become an instant focal point, creating a new vista. Frame the effect with an arbour or archway covered in glorious roses and grow scented plants nearby in pots. In a dark, shady corner, place a white or light coloured bench to ‘lift’ the area.

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