I did something similar after visiting Switzerland in this post. I find traveling can really show you how other cultures tend to their landscaping and gardens. So let’s get inspired!
First stop was a calla lily farm in the mountains. Who knew they needed so much water?
We picked our own strawberries at a Dahu Township (also known as Strawberry Kingdom) strawberry farm. I learned to look for the berries that are red to the very top and to not touch the berries with your hands. You should also snip about a half inch or more up the stem. My dad and I laughed watching them pack the strawberries in a box as if they were glass (not pictured) it looked as it there was a strategy! They laid side by side nestled snuggly.
Here are some strawberries from another market, there are a lot of strawberry flavored things and I wonder if it’s the season or if this is a regular staple in Taiwan.
At the same farm, they had tomatoes! I was in complete awe of them and their beautiful colors and how they were trained up the vine.
Also, the hat was a $5 find at market it pops up for ventilation! It’s a Vietnamese style hat. Back to the tomatoes, we bought some and they were delicious! I honestly don’t love tomatoes that much but if they were this sweet I would like them more.
On another note, after seeing so many lanterns everywhere, I definitely want to buy some red and yellow lanterns and start using them around Chinese New Year. I think it would be fun to decorate right after Christmas and maybe help with the post-holiday blues! I would also like to host a party for Chinese New Year. I just have party on the brain haha, an excuse to gather friends around!
I found out these beautiful flowers are called fuchsias from a follower on IG (love how we can all educate each other) and she mentioned we have them in the US! Though in Phoenix, Zone 9 they will more than likely be annuals. They would more likely be perennials in more wet climates like Ireland depending on the variety.
We also popped into a Lavender Festival which is more of a lavender themed park rather than a limited time festival like we know festivals to be in the US. This park was just so darling, a huge hill with fern leaf lavender (my favorite variety and the ones we choose to use for our landscaping).
Really, what a treat to be able to experience this – we went at the end of the day so most things were closing down but honestly every where we are going seems to be very empty with the China travel restrictions not allowing tourists from China to come in. Having traveled a lot internationally I have finally realized how important Chinese tourism is for countries. It is a bit sad to see businesses struggle, even though it is very nice for us as tourists to have places to ourselves.
Realizing this now has really changed my perspective on crowds – sure it is pleasant to have places to ourselves, but the devastation this Coronavirus has caused with panic and seeing and hearing how it’s hurt business owners (as a business owner myself I really empathize), I would much rather see a thriving economy for everyone even if it cramps my style sometimes.
On another note, we went to a Taiwanese Indigenous Park and there was a garden area in the front that looked like I was in Europe! It was so structured like a French garden, I felt like I was back in Versailles.
What a view right? I took a few photos of some ideas for you too! Take a stake and a vine and let it climb up it so it looks like a tree – a vine with flowers would look gorgeous! Also, most of these are iPhone photos. I travel super light with gear, my iPhone 11 max pro (is that what it’s called?) and my trusty Canon G7x Powershot is good enough! I would love to swap out lenses but carrying them just doesn’t work for me right now. I love the freedom of just those two things but I really haven’t used my Canon as much – just been a little lazy.
There are also some pretty unique tropical trees that look like alien trees, pretty similar to ones you see in Hawaii.
At the top of Taipei 101 which would be similar to say Seattle Space needle or Eiffel Tower, it is one of the highest buildings in the world it had been the tallest at one point.
I would also love an octagon shaped doorway like this one I saw at an old temple.
Leopard print dress leopard print dress from J.Crew right before I left, I’m wearing size 2. I love to travel in dresses, it’s so easy and thank goodness white sneakers are in! I also bought the leopard print scrunching bow too. I knew it’d come in handy.
These Sakura bloom shots were with my Canon G7x –
This was on portrait mode! So I guess if I wanted to, I could still get the depth of field I wanted. Dad took this shot and wanted to make sure everyone knew he did this intentionally haha. I put my hair back in the leopard bow scrunchie just for these photos.
How cute is this floral backdrop? I would love to make one but I think I’ll save that idea for a campaign tutorial when I have a collaboration one day. It would be so cute for a bridal shower or Easter – you know me and my Easter parties!
Here are a few more photos I took (not as pretty but I wanted to save it as a reference for myself when I get home!
Bamboo poles are back home waiting for me and I need to straighten out my rose bushes. I will make a tripod like this with bamboo poles and then pull the bent areas with floral wire/rope/tape. I will do this and show you in a month.
I liked how they were training this tree – the branches to be more of an espalier only not against a wall. They probably used some heavy duty landscape staples to pull them down. I love how you can make an ordinary tree into such an ornate presentation. You could do this with apple trees!
This garden area was behind some restored military homes, one that my mom grew up in. I liked the way they laid the brick but also noticed brick laying against bamboo to encourage it to grow strong and straight up. I never thought of using brick as weight to help force a tree to grow upright.
So many new techniques I learned from traveling these past few weeks I can’t wait to come home and try them out! Hopefully you got some ideas for your own garden too!
Diana Elizabeth went into a garden store and saw a bunny on a stick made of hay. Had to get him, he was $1! Dad then thought it would be funny to pretend he lit it up and it went into flames, Now she looks at it like it’s a fire starter!