Who said gardens aren’t cool?

Nature is pretty sci-fi when you think about it. Just look at Avatar – okay, some brand it ‘a work of fiction’ (others use harsher terms), but the biophysics of Pandora is really an inspired extension of what we witness outside our windows every day.

Unfortunately, unless you’re particularly attuned to the superficial aesthetics of the garden, much of this magic goes on below the surface. Trees and shrubs may be minor miracles, but they’re a bit ubiquitous, aren’t they? Even the design that goes into a carefully cultivated Japanese garden lacks a certain sexiness for those of us who are more ‘fiction fandom’ than ‘garden geek’.

This being the case, the design nerds over at Budget Direct have decided to sex up the yard with a series of imaginary, illustrated takes on what gardens might look like when inspired by your favorite sci-fi and fantasy movies.

Fictional Gardens

Blade Runner 2049

fictional gardens

The fictional universe that (eventually) launched a thousand vaporwave albums came full circle with Denis Villeneuve’s 2017 follow-up. The aesthetic has been chewed up and recycled again and again, before having its irony re-stripped for the ambient adventure of Blade Runner 2049.

Short of adding replicant goldfish to your pond, there’s still lots you can do to give your garden that weirdly attractive dystopian sheen: giant, fascistic hand statues cupping exquisitely carved spherical bushes hint at The Tyrell Corporation’s lust for creating life. Bold, soft-edged geometrics echo Villeneuve’s brutalist aspirations. And of course, there’s a holographic Greek statue to reassure vaporwave fans that this gardener has indeed been to the Floral Shoppe.

Star Wars

fictional gardens

Heaven knows Star Wars Episodes II and III are sorely in need of a positive legacy. Perhaps this garden inspired by Naboo’s Lake Country can be an environmentally-minded start.

It’s a place to escape the trials of your regular life as a (social justice?) warrior and perhaps even find love among the Gungan-influenced bubble lamps and obligatory water feature.


fantasy gardens

Okay, so nature-cynics will observe that much of the wonderful magic that James Cameron attributes to Pandora’s ‘nature’ in his curiously forgettable 2009 blockbuster can actually be achieved here on Earth, but using technology.

Given that you’ve got neither a local garden center that imports its shrubbery from outer space nor DARPA’s R&D budget, you’ll need to use LED lights to bring your plants to life.

Lord of the Rings

fantasy gardens

With a rocky element inspired by the Swiss countryside and a mix of Art Nouveau flourishes and Celtic loops, your Rivendell inspired garden is as eclectic as it is unnerving. Part of Tolkien and Jackson’s genius in creating and recreating the space of LOTR is the way in which familiar, plausible designs and natural occurrences carry such dreadful portents of just what might happen in their shadows!

Still, you didn’t come outside to sunbathe, did you?

Alice In Wonderland

fantasy gardens

And the magic of Alice is the manner in which elements of Alice’s real world are transformed and perverted in the Wonderland beneath it. Likewise, you’ll be inspired by nature to create colorful garden furniture that resembles plant life, and outlandish plants that may or may not have a double life of their own.

Which movie would you adapt into a garden?

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