Graeme Hardie is a veteran gardener and traveler with a knack for discovering the byways of local culture wherever he goes. I joined him in Bali with a group of his friends that included a young Indian Hindu priest, a retired German psychiatrist couple and a college dean from Virginia. The tour began with the water palace Tirta Gangga, took in a blessing ceremony at Besakih temple at Sacred Mountain and crossed the mountains to Pemuteran on the north coast for a restful pause at its coral reefs and beaches. On our return journey to the artistic center of Ubud we visited the water temple of Tanah Lot. Throughout the tour Graeme introduced us to a faith healer, one of Bali's most famous dancers, Cok Ratih Iriani, and organized evenings of gamelan music and a shadow puppet show. For more information on Graeme's garden tours to exotic places such as Morocco, Bhutan, Japan, New Zealand and Portugal, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hotels mentioned in Garden Design:
Kirana Spa, with design by landscape architect Bill Bensley, is a luxurious new spa owned by the Japanese company Shiseido.
Ubud Hanging Gardens overlooks the Ayung river gorge just outside Ubud, with design input on the landscape from William Warren.
The Four Seasons Resort at Sayan fits into the hilly terraced landscape with deceptive simplicity and has amazing views over the Ayung River.
The Bali Hyatt at Sayan has a landscape designed by Made Wijaya that is as fresh today as when he first designed it.
The Bale Resort, deluxe minimalism by Karl Princic.
Begawan Giri, now known as Como Shambhala Estate, did not appear in the story but is another resort worth mentioning in this context.