The Mangala Resort and Spa in Gambang, Pahang.

YOU can make the outdoors an extension of your home by taking ideas from retreats. By doing this, you can have a therapeutic getaway in your own backyard.

The Mangala Resort and Spa, set amid a large oil palm plantation in Gambang, Pahang, is a good example.

For homeowners or even design enthusiasts looking for inspiration and ideas on landscaping, this is certainly the place to be.

The resort has a lot of Bismarckia palms and while they are not very tall, they do provide shade.

Bismarckia palms are easy to grow in the right environment as they adapt to a wide range of soils.

At the swimming pool area, the fountains by the side of the walkway are cleverly embellished with bougainvillea hedges.

Bougainvillea may be used to form a showy, decorative hedge in your house compound. It produces flowers continuously throughout the year and with right care and support, the floppy plant can be positioned to grow tall.

Bougainvillea hedges at the fountain area.

Also within the pool area are a lot of Heliconias, Frangipanis and Beehive Gingers as well as Elephant Ear plants at the bank of an adjacent lake.

The Elephant Ear plants are commonly grown for their large, tropical-looking foliage. They can be used as background plants, ground covers or edging, especially around ponds, along walkways or patio enclosures.

Growing Elephant Ear plants is easy. This plant prefers rich, moist soil and can be grown in full sun, but it generally prefers partial shade.

Cat Whiskers, scientifically known as Orthosiphon aristatus, are also seen at the resort.

It is an absolutely beautiful and extraordinary ornamental shrub to add interest and contrast to any garden.

Cat whiskers or scientifically known as Orthosiphon aristatus.

Other plants to grow in your garden are Willows and Frangipanis. At The Mangala Resort, when these trees are illuminated at night, they glow beautifully.

Willow trees and frangipanis are illuminated at night.

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