Destiny Gardens – click any image for full size
Update: Destiny Gardens has closed. SLurls have therefore been removed from this article.
Destiny Gardens is a fully region island primarily landscaped by Adalynne Romano (AdalynneReed) and held by Destiny Milos. Making use of the additional 10K land capacity available to full region owners (to give a total capacity of 30K), Destiny Gardens is a veritable temperate summer paradise – but visits to it may come at a cost to some.
This is a place that, from the landing point in the south-west through to all three other corners, is awash with colour from trees, shrubs and flowers. The landscape, raised to the south and low-lying to the north, is cut by waterways and pools, some of the latter quite large, the channels themselves crossed by a variety of bridges, all of which make for interesting rambles along trail, through grass and across shady glades.
The landing point, in the shape of a paved terrace atop the raised landscape to the south-west, offers gazebos in which to sit, together with outdoor seating, opportunities to play chess, and the first hints of the art to be found scattered across parts of the landscape in the form of a sculpture by Mistero Hifeng. It is also a place where bicycles can be obtained for those wishing to take a ride – but I’d suggest the great part of the region really doesn’t naturally support bike riding. Take the way down from the landing point, for example: this is marked by steps cut into the grassy banks and slopes, and also by wooden suspension bridges that can end in some precipitous slopes, while some of the log bridges down in the lower areas don’t naturally lend themselves to being ridden over 🙂 .
To the northern side of the island sit two little cottages built to identical lines, each within its own garden, their wooden roofs overlaid with turf. Cosily furnished by Destiny, these both appear to be open to the public. Also to the north side of the island is a topiary garden and shaded sitting area for visitors to enjoy. Meanwhile, south and east, the trees give way to more open land surrounding a large body of water in which merhorses swim, the banks of the pool again rich in flowering plants while water tumbles from the neighbouring upland of the landing point.
This only scratches at the surface of the region’s delightful colour; the use of flowers throughout the region is among the most extensive I’ve seen recently. There are additional places to sit and enjoy the scenery, be it in waterside gazebos or pergolas on a stone patio or bridges strung between tees and bowing over streams. It is also true to say not everything in Destiny Gardens is above ground. Search carefully, and you may find the entrance to a network of tunnels – but be warned; not all of them are entirely dry!
It’s not quite all plain sailing – or walking – however. There can be cost for some visitors, as I mentioned towards the top of this article. The volume of plants – even when repeated across the region – means there is a lot of texture handling to be done as you explore or cam. There’s also a lot of alpha meshes used in the creation of things like drifting dust clouds, all of which additionally keeps the viewer busy in rendering. For me, these combined to drop my frame rate to single digits and forced me to disable shadow rendering when not taking photos.
However, this does not detract from the sheer natural beauty of the region, or its photogenic qualities. In terms of the latter, a contest is running through until September 10th, with a L$6500 prize pool. Images should be posted to the region’s Flickr group, which can also be joined at the landing point, where full rules of entry for the contest can be found. Photos not intended for the competition are also welcome in the Flickr group.
Destiny Gardens makes for a fun, colourful visit. There’s a lot to see and find, and there is a grace about the design that makes it instantly welcoming. Our thanks, once again, to Shakespeare and Max for the pointer!
- Destiny Gardens (Destiny, rated: Moderate)