Great Gardens

Great Gardens

Spring is a wonderful time to plan trips to the beautiful blooming gardens accessible to citizens around the world. National Geographic’s book Four Seasons of Travel ranked the top 10 gardens around the world, and while I won’t necessarily visit every famous piece of art while traveling abroad, I never miss a spectacular botanical garden or arboretum! It would be amazing to have something like that in my garden, if I had space, I do wish I had something similar to these outdoor storage buildings it would make growing my garden even more fun. I could even find garden furniture since there are a lot of places where you can compare furniture prices online to decorate my garden. My garden isn’t that great but I still love it. I’m hoping to get out in it when the weather is nicer but it’s been raining a lot recently! I’ve got some great ideas that I want to implement!! I should probably start off by calling someone like iTrim4U out since my hedges are definitely in need of a trim!!
The Kenroku-en garden in Japan has deep historical roots; developed by 17th century feudal lords it is a landscape meant for strolling with artificial ponds, rolling hills and tea houses. Considered the most beautiful garden in Japan, at this time of year hundreds of plum trees are blooming showy pink and white blossoms while irises pepper the streambanks. (www.pref.ishikawa.jp)

Just one of many varieties of orchids growing at the Singapore Botanical Garden.

Just one of many varieties of orchids growing at the Singapore Botanical Garden.

Founded in 1859, the Singapore Botanic Garden has 128 acres of native and tropical plants accessible to patrons to view and walk through. This botanical garden is famous for its Healing Garden which is planted with traditional plants used for Southeast Asian medicine. Additionally, when visiting you must make it a point to view the National Orchid Garden located at the park’s highest elevation (and a mere 7.5 mile hike from the Healing Garden) where over 60,000 orchids bloom! (www.sbg.org.sg)

Open for over a century, the Seychelles National Botanical Garden is this island nation’s oldest monument. It is home to rare spice trees along with native orchids. Additionally, this national wonder provides for giant tortoises, some up to 150 years old, and roosting colonies of bats.

On the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain lies the 89-acre botanical garden established in 1913 in an effort to conserve fynbos, Aloe succotrina, a plant unique to South Africa. The period between August and November is the prime season to see this unique, native plant in bloom.

Villa D’Este in Rome, Italy is considered a renaissance masterpiece of gardening. This garden is a sprawling complex featuring grottoes, waterfalls and ancient statues. The ruins of Villa Adriana are within the perimeter of the garden and spouting animal head water features along with blooming lilies can be viewed along the Avenue of the Hundred Fountains. (www.villadestetivoli.info/storiae.htm)

The view from the bridge in Monet's Garden northwest of Paris, France.

The view from the bridge in Monet’s Garden northwest of Paris, France.

Monet’s Garden located just northwest of Paris, France is is nearby to artist’s former home where he had cultivated the water gardens which were the inspiration behind the painter’s amazing water lilies series. This garden is open from April to November and boasts gorgeous blooms of narcissus, lilies, jonquils and wisteria. (fondation-monet.com/en)

Southwest of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, lies the very popular Keukenhof Gardens where visitors can view seven million tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths in bloom from March to May. These gardens offer a unique and enjoyable way of viewing; “whisper boat” rides, these electrically powered boats glide almost silently through the peaceful Dutch landscape. (www.keukenhof.nl)

In the southern state of Parana, in Brazil sits French-style gardens surrounding a towering greenhouse. The Jardim Botânico de Curitiba features a Garden of Sensations where visitors are blindfolded before entering and stroll through using their other senses; hearing, smell and touch, to experience the plants within. (www.visitbrasil.com)

The Japanese garden in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The Japanese garden in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Nestled in the heart of Brooklyn, New York lies a diamond in the rough; the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a sprawling garden showcasing over 6,000 plant species. Established in 1910, the garden boasts one of the largest collections of Bonzai trees outside of Japan. And if you visit in April you will be able to view the spectacular bloom of over 45,000 bluebells. (www.bbg.org)

Finally, topping National Geographic’s list is the Butchart Gardens located on Vancouver in Canada. The site was formerly a limestone quarry which was turned into a botanical garden in 1904. At Butchart visitors can wander through the Sunken Garden which is a part of the original quarry in addition to viewing over 700 varieties of plants which provide near constant blooms from March through October. (www.butchartgardens.com)