Be it Eastern inspired Zen gardens, or perfectly manicured Western Sanctuaries, gardens have always been the place which we seek to unwind ourselves. While we all agree that there is nothing more refreshing than flora and fauna, a travelling itinerary is incomplete if you don’t visit one. Gardens are the best place to stay close with nature, and a break much needed from the hustle n bustle of the city. It is always intriguing to see different and new species of flowers blooming in their natural habitat, and their colours lit up any person. When we think of gardens the first thing that pops up in our minds is our backyards with grown up tomatoes, but as a traveller we say you be prepared for huge surprises with gardens larger than life. Here are the best of them.
Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands – It is largest flower garden in World with 32 hectares of premises, and 7 million flowering plants. It is only open in summers from March to May when tulips are in full bloom. It also hosts world’s largest lily show. Each year garden has new theme with diff artworks.
NongNooch Botanical Garden, Pattaya, Thailand – Built on whooping 500 acres, it is home to more than 670 native species of plants. You’ll find bonsai, ferns, palms, cactuses and orchids spread across different sections of garden. Apart from garden it also hosts Thai cultural show, car museum, fishing pond and elephant show for the visitors. It is a perfect spot for families on vacation.
Gardens of Versailles, France – It is spread on staggering 2000 acres, designed by gardener André Le Nôtre, and visited by 6 million visitors annually. It has 35 km of canals, 600 fountains, 372 statues, 200000 trees and 210000 flowering plants. It also has plenty of oak trees, cherry trees and ash trees.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Britain – Spread in 326 acres of land, it is home to more than 50,000 different species of plants. Apart from being an amazing green space it is also a research institution. It also encloses historic buildings like Victorian era Palm House, and Princess Wales conservatory.
Butchart Gardens, British Columbia, Canada – Spread across 22 hectares, it was built on a former site of mining quarry, by Butchart couple over a period of 12 years. It is home to more than 700 varieties of plants. Here you’ll also find butterflies, parrots, peacocks and pond full of ducks.
Gardens of Chateau de Villandry, France – It has 6 different gardens divided into 6 terraces. The upper features ‘Sun Garden’ followed by water garden, ornamental garden and herb garden. It features beautiful fountains, ponds with lush lawns around. It has many shaded areas for visitors.
Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona, United States –Spread across 140 acres of land, it is home to 21,000 desert plants from 139 species, along with collection of rare 169 species of desert plants. It has well paved walkways, fountains n benches. From March to April you can see garden blooming.
Giardini Botanici Villa Taranto, Piedmont, Italy – Spread over 16 hectares of land it is home to 20,000 varieties of plants. It also houses Italian style statues, terraces, waterfalls, fountains and ponds. There are miles of walkways in between plenty of tulips, lotus, dahlias, camellias, magnolias.
Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, United States – Spread across 1077 acres of land, it houses 40 gardens and 4.5 acres of greenhouses. It is home to 11,000 varieties of plants and trees. It has 3 miles long walking trails. It also houses animals like deer, beavers, butterflies and birds. Here you will find varieties of summer roses, ferns, bonsai, cacti, bromeliads and ferns.
Claude Monet’s Garden, Giverny, France – It was designed by famous French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. He diverted the river near his house into a beautiful pond garden, and has also built a bridge across the pond that has many lilies.It is divided into two, flower garden and water garden.
Villa d’Este, Tivoli, Italy – It is housed in a 16th century villa which was once Benedictine monastery. It is home to incredible garden and 51 fountains that operate solely on gravity. Garden offers impressive feat of nymphs, grottoes, plays of water and music, in baroque and mannerist styles.
Limahuli Garden, Kauai, Hawaii – Spread across 1,000 acres of land, it is built by American Horticultural Society and is one of the best. It is nestled in mountains, and is home to native ferns, palms and herbs. Its taro gardens and terrace system are centuries old. It is best known for its native herb ko’oko’olau, displaying beautiful yellow, daisy-like flowers.
JardimBotanico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – It was built in early 19th century by the King of Portugal and is home to more than 6.500 flora varieties. It encloses a Japanese Garden, an orchid house, Sensory Garden filled with aromatic plants and fountains. Royal palms within are symbol of this garden.
Powerscourt Gardens, Enniskerry, Ireland – Located within a short drive from Dublin in the Wicklow Mountains, it is spread across 47 acres and built in 18th century. It is a blend of parklands, ponds, waterfalls, and ornamental lakes. It is divided and sprawled in terraces. Powerscourt House offers crafts on Irish design, while Avoca Terrace Café serves Irish home cooked fare.
Master of Nets Garden, Suzhou, China – This small residential garden is popular for its compact but impactful beauty. It was built in 10th century, with arrangements of waterside perches, bamboo groves, pavilions, halls, music rooms, ponds, bridge, and stones, contemplating natural harmony.
Its bad manners to keep a vacation waiting!