Gorgeous Gardens Around the Globe
Photo By: Nico Tondini/Robert Harding World Imagery/Getty Images
Photo By: Corbyrobert at the German language Wikipedia
Villa Rufolo Garden
The Italians are perhaps best known for their discerning taste. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the historic gardens of Villa Rufolo. Lavish blossoms meander through an ancient Italian villa in a garden made for royalty. The view of the surrounding countryside gives even the most enamored garden-lovers pause.
Dubai Miracle Garden
It should come as no surprise that the world’s largest natural flower garden is located in the decadent desert landscape of Dubai. Here at the Dubai Miracle Garden, 45 million flowers blossom into dazzling topiary displays, towering pyramids and intricate, fragrant walkways.
Stourhead epitomizes the 18th-century English garden style, which celebrated nature for itself and faithfully attempted to reproduce it, even in landscape form. The gardens and accompanying buildings are on the edge of a misshapen lake, and walking the lake path in either direction will give the visitor unforgettable views of beautiful forgeries of ruined Roman villas and Chinese pagodas ringed by towering trees.
A popular day trip from nearby Victoria, Vancouver Island’s most famous gardens are much more than flora and fauna. The Gardens, open year-round except for Christmas Day, attract more than 1 million visitors each year, and it’s easy to see why.
The Boboli Gardens
One of the world’s most enchanting open-air museums, the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy, have long been admired as a natural escape in this bustling city. Dating back nearly 600 years, the gardens are filled with centuries-old oak trees, murmuring fountains and beautiful sculptures.
Seeing the beauty of the tulip gardens at Keukenhof Gardens makes it easy to understand how these lovely flowers induced a worldwide craze. The second largest flower garden in the world (behind Dubai's Miracle Garden) the garden boasts 7 million bulbs in the spring spring and 800 varieties of tulips.
Garden of the Gods
Don't expect rows of manicured perennials at Garden of the Gods Park, a registered National Natural Landmark near Colorado Springs. Here, 300 red-hued towers of limestone soar into the sky, redefining the pine-plentiful mountain landscape.
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac
Opened to the public in 1997 and listed as a National Historic Monument, Marqueyssac is the most visited garden in Périgord region. Delight in the 150,000 meticulously hand-pruned boxwood shrubs that encase delightful pathways and whimsical staircases.
Gardens by the Bay
Located in downtown Singapore’s new Marina Bay, Gardens by the Bay is filled with botanical wonders from every continent (except, not surprisingly, Antarctica). The gardens' 2 conservatories, the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, house more than 500,000 mesmerizing horticultural attractions.
Garden of Versailles
Louis the XIV so loved his orange trees that the l‘orangerie greenhouse was built even before his grand Palace of Versailles. In the warmer months, his beloved fruit trees were placed outside in their boxes to line the green spiraling lawn called the parterre de l’orangerie, one of the geometrical, manicured gardens that were in Vogue in France during the 1600s.
Japanese Tea Garden
You’ll swear you’ve departed California for Kyoto upon stepping inside this 5-acre plot within Golden Gate Park, where stone paths, engulfed by native Japanese plants and cherry blossom trees, weave through serene koi ponds, crimson pagodas, a manicured Zen garden and a dramatically arched drum bridge.
Cape Town, South Africa, is home to an amazing and incredibly exotic array of flora, including the otherworldly-looking protea blossoms that are appearing more ubiquitously in American florist shops. See them in all their glory at Cape Town's Kirstenbosch Garden, which also has an extensive botanic shop filled with scented bath treasures, seeds, botanic prints and indigenous South African art.
Sissinghurst Castle Gardens
Designed by Vita Sackville-West, the artist and companion of novelist Virginia Woolf, it features colorful blossoms in cozy, romantic nooks and crannies. Nearby, tour pretty English villages in Kent and take afternoon tea or a pint of the local brew in Elizabethan-era pubs.
Designed by noted landscape gardener Beatrix Farrand in 1921, the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks are an American hodgepodge that takes elements from the English, Italian and French garden styles. Nestled in the quiet Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown, the Dumbarton Oaks gardens are a succession of formal terraces and enclosures that glide seamlessly from one style to the next.
The castle and park at Potsdam's Sanssouci are the creation of Frederick the Great of Prussia in his effort to live "without a care" (i.e., sans souci). It is apparent, however, that over the last two centuries much care has been given to this garden.
With more than 350 acres to explore, Longwood Gardens offers something for everyone, from whimsical fountains, topiaries and sunken gardens to a large conservatory, which allows flower-viewing in the coldest months of winter.
Master of the Nets Garden
Is your tao bothering you? Yin-yang out of whack? Consider a visit to the Garden of the Master of the Nets in Suzhou, China. This garden is markedly different from its European and North American counterparts. Here, the visitor sees clean, simple lines and the harmonious combination of art and landscape.
Giardino e Rovine di Ninfa
Fragrant flowers cover the grounds of this ruined medieval town which was sacked in 1382 for opposing the pope, but was reclaimed by the Caetano family in the 20th century. The Caetanos, taking advantage of the balmy Roman climate and abundant water, made this garden into one of the most beautiful in the world.
Chateau de Courances
The quiet beauty of the gardens at Courances, 30 miles to the south of Paris, raises the question of whether God is French and if Courances is His home. Tree-lined canals and placid pools crisscross this 17th-century chateau.
Jardin de Balata
The rich volcanic soil of Martinique has nurtured distinctly fragrant and visually stunning flora, and it is on vivid display here. Also of interest is an area dedicated to plants grown for food and survival.