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Spring blooms: Must see gardens around the world
As gardens come alive in the spring and summer, now’s your best chance to experience these bountiful blooms in person
From greenspaces built to relax a weary soul and glass conservatories housing exotic plant collections to gardens that inspired masterpieces, the world is full of beautiful botanical spaces. If you’re a green-thumbed garden enthusiast or just enjoy pretty flowers, here’s some inspiration to help you plan your next garden getaway.
Gardens by the Bay
Stroll beneath the futuristic purple branches of manmade Supertrees spread overhead—their trunks textured with growing bromeliads, orchids, and ferns—at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. These stunning vertical gardens collect rainwater and solar energy to fill the garden fountains and come alive at night with a musical light show. The world’s tallest indoor waterfall provides a cooling mist as you admire tropical mountain plants in the Cloud Forest conservatory. A masterful showcase of horticultural artistry, sustainability, and architectural design the Gardens by the Bay welcomes millions of visitors a year and are a must see when you visit Singapore.
Garden of Ninfa
Photograph apricot rose blooms cascading over an ancient stone wall crumbling with time, spy grey herons poised in glassy ponds, and watch the joyful pink petals of cherry trees release in the wind. Located in the Roman countryside and hailed as the most romantic garden in the world, the Garden of Ninfa embraces wild abundance with a cultivar’s care. Over 1300 botanical species from around the world flourish in the ruins of the Roman-era settlement originally dedicated to nature spirits called nymphs. Book your visit in advance as this enchanting garden is only open for part of the year.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Let your imagination ignite as you move through the vivacious blown-glass wonderland of Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle. Tall purple tubes, big blue globes, and a huge yellow sphere of curling glass accentuate the natural beauty of the outdoor garden. Snap an artistic selfie with the nearby Space Needle framed by suspended orange and yellow glass plates reminiscent of flowers. While venturing through the indoor exhibits, learn about the famous glass artist Dale Chihuly, see his pioneering process, and find out how he pulls inspiration from nature.
Dedicated to the science of botany and the cultivation of natural beauty, the Kew Gardens cover 300 acres (121 ha) with the most diverse collection of living plants in the world. Just outside of London, you can enter marvelous Victorian glasshouses like the Waterlily House which propagates the smallest waterlily species (now extinct in the wild) and showcases the giant Amazon waterlily with floating leaves big enough to support a toddler. Observe botanical paintings, walk through a historical palace, experience broadleaf trees and conifers from a bird’s view, and dine in the Orangery in this living UNESCO gem.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
With multicolored, leafy locks, and water pouring from her green hand, the huge living sculpture of the Earth Goddess welcomes you to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Stop to smell the flowers in the Rose Garden, marvel at exotic blooms in the Orchid Center, and see succulents native to Madagascar and Southern Africa in the Desert House. A bastion of education and conservation, the Atlanta Botanical Garden propagates species native to the region and rare plants from around the globe. Throughout the grounds, discover sculptures crafted from bronze, glass, and even living plants.
Just a short ride from Amsterdam, walk through a canvass of yellow, red, and white brushstrokes painted in tulips. Over 7 million flowering bulbs scent the air in the colorful Keukenhof Gardens and include new cultivars developed by Dutch growers and rare varieties like black tulips. These world-famous gardens are only open when the flowers bloom from mid-March to mid-May, but a visit to this floral wonderland is definitely worth planning your trip around.
New York Botanical Garden
Escape the concrete jungle to breathe in the fragrance of spring blooms and bathe in the dappled sunlight of New York’s last remaining old growth forest at the New York Botanical Garden. An emerald jewel in the Bronx, the NYBG covers 250 acres (101 ha) with over 1 million plants ranging from a plethora of peonies to an astounding array of azaleas and a rarely cultivated corpse flower. Rotating exhibits and displays including model trains chugging around the conservatory in the winter delight visitors from around the world and science education programs like teaching city kids how to garden make the NYBG a pillar in the community.
Monet’s Garden & Home
Stroll across the famous green bridge from Monet’s masterpiece Waterlilies and the Japanese Bridge as you explore the grounds of the impressionist painter’s personal garden and home in Giverny, France. The enchanting waterlily pond provides plenty of photo opportunities and you can line up shots with Monet’s plein air paintings. Inside the painter’s colorful house kept just as he designed it, you can walk from the pastel-blue sitting room to the sunny-yellow kitchen and admire Monet’s extensive collection of Japanese woodblock prints.
The Gardens of Marrakech, Morocco
Find a blessed respite from the hustle and bustle of the city as you visit several of Marrakech’s gardens by horse-drawn carriage. In the more than 800-year-old Agdal Garden, locals picnic in the shade of olive trees and feed huge carp in the expansive square pond. The Menara Garden also features a central pool which irrigates the surrounding fields of date palms and citrus groves with a clever underground system. Yves St. Laurent’s Majorelle Garden contrasts the red ramparts of Marrakech with vivid blue buildings, cooling fountains, and a botanical oasis of desert plants from around the world.
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