If you love to travel and enjoy taking in new and exciting landscapes, this guide to the world’s best gardens is for you. In the UK, the average garden is 50ft. long with ten different kinds of flowers, a barbecue and a water feature — according to a report by Foxtons, an estate agent. Although this sounds great for the homeowner, it doesn’t pique our interest as a voyeur of remarkable outdoor spaces.
For quirky landscapes in exhilarating locations, check out this list of the most extravagant, unusual and beautiful gardens around the world.
Located in the state of Wisconsin in the USA, the design of Bookworm Gardens takes inspiration from beloved childhood literature. With an aim to enrich young minds via a love of the great outdoors and literature, Bookworm Gardens opened in 2010 as a non-profit organisation and now features fun buildings and characters from books such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit. With turkeys, owls, chipmunks and butterflies also found here, it’s no surprise that the venue is a top place for kids.
Gardens by the Bay
If you want to experience the future today, visit Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. With a size of 250-acres, this nature park has an incredible outline and contains more than a million plants.
To get an idea of what to expect as a visitor; imagine a futuristic city doused in flowers, trees and other plants, then, add huge towers, glassed domes, immaculate walkways, and immense water features. Visit Flower Dome — the largest glass greenhouse in the world — or head to Supertree Grove, which is a network of illuminated, tree-shaped vertical gardens. The Cloud Forest section is a great place to learn about rare flowers and endangered plants, and you can experience memorable views from the 22-metre high aerial walkway of the entire area.
Gardens by the Bay can boast over 40 million visitors, and it is even one of the top-20 checked-in places on the globe by Facebook users.
The Foxtons garden study we mentioned earlier also discovered that many Brits strive to maintain a nice, good-looking garden. This suggests that we have an affinity for aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces, rather than just area that we can grow vegetables or do DIY — which is perhaps we adore venues like Kew Gardens in London.
This much-visited destination features an iconic glasshouse, a collection of rare plants and immaculately kept lawns. In the evening, the area is illuminated spectacularly and during the day, you can wander around a maze of water features, buildings — such as the 18th-century pagoda — and wildlife — from peacocks and robins, to ducks and Chinese water dragons.
The latest annual report carried out by Kew Gardens proves that the venue attracted 20% more visitors than in 2016. If you visit, make sure to see The Hive — a 17-metre, multi-sensory construction that changes depending on bee activity.
Garden of Cosmic Speculation
The Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Dumfries, Scotland, is a weird but wonderful place to spend a day. This 30-acre garden was created by revered architect, Charles Jencks, and strolling through these gardens, you’ll be overwhelmed by ideas, theories and global influences — from black holes to oriental landscaping!
With lakes, terraces, sculptures, and bridges found between witty and mind-boggling architectural works, Garden of Cosmic Speculation is certainly memorable. Designed to detail the story of the universe and complexities of space and time, you can spend hours working out what Jencks meant by checked terraces, snail-formed mounds and zigzagging staircases.
Anyone who appreciates gorgeous flowers and natural beauty will love the Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. Visitors have 32 hectares of land to explore, scattered with seven million flowers — including 800 varieties of the iconic Dutch tulip in hues and shapes you’ve never seen anywhere else.
Created in 1857, Keukenhof Gardens is open to the public for two months a year — so check before you plan your trip. At this destination, you’re treated to a blend of English and French horticultural designs filled with old beech trees and pretty ponds, and there’s also a petting zoo home to miniature pigs, giant rabbits and alpacas!
The Gardens of the Palace of Versailles
King Louis XIV of France is today most well-known for his love of all things grand. Designed and renovated by André Le Nôtre in 1661, the monarch’s gardens surrounding the Palace of Versailles in France today offer some of the most striking landscapes in the world.
Le Nôtre didn’t complete this mammoth task alone — he was helped by numerous artists and architects for four decades. The renovation was huge, and consisted of creating canals, shifting soil and transporting trees from various regions in the country at a time when the logistics and construction industries were obviously nowhere near as advanced as today.
Today, the gardens are home to orange, lemon, oleander, pomegranate, and palm trees, although many visitors simply enjoy strolling passed towering marble sculptures, beautiful parterres and peaceful waterfalls.
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