There are many that are so mesmerising with their colour, design and use of space that they need to be added to your vacation wish list.
Monet’s Gardens, Giverny, France
This garden has iconic status, which is why it is top of the list. Monet lived in Giverny, not far from Paris, and the garden is just like a painting. The garden is in two parts - a colourful cottage-style flower garden called Clos Normand which lies on each side of the central Grande Allee which is an exuberant display of colour in an impressionist style, throwing out the rule book of form and colour in the garden. The Japanese-inspired water garden with the waterlilies so often seen in his paintings, is a quieter, more reflective garden in comparison.
Dubai Miracle Garden, United Arab Emirates
The world’s largest garden, the Dubai Miracle Garden with its 45 million flowers not only looks astonishing but is unique since it was built on desert by reusing waste water. Trees around the perimeter act as windbreakers. The garden is closed in the hottest months of the summer.
Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens), London UK
Home to the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world the Royal Botanic Garden is home to one of the extensive inventories of plant life and information in the world. Started in 1759 and extended by later monarchs, Kew Gardens now has 10 climatic zones that house plants from across the globe, a glass house that is home to tropical plants and a 59-foot high tree top walkway across this zone that gives a fantastic view of the garden as well as the city of London.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, South Africa
At the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is home to more than 7,000 different plant species including a fantastic collection of indigenous ferns, Kirstenbosch also features a Medicinal Garden. Kirstenbosch was the world’s first botanical garden, founded in 1913.
Its role is to preserve South Africa’s unique plant life. Today there are nine other National Botanical Gardens, but Kirstenbosch is special not only because it was the first, but because it is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. South Africa’s national flower, the protea, are celebrated in the Protea Garden, with the best time to visit being in October / November, in the spring.
Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, USA
These gardens, spread over 1,077 acres with woodlands and meadows, is one of the largest in the United States. Began in 1906 the land is now home to more than 40 different types of gardens, with flowers and trees from different parts of the world. Longwood Gardens also has a large conservatory that is home to tropical plants, but it is the large meadow garden which is the main attraction, with fountains, ponds and canals as well as permanent residents including deer and beavers. This is a garden you can visit at any time of the year.
Giardini Botanici Villa Taranto, Piedmont, Italy
This garden in Southwest Italy was established between 1931 and 1940 and covers 16 hectares. It is one of the largest gardens in Europe. The look of the garden depends on the time of year that you visit, but there are fantastic features all year round including fountains, statues, canals and waterfulls. There are even walkways that allow visitors to walk within the flowerbeds.
Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, Netherlands
Dutch tulips are famous the world over and Keukenhof Gardens is arguably the most colourful with its 600 varities. With more than seven million tulips lining the river of Keukenhof Gardens, this famous garden known as the “Garden of Europe” is only open from March to May when the tulips are in full bloom, though there are also lilies, daffodils, and hyacinths, with different flowers featured each week in the Pavilion. Every year the garden has a new theme which is accompanied by new sculptures and artwork installations. Keukenhof Garden is the second largest flower garden in the world, after the Dubai Miracle Garden.