Humankind has been cultivating nature for food, shelter and beauty for thousands of years. Botanical gardens represent the best aspects of both nature and nurture. The ten stunning botanical gardens included on this list are found in North America, South America, Europe, African and Asia and offer flowers, trees and manicured grounds designed to provide beautiful aromas along with pleasing the eye.
1. Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
No visit to the provincial capital of British Columbia in Canada would be complete without a visit to Butchart Gardens. Designated as a National Historic Site of Canada, Butchart Gardens includes lush expanses of ancient trees, beautiful butterflies and seven hundred varieties of fragrant flowers.
2. Montreal Botanical Garden, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The Montreal Botanical Garden, located just minutes from downtown, provides a sanctuary from hectic urban life. The grounds are actually comprised of thirty thematic gardens and ten exhibition greenhouses featuring more than twenty-two thousand different plant species. The facility offers exhibitions and other events all year round.
3. Royal Botanic Kew Gardens, London, England
One of the most famous botanical gardens in the world, the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens in London, England, has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Open every day of the year except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Kew Gardens features flowers during the warmer months, trees sporting gorgeous colors in the fall and glass houses and galleries all year round.
4. Gardens of the Palace of Versailles, Paris, France
Commissioned in 1641 by Louis XIV, the gardens required four decades for completion. Filled with trees, flowers and sculptured grounds, the gardens represent the king’s belief that the creation and maintenance of the grounds surrounding the magnificent palace of Versailles were as important as the palace itself.
5. Na ‘Aina Kai Gardens, Kauai, Hawaii
The phrase “Na ‘Aina Kai” means “lands by the sea” in Hawaiian, and is a fitting name for these lush cultivated and wild gardens located near the Pacific Ocean. Once part of a private estate, Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens includes a hardwood plantation, a canyon covered with moss and ferns, sandy beaches and an explosion of floral color.
6. Botanical Garden of Curitiba, Brazil
The Botanical Garden of Curitiba, Brazil was created to follow the French tradition, and its world-renowned greenhouse attracts researchers from around the globe. In addition to lush flowers and greenery, the garden grounds feature one hundred fourteen statues created by artist Frans Kraycberg.
7. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa
The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, South Africa, formed in 1913, is world famous for its vast variety of indigenous plant life. The garden also features stone sculptures along with gorgeous native flora. I visited this wonderful botanical garden and I can say that it’s breathtakingly beautiful and a great place to relax.
8. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Pattaya, Chonburi Province, Thailand
Located a short ninety minute drive from Bangkok, Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden in Pattaya also features luxury resort accommodations. Boasting the world’s largest collection of palm plants and the greatest variety of orchids in Thailand, the “Reflections of Asia” display earned a gold medal for Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden at the 2010 Chelsea Flower Show.
9. Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, Tokyo, Japan
Nestled within one of the world’s great megacities, Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens in Tokyo represents an island of tranquility, perfect for a mid-day break from the hustle of your daily routine. Filled with flowering cherry trees, seasonal flora and sculptured landscaping, the garden also includes its own lake situated in the center of the grounds.
10. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, New York
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is actually a collection of more than a dozen different gardens, including the Children’s Garden and Discovery Garden, each geared for young visitors, the Cherry Esplanade populated by beautiful flowering cherry trees, the Rock Garden and the Cranford Rose Garden. The grounds also include a number of conservatories, including the Bonsai Museum, Tropical Pavilion and Aquatic House.
Botanical gardens are beautiful places to go for anyone who loves plants and who wants to spend a day in a wonderful place. Have you ever visited one of these botanical gardens? What are your impressions of it?