U.K.: Kew Royal Botanic Gardens offers splendid scenery for you and your party to enjoy. Wonder at the expertly built Japanese Garden; wander through a representation of the rainforest. You can even climb the trees at this world-famous garden! You can choose to take a guided tour if you wish so you don’t miss a thing. Another offering from this impressive institution is a 10 day art course where you can learn the skills the artists know who draw the beauties of this botanical wonder. 2011 proudly brings a new exhibit to Kew: a lesson for our times from the plants on which we depend. It features a garden that details how our society and scientific advances depend upon plants. Book your tickets for this premier event.
Africa: The Soekershof Walkabout encompasses 25 acres and offers you a one-of-a-kind experience to interact with their gardens and displays. Located in the Western Cape, South Africa, this is a garden unlike any other. They open their doors at 11 each morning nearly year round. Schedule a picnic day and they not only provide the walk and the views but the picnic as well! They have a large exhibit of succulents, including South Africa’s oldest cactus. Other attractions include a nursery, local garden handicrafts, interactive gardens you can relish and investigate, as well as a challenging but very short hike within the garden.
France: Claude Monet’s Garden has its home in Giverny. You will not be surprised to find a Japanese-style bridge that puts one in mind of Monet’s famous Water Lilies series. Perhaps, as you walk along, you will see the light and exact moments that this renowned artist was trying to capture in his series of 250 paintings. Shrubs divide each separate garden area, giving each definition and distinction.
Canada: Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia Go anytime between mid-January and mid-March to enjoy their spring prelude where you can enjoy the witch hazel and heather shrubs, the holly, the snowdrop, crocus, pansy and early daffodils – and that is just a smattering of what is visible outside. More is to be found in their show house. They boast a Children’s Pavilion with a memorable Rose Carousel. Enjoy the build a birdhouse contest too. Season by season, there is much to enjoy at this famous garden.
Brazil: Bromeliário Cairé hosts scores of the possible 3170 species of Bromeliads, which are flowering monocots found in the tropical climates of the Americas. These members of the pineapple family can give spectacular blooms, so this is one garden you don’t want to miss. It is located in Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil. Visit their website to find just which species are in bloom so you can arrange your trip in time to catch your favorites.
Sweden: Norrvikens Trårdar or North Bay Gardens is well known for its amazing variety. Their season begins June 1, so plan your trip in time to feast your eyes on the wonders of these fabulous gardens. You will find a Renaissance-inspired water garden and a remarkable baroque garden, to name only two. The entrance alone is captivating. You will find gates that are fashioned to look like trees with birds featured on the branches. If you are planning a botanical tour, this is a must see on your route.
Japan: Kenrokuen Garden has been rated in the top 3 landscape gardens in all of Japan. At one time this was the outermost garden of the Kanazawa Castle; it was only opened to the public in 1871. Saunter through an exotic landscape with these attractions: streams, rivers, trees, waterfalls, ponds, bridges, tea houses, and, of course, flowers. The name of this garden, if translated, means Garden of the 6 Sublimities, and this alludes to the 6 attributes necessary for the ideal garden, according to Eastern philosophy. This would be an awesome spot to witness the Cherry Blossom Festival, occurring each April.
Netherlands: Op de Haar Tuinen Hoevelaken, or the Hair Gardens, will present you with a different picture depending upon which season you choose to visit. If you go in the spring, you can enjoy the beautiful camellia flowers, rhododendrons, magnolias and narcissus to name just a few. Visiting in the summer will bring you face to face with the best of the best, as the splendors of the garden are all about you. Discover delphiniums, phlox, clematis, blooming shrubberies and an explosion of beauty everywhere. Autumn will show you how lovely the Japanese Maples, Magnolias and other deciduous trees are as they deck themselves in their colors for fall. Winter will sport different blooms that are delicate in spite of how hearty they must be to bloom amidst the cold and snow.
Indonesia: Gardens of Ubud are botanical gardens that just may surpass your expectations. Let your eyes rest on this beautiful Bali splendor as you stroll through the orchids, palms, bamboos, ferns and more. They boast a maze, a chocolate grove, the Islamic gardens and 16 more themed gardens with appropriate micro-climates such as meadows, waterfalls and more.
Estonia: Tallinn Botanic Garden is nestled where the Pirita River flows. You’ll discover exotic plants as well as herbs and the flora of Estonia. The variety of plants runs into the thousands, and you will find them in various settings from a sprawling 42 acre arboretum to a rock garden a summer flower exhibit at the Palm House. Enjoy nearly 2 ½ acres of roses where you can delight the senses in the varieties of climbing, shrub, border, wild and country roses.