Nature calls to us in many ways imaginable. Wild acres of forests, swamps, and meadows are just what you need to bust all that stress you accumulate throughout the day. But alas! They are usually quite far flung from the busy cities. Inspired by this inaccessibility horticulturists have taken it upon themselves to create some marvelous imitations of Mother Nature’s handiwork. The gardens mentioned here stand apart simply because of their sheer magnitude, exquisite flora and fauna, and creative displays – making for a great place to visit in this glorious spring season.
The Royal Botanic Garden, Melbourne
Let us begin Down Under. The Royal Botanic Garden in Melbourne is a vibrant collection of over 50,000 plants on display juxtaposed with flora, fauna and culture of Australia. There is a man-made volcano, an observatory, a working wetland alongside a discovery walk and an Aboriginal Heritage Walk. The Gardens by Twilight walk is most romantic with lovely wine and hors d’oeuvres to end the day with.
The Kirstenbosch Garden, Cape Town
Hopping below the equator we travel to the South African city of Cape Town which has what is considered one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. The Kirstenbosch Garden is spread over a vast area with the looming Table Mountain for a backdrop. The vast grounds nurture a brilliant variety of indigenous flowers, trees, animals and birds and there are art exhibitions all year around.
Kew Gardens, London
Leaping northwards, Kew Gardens, on the outskirts of London, offer an experience which is truly unique. Where most gardens ask to keep your hands to yourself and behave like you were on a military tour of a nuclear facility, visitors are urged to explore at Kew Gardens at their own liberty. So don’t be surprised if you see people scrambling up trees or getting busy in the many glasshouses scattered around the gardens. Among the popular sights at Kew Gardens are the Bee Garden, and the imitation Equatorial rainforest.
The Boboli Gardens, Florence
The Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy are tucked away behind the walls of the Pitti Palace. The place was built in 1458 and sold to the Medicis in 1549. Walk along beds of splendid flowers, admire the fountains and sculptures, and marvel at the jewels and artwork in the Silver Museum. What sets the Boboli Gardens apart is that the entire place has been preserved as it was left centuries ago. It’s like taking a step back in time.
The Botanical Garden, Montreal
Closer to home is the Botanical Garden in Montreal, Canada. This garden is divided into about 25 areas, all offering a unique experience to the visitors. Plants of American Indians and the Inuit are in an area called the First Nations Garden. The Courtyard of the Senses is divided into plants that are prickly, soft, rough and sticky and visitors are asked to explore here using all their senses, except the visual.
The Biltmore Estate, North Carolina
Coming back home, let’s explore the garden of Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. The garden with over 250 species of plants is spread over 8000 acres. If you are not gaping at the wondrous natural beauty you spot here, you could try your hand at fly fishing or pick up a new skill at the Land Rover Driving School. Who said gardens were all about only picnics and snapping pictures?