While it’s been a long, cold winter in many places, spring is just around the corner and there may be no better way to celebrate the wonders of spring then to visit one of these spectacular botanical gardens.
By heading to Giverny, France, a little over an hour’s drive from Paris, you can see what inspired Claude Monet’s paintings, including the iconic water lilies he spent 43 years of his life cultivating.
Frequently ranked as one of the world’s best gardens, the 55-acre estate grounds of the historic residence of the renowned Cheek family offers a host of mesmerizing sights, including a Japanese garden, reflection pool and nature sanctuary. It also showcases exceptional art exhibits from internationally known artists in its art museum.
Botanical Garden in Kennett Square, PA, United States
Longwood Gardens, the self-proclaimed “world’s premier horticultural showplace,” is home to one of the most amazing greenhouse structures on the planet. The conservatory houses 4.5 acres of indoor gardens, including 4,600 different types of plants and trees, as well as a fantastic system of fountains inspired by the Italian Water Garden and open-air fountains of Europe.
The Chicago Botanic Garden is one of the top living museums and science conservation centers in the Windy City. It sits across 385 acres on and around nine islands and six miles of shoreline, and includes 26 gardens and four natural areas. The acreage is located on and around nine islands and six miles of shoreline.
This exotic 137-hectare garden boasts more than 8000 plant species and was designed by order of the Prince Regent Dom Joao in 1808. Tranquil and serene during the week and bustling with families on the weekend, highlights of a visit here include the park’s most well-known symbol, the row of palms that were planted when it first opened, the lake that contains huge water lilies and the enclosed orquidario (orchid), which features 600 species of orchids.
Set along Kauai’s ethereal north shore is the 1,000-acre Limahuli Garden & Preserve. Named the No. 1 natural botanical garden in the U.S. by the American Horticultural Society, this fascinating tropical expanse features pristine forest and riparian habitat, including palms and herbs, rare native ferns and culturally significant plants like taro and papaya.
A tropical oasis, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located just minutes from downtown Miami. It can be enjoyed in a number of ways, including viewing the aesthetic beauty of taxonomically arranged and well-documented tropical plants, particularly palms, cycads, flowering trees and shrubs, vines and fruit trees, that are displayed in a classic landscape design, which is a favorite of many casual gardeners who often find it to be an especially remarkable experience.
While you might think that the desert is a stark, barren landscape, it’s actually anything but. To find out what it’s really like, check out the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, which boasts 17,000 species of desert plants and a large research center. The Garden has more than 50,000 accessioned plants throughout five thematic trails that illustrate topics like desert living, conservation, plants and people of the Sonoran Desert and desert wildflowers.
In existence for over a century, this 52-acre New York institution is home to thousands of plants and trees, with the Cranford Rose Garden alone housing roughly 1,000 types. It also hosts a Japanese garden where river turtle swim alongside a Shinto shrine. In late April through early May, you can see the blooming cherry trees which are celebrated in Sakura Matsuri, the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Home to over 30 acres of beautiful botanic gardens with a wide variety of fascinating collections and exhibits, the Atlanta Botanical Garden sits adjacent to Piedmont Park and has been constantly updated throughout its nearly four decades to provide an especially interesting haven of urban bliss. One of its highlights is the Fuqua Orchid Center, which holds the rare beauty of high-altitude growing orchids, never before grown in the Southeast.
Set on the slopes of Maui’s Haleakala volcano, the Kula Botanical Garden is a magnificent arboreal haven celebrating Hawaii’s fauna and flora. It’s home to more than eight acres of unique and indigenous plants, cascading waterfalls, astounding rock formations and an array of interesting attractions, like the carved tiki exhibit.
This 75-hectare oasis sits in the heart of Montreal and showcases over 22,000 plant species and cultivars, as well as a planetarium, biodome, an insectarium, themed greenhouses and gardens, including the popular Chinese Garden. A place of harmony and contrast, it illustrates the age-old principles of the Chinese art of landscape design, with the architecture, water and plant and mineral selections all expressions of the dominant design principles of yin and yang.