Best gardens around the world for sculptures, florals and just for relaxing in…
From Pennsylvania to Japan, we have gathered a list of 11 of the world’s most spectacular gardens–ranging from floral displays to sculptural wonderlands that will surely make any garden lover rejoice.
IN THE USA
Chihuly Garden and Glass – Seattle, Washington
One of Washington States’ most famous exports, Dale Chihuly brings to life the intricate medium of glass blowing at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Explosive and colourful sculptures are set within pristine gardens; trees, shrubs, flowers and ferns which hail from around the world and provide a subtle yet impactful backdrop to Chihuly’s incredible artwork.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Experience the captivating work of Vincent van Gogh brought to three-dimensional life through vibrant blooms, majestic trees and hand-crafted props as recreations of his legendary paintings take centre stage at Phipps Conservatory this summer. The historic glasshouse has been transformed with breathtaking reimagining’s of famous works, including “Starry Night” and “Sunflowers”.
International Rose Test Garden – Portland, Oregon
Portland’s International Rose Test Garden – the oldest garden of its kind in the US – is located just minutes from downtown in Washington Park and is home to more than 10,000 rose bushes of approximately 650 varieties. The garden was established in 1917 as a testing ground for new rose families and became a sanctuary for European varieties during World War I. The roses bloom from April to October each year and are at their most vibrant in June.
Benson Sculpture Garden – Loveland, Colorado
Nicknamed Colorado’s sweetheart town, Loveland is a beautiful, artsy town located an hour north of state capital Denver. Benson Sculpture Garden is one of its highlights and has provided a unique setting for showcasing sculptures since 1985. There are currently 148 sculptures on permanent display in the garden, all set within lush green grass and vibrant flowers.
Sunnylands Center & Gardens – Rancho Mirage, Greater Palm Springs
Sunnylands Center & Gardens offers nine acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, with more than 70 species of native and arid-adapted plants from North and South America, Africa and the Mediterranean. The gardens take inspiration from impressionist art and are designed to mimic an artist’s brushstrokes. You can wander beside the twin reflective pools and lose themselves in the landscape – there are also opportunities to join yoga sessions, free bird walks and impressionist art classes.
Ganna Walska Lotusland – Santa Barbara
Ganna Walska Lotusland is a 37-acre botanic garden located in the Montecito neighbourhood of Santa Barbara. Featuring over 950 plant species, the property plays a crucial role in preserving and increasing knowledge of endangered wild plants and is home to butterfly, cactus and topiary gardens, in addition to many exotic plants. Visitors can wander around the greenhouses and learn about some of the world’s longest living plants. Tours are small – no more than ten guests at a time – allowing for an intimate experience.
Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery – Sonoma County
Stroll lush gardens and enjoy spectacular vineyard views while tasting highly-acclaimed wines at Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, located in the picturesque Dry Creek Valley. Acres of stunning terrain surround the estate, with meandering paths and foot bridges, a lazy, rippling stream, fish ponds and dazzling displays of colour year round. No matter the season, the gardens are a delight, changing constantly in colour and plantings, beginning each year with over 10,000 tulips and daffodils that take centre stage in the spring.
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens – Mendocino
Rhododendrons, dahlias and fuchsias are just some of the many flowers that flourish at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Walk among diverse plantings of perennials, trees and shrubs, which are at their most beautiful during spring. The gardens have also become a haven for bird watchers (with the list of birds now at more than 180), so bring binoculars for close-up views.
Michinoku Park – Miyagi
A colourful, vast public garden, Michinoku Park offers something for everyone with its kid’s playground, huge picnic areas and beautiful fountains. There are over 100,000 flowers planted seasonally and every month offers a completely different landscape. Enjoy a boat ride on the lake and visit the Home Village, with six traditional Japanese houses from the Tohoku region, each with models and exhibits showcasing the history of the area.
Shukkeien Garden – Hiroshima
Valleys, mountains and forests are represented in miniature in the centre of Hiroshima at Shukkeien Garden. Translated in English as “shrunken-scenery garden”, Shukkeien has been carefully cultivated to mimic a variety of natural formations and scenic views. With a long history dating back to 1620, the garden displays many features of a traditional Japanese garden, including a main pond and a number of tea houses.
Korakuen Garden – Okayama
With groves of plum, cherry and maple trees, tea and rice fields, an archery range and a crane aviary, Korakuen is regarded as one of Japan’s “Three Great Gardens.” Originally constructed by a local feudal lord in the 17th century to entertain the ruling family, in 1884 the garden was finally opened to the public. Korakuen incorporates the typical features of a Japanese garden, such as large ponds, winding streams, walking paths and hills, as well as a unique feature: spacious lawns.