Gardens you simply must visit
Now being an Englishman I suppose I might be biased but I think we can all agree, as a country, we know what a good garden should look like. I mean, we have gardens down to a tee. Even here in London where gardens might not be as big in the country-side we have so many wonderful parks and the best garden of them all, Kew!
I like to think with my arrangements I bring a little bit of the outside into your home.
Here are a few of my favourites:
There is nothing I like to do more than spend a day of my weekend walking around Kew Gardens. It is like swapping bodies with a bee. Meandering around so many different and wonderful plants, trees and flowers. It’s a place of real inspiration for me when thinking of new designs for my arrangements.
Founded in 1840 Kew houses more than 30,000 different plants and has over seven MILLION preserved plant specimens. It really is a marvel and it’s on our doorstep!
But I thought we would have a wonder around some other beautiful botanical gardens around the world. In the words of Aladdin ”I can show you the world (of gardens)”. There are so many beautiful gardens all around the world. Maybe you’ve been to some of them?
First stop: Rio de Janeiro. – Jardim Botânico
Christ Redeemer looks down on this botanical extraordinaire. Lucky old Christ, ay? This exotic 137-hectare garden, with more than 8000 plant species, was designed by order of the Prince Regent Dom João in 1808. It has an orchid house, a Japanese garden and has rare plants from the Amazon rainforest. Whilst wondering around you can hear the sounds of the jungle around you. Whilst at Kew you can hear the coo of pigeons, in Jardim Botânico you’re more likely to hear the sounds of macaw’s and monkeys.
A bit closer to home:
Gardens of the Palace of Versailles
Steeped in history and splendour, the sprawling gardens of Versailles, one of the world’s most recognised landmarks, are the former stomping grounds of King Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette. In 1661 Louis XVI appointed André Le Nôtre to design the gardens, which took over 40 years to complete and include an orangerie and abundance of ornate fountains. When I went here last year I couldn’t help but have a real strut in my step as I waltzed around this truly magical wonderland.
New York Botanical Garden
NEW YORK, NEW YORKKKKKK… Dun dun dun de dun. Founded in 1891, this 250-acre botanical oasis in the Bronx supports over one million plants that thrive in a variety of climates, from the tropics to the desert. With over 50 different gardens, this National Historic Landmark receives more than one million visitors per year.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Established to conserve South Africa’s indigenous plants, this extraordinary display of vegetation from the savanna, the karoo (a semidesert natural region of South Africa… I had to google it), and other growing regions. Its grand backdrop of Cape Town’s Table Mountain. Sugarbushes, pincushions, and heaths are some of the plants that make up the more than 7,000 species in this epic garden.
And lastly (there are so many amazing gardens and not enough blog writing time)…
Claude Monet’s Garden, Giverny
I think this is my second favourite garden in the world (Kew being numero uno of course). Founded by a nonprofit organisation committed to the preservation of the house and gardens of the amazing impressionist painter, Claude Monet. The impressive flower and water garden in Giverny attracts over 500,000 visitors a year, all eager to see the greenery that inspired the great artist. And inspired you will be.
I remember going to Monet’s garden when I was very young with my flower mad parents and I think it was the first time I really appreciated the surroundings I was in. It truly is the most incredible place (other than good old Kew). It has an air of total calmness (slightly muffled by the sound of American tourists) and you can totally understand why it was Monet’s favourite place on earth.
So there you have it, a little tour around some gardens around the world. I wish I could go to them all right now. How wonderful it would be to take a year off and travel the worlds gardens. I feel a retirement plan forming…
If you can’t go off on a whim and visit all these gardens then have a look at my arrangements I bring each week. Each bunch is your own mini botanical garden. Bringing the gardens of the world to you.