Interested in natural wonders? Captivated by spectacular landscapes? Check out this list of the most extravagant, unusual and beautiful gardens around the world — put together by guest contributor, Arbordeck, a leading retailer of plastic decking.
Not much compares to the natural beauty of a garden — particularly if you’re into travelling and exploring. In the UK, the average garden is 50ft. long with ten different kinds of flowers, a barbecue and a water feature — according to a report by Foxtons, an estate agent. Although this sounds great for the homeowner, it doesn’t pique our interest as a voyeur of remarkable outdoor spaces.
The Gardens of the Palace of Versailles
King Louis XIV of France was well-known for his love of all things grand. Designed and renovated by André Le Nôtre in 1661, the monarch’s gardens surrounding the Palace of Versailles in France today offer some of the most striking landscapes in the world.
Working alongside artists and architects, it took Le Nôtre around 40 years to design the gardens — with almost every decision being overseen by the king. The renovation was a mammoth task consisting of creating canals, shifting soil and transporting trees from various regions in the country at a time when the logistics and construction industries were obviously nowhere near as advanced as today.
Today, the gardens are home to orange, lemon, oleander, pomegranate, and palm trees, although many visitors simply enjoy strolling passed towering marble sculptures, beautiful parterres and peaceful waterfalls.
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is a 250-acre nature park that has an incredible outline and contains more than a million plants.
One of the best things about Gardens by the Bay is how quirky and almost futuristic it looks. A panoramic view of this destination gives the impression of a grown-over city centuries from now, with huge towers, glassed domes, immaculate walkways, and immense water features surrounded by exotic trees and vivid plants. Visit Flower Dome — the largest glass greenhouse in the world — or head to Supertree Grove, which is a network of illuminated, tree-shaped vertical gardens. The Cloud Forest section is a great place to learn about rare flowers and endangered plants, and you can experience memorable views from the 22-metre high aerial walkway of the entire area.
More than 40 million people have visited Gardens by the Bay so far, and it is even one of the top-20 checked-in places on Earth by Facebook users.
Maintaining a nice garden is important to many Brits, according to the Foxtons garden study. This suggests that we have an affinity for aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces, rather than just area that we can grow vegetables or do DIY.
Kew Gardens in London is a hugely popular UK tourist destination. The iconic glasshouse is surrounded by a collection of rare plants and immaculately kept lawns. In the evening, the area is illuminated spectacularly and during the day, you can wander around a maze of water features, buildings — such as the 18th-century pagoda — and wildlife — from peacocks and robins, to ducks and Chinese water dragons.
Reportedly, Kew Gardens is increasing in popularity. Its latest annual report shows that the destination attracted 20% more visitors than the previous year. If you visit, makes sure to see The Hive — a 17-metre, multi-sensory construction that changes depending on bee activity.
Garden of Cosmic Speculation
If you’re keen on puzzles and quirky settings, try the Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Dumfries, Scotland — a 30-acre garden created by revered architect, Charles Jencks. Strolling through these gardens, you’ll be overwhelmed by ideas, theories and global influences — from black holes to oriental landscaping!
You’re bound to enjoy wandering around the lakes, terraces, sculptures, bridges, and witty architectural works of Garden of Cosmic Speculation. Designed to detail the story of the universe and complexities of space and time, you can spend hours working out what Jencks meant by checked terraces, snail-formed mounds and zigzagging staircases.
The Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands is a stunning destination for anyone who appreciates natural beauty. Visitors have 32 hectares of land to explore, scattered with seven million flowers — including 800 varieties of the iconic Dutch tulip in hues and shapes you’ve never seen anywhere else.
Did you know that Brits spend around £1.5 billion on garden plants every year? Clearly, we enjoy beautiful gardens. Designed in 1857, Keukenhof Gardens is today only open for two months every year. However, the visit is worth it. You’re treated to a blend of English and French horticultural designs filled with old beech trees and pretty ponds, and there’s also a petting zoo home to miniature pigs, giant rabbits and alpacas!
Kids will love the Bookworm Gardens in Wisconsin, USA — it’s inspired by our favourite childhood stories! With an aim to enrich young minds via a love of the great outdoors and literature, Bookworm Gardens opened in 2010 as a non-profit organisation and now features fun buildings and characters from books such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit. With turkeys, owls, chipmunks and butterflies calling Bookworm Gardens home, it’s no surprise that the venue is a top place for families and schools.