Whether neatly framed in a city apartment window or perfectly wrapped around a family home, gardens bring happiness and a sense of tranquillity to our busy lives.
Over time, a number of gardens around the world have become green museums, where meticulous landscaping introduces a fairy-tale element.
We’ve scoured the world and found some incredible gardens that look like they come straight out of a magical fable. You’ll see that many of these spaces have taken years to create, and several of them show how gardens have always been an important part of history.
The Butchart Gardens – Canada
Jennie and Robert Butchart began work on their gardens in 1906. The couple transformed a quarry of exhausted limestone deposits into a magical delight. With more than 900 plant varieties in bloom, and over a million visitors a year, this garden should be on every garden-lover’s bucket list.
Gardens of Versailles – France
Designed in the 17th century as a palatial centre of government for Louis XIV, the King of France, this garden covers over 800 hectares of land, and attracts more than 6 million visitors a year. Meticulously cut lawns and perfect plant symmetry will make everyone want a French-style garden.
Bodnant Garden – Wales
Founded in 1874, Bodnant Garden was developed by five generations of one family before being gifted into the care of the National Trust in 1949. The beautiful space is an area of activity for children and a tranquil space for adults – we wish we could be strolling through these gardens right now.
Desert Botanical Garden – Arizona, USA
A common misconception about deserts is that they’re barren areas filled with minimal life. The Desert Botanical Garden in Arizona shatters that misconception – with cactuses that come in many different varieties, and red sand that acts as perfect canvas for these wonderful succulents. The garden stretches over 140 acres and is tended by more than 840 volunteers, who assist in its natural preservation, providing a unique environment for learning and research.
Kirstenbosch Gardens – South Africa
It’s no secret that Kirstenbosch is an internationally recognised, award-winning botanical escape – it’s the perfect place if you want to breathe clean air, admire fynbos, and transport yourself into another realm. If you’re ever in Cape Town, be sure to make a visit to Kirstenbosch a priority.
Keukenhof Gardens – Holland
No matter the weather, there was always a ray of light in #Keukenhof #season #2016 – called #flowers. Thank you @dmitry.postnikov for sharing your #tbtkeukenhof photo with us – the last #tbtkeukenhof photo for now. Thanks everyone for joining us! It is such a pleasure seeing all your photos. #tbt #spring #springgarden #springisintheair #bloom #nature #lente #holland #visitkeukenhof A photo posted by visitkeukenhof (@visitkeukenhof) on
Keukenhof means ‘kitchen garden’ and this exquisite delight was created in 1641 to supply produce to the Dutch castle. It was formally redesigned in 1857 and is now home to 7 million bulbs, representing 100 companies in this ‘living catalogue’. Keukenhof has provided a natural platform for garden innovators to exhibit their products and truly seems to be from another world.
Drummond Castle Gardens – Scotland
Drmmond Castle Gardens #holiday#scotland#drummondcastlegardens#travel A photo posted by Lucia H (@luckerka) on
One of the most important formal gardens in Scotland, Drummond Castle Gardens, dates back to the 17th century. The gardens were replanted in 1950 to create what we see today. Lush green lawns and deep purple trees highlight the regal tones of this garden.
Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Island – Thailand
Nong Nooch is spread over 500 acres of land in Thailand. Nine different gardens make up this property, and our favourite is its rendition of the French garden of Versailles. The land was bought in 1954 for what was intended to be a fruit plantation, but instead the owners grew tropical flowers and plants. You’ll need a whole day to view it all.
Kenroku-en Garden – Japan
This magnificent garden in Japan has been famous for centuries. Symmetry and tranquillity define this space, where a sense of mysticism transports you to another world.
Jardin Majorelle – Marrakech, Morocco
Shades of blue, sky-high cacti, blocks of mosaics and splashes of yellow make this artistic garden one of Morocco’s most popular tourist sites. Known as ‘Ochre City’, it took French painter Jacques Majorelle more than 40 years to create it.