In a world that seems obsessed with city life and urban development, you might think that paradise is well and truly lost.
But that’s not the case because all across the world there are wondrous treasures to be found that worship our natural mother earth. Check out our list of of the most wondrous botanical gardens of the world handpicked for their immense beauty.
North America and Canada
Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens, Hawaii
Na ‘Aina Kai means Lands by the Sea and the Botanical Gardens here are certainly jewels by the ocean. The Gardens were founded by Joyce and Ed Doty and began as simple landscape project in their back garden in 1982. It has now grown to 240 acres and pays homage to their love of their tropical land and the people of Hawaii.
One of the wonderful things about Na ‘Aina Kai is that the gardens are constantly evolving and you will find some of the rarest flora and fauna of the Pacific in her confines containing a living mosaic of botanical gardens as well as a hardwood forestry plantation. Stunning scenery includes a spectacular canyon draped in moss and fern and a perfectly preserved sandy beach that it is lapped gently by aquamarine waters of the Pacific ocean. There’s also an impressive sculpture collection of more than 70 imposing bronzes.
Desert Botanical Garden Phoenix, Arizona
The Desert contains North America’s largest collection of plants from the Sonoran Desert, including many rare and unusual species. The collection contains more than 4,000 species and around 17,000 individual plants.
You can expect to find century plants agave families and giant cacti. The Desert also features other plants native to different arid regions from around the world. It’s at its most beautiful between March and May when the wildflowers, cacti and many other plants are in bloom offering a stunning sight.
Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, United States
The Denver Botanic gardens cover 23 acres of 2,300 species and is home to North America’s largest collection of world plants originating from colder climates. Here you will discover more than 500 tons or rock.
The park offers several other gardens including the WaterSmart Garden where you will find xeric plants, The bill Hosokawa Bonsia Pavillion and Tea Garden and an amazing amphitheater where you can attend concerts over the summer months. Whilst the blooming season is between May and October, Denver Botanic Gardens is somewhere you can visit year-round and expect to see something to pique your interest.
New York Botanical Gardens, New York United States
New York Botanical Garden is one of the most popular urban gardens in the world and is seen to be one of the greatest urban attractions in the United States.
The Gardens are most interesting for the “museum” style they offer visitors arranged across 50 gardens including a Victorian inspired ‘Crystal Palace’ greenhouse, 50 acres of old-growth forest which houses the largest remaining segment of the original forests which covered the whole of New York City before the settlers arrived in the 17th Century. There is also a 37 acre conifer collections and fascinating herbarium containing more than 7 million specimens that date back more than 300 years. The Gardens offer seasonal programs so that there is something to see all year round.
The Butchart Gardens, British Columbia, Canada
Butchart Gardens is most renowned for its floral show garden and has a rich history. Originally conceived by Jennie Butchart with the idea to turn an abandoned limestone quarry into a sunken garden to reflect the botanical treasures of her extensive travels with her husband.
The climate here is temperate so plants flower throughout the year and the original sunken garden has expanded to include a Japanese Garden and an Italian Garden. Alongside the beauty of the natural botanics, Butchart also puts on excellent fireworks shows throughout the summer which feature stunning night lighting. Christmas is an excellent time to visit to take in the Gardens ‘Magic of Christmas’ displays.
And the Rest of the World…
Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
These vibrant gardens are located at the Jardim Botânico district and are home to 8000 species of plants covering 345 acres. The park lies at the foot of the impressive Corcovado Mountain and the gardens themselves date back to 1808 but they weren’t open to the public until 1822.
There are many wondrous things to be found here but some of the best attractions include the rows of palms which date back to the first of species planted when the garden first opens and lush Amazons area. There’s also a beautiful lake where you can see Vitoria Regia water lilies that are larger than life.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town, South Africa
The Kirstenbosch Garden covers 89 acres and was founded in 1913 in an effort to preserve the country’s unique flora. Some consider the Kirstenbosch to be the most beautiful botanical garden is all of Africa because of its impressive grandeur and stunning vistas against the mountain slopes, merging effortlessly with its natural surroundings as well as also being part of a nature reserve.
It is located at the foot of Table Mountain National Park and can boast to be among the very few botanical gardens that only cultivate indigenous plants. You can enjoy some stunning plant life unique southern Africa including sugarushes, heaths and plants from across the diverse regions of Africa such as cycads including an array of rare and threatened species.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
The Royal Botanic Gardens are the oldest sscientificinstitution in Australia opening its dors in 1816. Covering 74 acres, its position on Sydeny Harbor with views of the impressive CBD and the Operal House and the parklands of the Domains makes it the perfect location for visitors and locals alike.
There is much to be seen here including the historic hand-hewn sandstone seawall, the perfect lawns and ponds of the Lower Gardens and the treasures of the Rare and Threatened Plant Gardens. The Palace Gardens house tropical delights and there is also a stunning Palm Grove which houses the excellent restaurant.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England
The Kew Botanical Gardens were founded in 1759 in 2003 declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site adding to its prestige. The Gardens encompass 300 acres and is home to the world’s largest collection of plants in excess of 30,000 plants. Alongside British natives you will see ferns, palms, grasses, cacti and arboreta from across the world.
There are rotating displays throughout the year and one of the most interesting features is the original Victorian glass Temperate House which dates back to 1863 and the impressive Palm House dating back even earlier to 1844. There are two very unique ways to get around the gardens which include the Kew Explorer, a darling little train and the Treetop Walkway where you can literally walk among the high tops of the trees above.