Updated: Apr 14
When I think of spring, I think of gardens and cherry blossoms. Even after living for 30 years in Washington, D.C., I never get tired of going to the tidal basin to see the cherry blossoms. When I travel, the local botanic gardens are one of my first stops. Here are some of the most beautiful gardens in the world. While most can be enjoyed year-round, spring is usually when they are at their most spectacular.
1. Keukenhof, Netherlands
I went to Keukenhof as a child. It was the first garden that I remember seeing. I was fascinated with the acres and acres of tulips. The garden boasts over 7 million bulbs and is only open from March to May.
2. Giverney Gardens, France
Made famous by French Impressionist Claude Monet it has more than just waterlilies. This Japanese-style garden is usually open from May to November.
3. Jardin Majorelle, Morocco
These beautiful gardens took over 40 years to create. This tropical garden has both Art Deco and Moorish influences. French fashion designer, Yves-Saint Laurent, purchased the gardens and built a villa in the Cubist style. During the week, the private Oasis garden is often open for viewing.
4. Isola Bella, Italy.
Meaning the beautiful island, Isola Bella is on Lake Maggiore. One of three Borromean islands owned by the Borromeo family since the 16th century, Isola Bella is famous for its Italian baroque garden. You can also visit Palazzo Borromeo with its artificial grotto.
5. Butchart Gardens, Victoria, Canada
I have been to Butchart in the spring and the fall and was not disappointed. Within the 55 acres of these Victorian gardens, there are 900 plant varieties and 26 greenhouses. Don’t miss the Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Sunken Garden, and Mediterranean Garden.
6. Longwood Gardens, Delaware
Built by the DuPont family, this extraordinary botanical garden in Pennsylvania extends over 1,077 acres. Visitors at night can admire the illuminated Open Air Theatre Fountain Shows which run every 15 minutes. The Main Conservatory is a popular attraction, while the miniature Garden Railway successfully blends horticulture and engineering.
7. Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, United Kingdom
Famous for its Victorian glasshouses, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew are also an important center for horticultural research. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the largest collection of plants and fungi in the world.
8. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Japan
One of the most beautiful gardens in Japan can be found in Tokyo. Shinjuku Gyoen was formerly a residence of the Naitō family in the Edo era. It was turned into a public park in 1949 and has three types of gardens: traditional, formal, and landscape. If you can visit in the spring, there are over 1,000 cherry trees to admire. (The other best locations to see cherry blossoms are, of course, Washington, D.C, and Portland, Oregon).
9. Dubai Miracle Garden
One of the most Instagrammable gardens in the world, Dubai Miracle Garden is a must-visit. Boasting 50 million flowers and 250 million plants, this is the largest natural flower garden in the world. A floral Airbus A380 airplane is a Guinness World Record-breaker as the largest flower arrangement in the world.
10. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Since opening in 2012, Gardens by the Bay have welcomed more than 50 million visitors. Not to be confused with Singapore Botanic Gardens, there are three waterfront gardens, with a grove of 18 luminous Supertrees. An elevated walkway links several of these structures, and one contains a restaurant. The Cloud Forest is the second tallest indoor waterfall in the world. As for the Flower Dome, it is the world’s largest column-free greenhouse.
While these are some of the most beautiful gardens in the world, almost every town, large or small, has a local garden that is just waiting for you to explore and appreciate its natural beauty. Contact me when you are ready to plan your spring garden trip.