As travel continues to be limited or prohibited, let’s look forward to brighter days ahead. Meanwhile, CSL looks back at some of our favourite destinations of the past. Armchair travel to botanical gardens filled with flowers, sculptures, fauna and some of the most passionate people you’ll ever meet. You can almost breathe in the glorious setting! What you’ll see is much more than just blooms – birds flitting to and fro, foliage changing with the season, waterfalls, ponds, sea views, the subtle and the obvious – you’ll see nature in all its glory.
1/ Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA
Sculptures and greenery blend to create a dramatic landscape at Brookgreen Gardens. Don’t miss Oak allée!
2/ River Dart, Devon, England, UK
The former home of Agatha Christie, Greenway, remains a source of inspiration, pause to take in the view.
3/ San Francisco, California, USA
Gorgeous magnolias at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, one of the friendliest, most inviting and beautiful gardens in the world.
4/ Barbados, WEST INDIES
Hunte’s Gardens, a spectacularly vibrant tropical garden in the hills of St. Joseph, the bulk of which was created in a sinkhole.
5/ Wales, UK
Triangular topiary dot a perfectly groomed field at Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens, one of many unique “rooms”.
6/ Victoria, CANADA
Built in a former quarry, The Butchart Gardens, evolves as the seasons progress like here in autumn.
7/ Trinidad & Tobago, WEST INDIES
A white-necked jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) at the Asa Wright Nature Centre and Lodge, nature is the garden here.
8/ Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Saguaro palms, cacti, red rocks and other markers of the Sonoran landscape at the 140-acre Desert Botanical Garden.
9/ St Kitts and Nevis, WEST INDIES
Palms adorn a pathway flanked by urns at the Nevis Botanical Gardens. Ask for the butterfly pea tea!
10/ Kauai, Hawaii, USA
The plants at the National Botanical Garden have an architectural, artistic quality highlighted by sculptures and exhibits.
11/ Palanga, LITHUANIA
Groomed grounds and an amber museum are just some of the points of interest at Palanga Palace and Botanical Garden.
12/ Rotorua, NEW ZEALAND
Government Gardens juxtaposes maori pou whenua (similar to totems) with Tudor buildings.
13/ Santa Barbara, California, USA
A canopy of native oak trees frames a blue sky at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden which hosts an array of native plants.
14/ Alajuela, COSTA RICA
In all shades and hues, experience these remarkable epiphytes among others at Botanical Orchid Garden La Garita.
15/ San Diego, California, USA
The San Diego Botanic Garden includes a number of gorgeous Spanish colonial buildings and a plethora of plants and animals.
16/ Ooty, INDIA
Whimsical, and sustainable, the Government Botanical Garden Udhagamandalam is the hard labour of countless who work by hand.
17/ Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS
Bridges made for selfies, lush tropical foliage, pools and much more at Maire Nui Gardens & Cafe, Titikaveka.
18/ Salzburg, AUSTRIA
Rose topiary with lavender planted at their base are some of the delights at Mirabell Palace and Gardens.
This original travel article first appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.