European Gardens and Beyond to Visit in Spring
Now that spring is officially here, the flowers are timidly poking up from their winter respite and gracing us with their blooms. Around the world, landscapers and floriculturists are working hard to renew the most extensive gardens in the world. If you are traveling this spring, consider visiting one of these vibrant and enchanting gardens.
Lisse, Holland, is home to Keukenhof Gardens with its gorgeous display of Dutch tulips. There are over 4.5 million blooms to stroll through! The largest flower garden in the world, it is a lush, tree lined rainbow that spreads over 80 acres. Check out the Castle Keukenhof as well, as it is the 17th century home base of these former hunting grounds. To view the blossoms at their peak, visit from the end of March to mid-May.
Arguably the most famous gardens in the world, Versailles’ landscapers’ immaculate work spans almost 2000 acres. Fountains, arbors, topiaries and paths create a veritable treasure trove of beauty throughout the property. Find the best flora in the Flower Parterre where hyacinths, lilies, jasmine and daffodils are planted in complicated and picturesque patterns.
Singapore Botanic Garden
Spend the whole day at this gorgeous garden where over 60,000 orchids bloom. Open every day from 5am ‘til midnight, you will have plenty of time to explore around Symphony Lake, the Evolution Garden and the lush Saraca Stream. Browse balmy greenhouses that emulate the climates of the rainforest, cool highland forest and misty waterfalls and then lounge in the shaded Palm Valley where picnics and concerts are popular.
Parnell Rose Garden
A small but very special spot in downtown Auckland, New Zealand, the Parnell Rose Garden will charm you. Internationally acclaimed rose growers have come together to plant and nurture over 4500 rose bushes of all different colors and varieties. The park is frills-free—the flowers are the only decoration needed. The peak for these beauties is in New Zealand’s spring, (October), but they are lovely to behold any time of year.
Tucked in the hills of County Wicklow, Ireland, Powerscourt is a sprawling estate overlooking Sugarloaf Mountain. Italian, Japanese and English style gardens slope down from the manor. Come in springtime to enjoy the rhododendron, narcissus, wisteria and azalea blooms, the fluttering cherry blossoms and African lilies. Your camera shutter will tire at this gorgeous location!
The crown jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Biltmore house and gardens is a feast for the eyes. The Azalea Garden in particular flourishes during springtime, along with the Walled Garden and Spring Garden. Stroll along impeccably kept paths to the conservatory, where exotics like gingers and orchids flourish. A trip to North Carolina is not complete without a stop here!
Mirabell Palace Gardens
Made famous by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, Mirabell is now a sought after attraction in Salzburg, Austria. Artfully kept shrubbery, creative flower displays and many historic fountains have graced this property since the 17th century. Considered one of Europe’s premier Baroque style gardens, you’ll love the intricate design of the path, the beauty of the roses and of course the spots where they shot the movie!
Jardim Botanico de Curitiba
One of the true gems of southern Brazil, this garden complex draws admirers from around the world. Planned in the French garden style, the striking greenhouse, waterfalls and ponds add to the drama of the colorful flower beds that span the park. Built in the early 1990s it’s a contemporary version of a lovely old school style!
Over 50 acres of delicate flora deck out this Vancouver Island garden. In springtime the crocuses, white forsythia and roses flourish, and you’ll also love the amaryllis and striking orchids in the greenhouse. Over 100 years old, don’t miss the Sunken Garden (formed from an abandoned limestone quarry), the Victorian style walking paths lined with fragrant shrubs and the ornate Japanese Garden.
This massive park can be found in the heart of London on over 300 acres. Get a bird’s eye view from the Treetop Walkway above the grounds, then get down to flower level where you’ll be treated to many verdant hot houses and the formal gardens. Behind Kew Palace you’ll find the Queen’s garden in all its manicured glory and the colorful Duke’s Garden nearby. Step into the fairytale Rose Pergola for one of the most romantic strolls in the country!
From the distinguished to the proper, these gardens will evoke the whimsy, warmth and growth that make springtime so beautiful. Book a trip to London, Vancouver, Curitiba, Salzburg, Asheville, Wicklow, Singapore, Paris or Lisse, to see one of the Travel Belles’ top ten gardens to visit for spring flowers for yourself!
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