You cannot resist when nature calls; our list of the gems of the green planet will draw you in… You do not have to travel far or climb mountains with an adventurous spirit.
Even the green spaces in cities are great opportunities for getting close to both their culture and people. We walked around the most beautiful gardens of the world, ranging wide from a palace garden to a surreal park. Whether you are a plant or flower enthusiast, a gardener, a botanist, a child, or a traveler, there are still many places to breath on earth.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London
Everything you’d hope for in a garden is right here: rare plant species, greenhouses, history, diversity, information signs, landscape, plant workshops and activities for visitors… It might take days to completely discover the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London which can be reached via a half an hour train ride from the city center. This wonderland has a huge list of must-see places which includes the world’s largest Victorian era greenhouse the Temperate House. The Hive, which is a 200-meter long and 18-meter high aerial walkway that advances on the treetops with a view of the city and the garden as well, opening a window to the life of bees and appealing to our senses, and the Palm House, where rare tropical plants grow by hosting a rainforest climate, and the Bonsai House, where there are trees over 150 years old, are certainly among them. The gardens, first designed by Princess Augusta in 1759, were expanded in different periods. The cottage built for the royal picnic of Queen Charlotte and the Orangery designed for lunch is truly charming.
The Palace of Versailles, Paris
Protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site today, one of the most beautiful and largest gardens of the world, the symbol of wealth and magnificence, is the famous Palace of Versailles’ green zones, fit for kings and queens… The gardens that were created by André Le Nôtre, the famous French landscape designer, by the order of Louis XIV in the 17th century increase the magnificence of the Palace of Versailles, which is one of the most apparent demonstrations of power in French history and a significant tourist attraction. The 8000-acre area is covered with 3000 acres of woodland, as well as decorative fountains, flower gardens, ornamental ponds, mythological and classical sculptures, and green lawns stretching as far as the eye can see. The king used to ride his gondola in the Grand Canal, which runs parallel to the garden, once upon a time.
Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam
It would not be wrong calling this magnificent sight as Prussia’s Versaille. Friedrich II had this gorgeous Baroque dream built as a summer palace in Potsdam, Germany. ‘Sans souci’ means ‘worry-free’ in French. Although he did not like battles, Friedrich II couldn’t be persistent about it. His palace is both elegant and ostentatious with its gardens and vine terraces. This is a real visual feast with the busts and the decorative sculptures of the Roman emperors, the Chinese Teahouse and the green areas you cannot get enough of… Potsdam, a garrison city 300 years ago, underwent a major transformation and became one of Europe’s most spectacular royal cities. The art gallery in Potsdam is a priceless part of the palace as well as 5000-acre parks, 150 structures from the period of 1730-1916, and the landscape.
The Keukenhof Garden in the city of Lisse, Netherlands, also known as the Garden of Europe is only open from March to May every year. In other words, when the tulips, which are the essences of this garden, bloom. This place is not only one of the most beautiful and largest gardens on earth but also it is a riot of colors with lilacs, narcissus and hyacinths. Each year, the garden welcomes its visitors with a new theme and this theme is made more meaningful and impressive with the artistic works of many sculptures. A boat trip in the lake situated in the middle of the garden is a pleasure.
A similar one to this garden is hard to find. Saihō-ji in Kyoto stands out with a distinctive feature, which differs from many gardens that are famous for their flowers and green zones. Here, moss has the starring role, although it is not the most popular and aesthetic according to many. In Japan, you can find many attractive gardens filled with trees with colorful leaves in the fall, but you can hardly see something like this place. Moss is not as modest as you actually think it is. There are more than 120 moss species, covering the 1200-year-old temple and an area in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List like a carpet. For this reason, this temple is also referred to as, “koke-dera”, meaning the Moss Temple. Immerse yourself in the shades of green; if you focus a little, you will realize the subtle changes in the green texture, the harmony of man-made landscaping with nature throughout centuries. The number of visitors is limited in order to preserve the sacred atmosphere of the temple.
Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town
One of the other largest botanical gardens of the world is located in South Africa.
Nestled at the eastern foot of Table Mountain, next to Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden doesn’t only have an adorable background but also has the pride of preserving the flora of the country since the ancient times. Covering over 1300-acre of area, the garden is wild. Less than 10% of it is cultivated. There is an extraordinary diversity in the garden; the oldest living seed plants since before the time of the dinosaurs, cycads, live plant fossils, endemic flowers, and many unique South African plants… If you cannot slow down, stretch to the surrounding foothills. Walking trails from the main garden direct visitors towards the wild areas. The garden also hosts a unique African stone sculpture collection, including a bust of Nelson Mandela.
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
When both green and futuristic used in the same sentence, you might feel yourself literally in a paradox; however, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore turns this feeling into reality. This million dollar surrealistic theme park truly blows your mind off… Exhibiting many flower species of South Africa, South America, and Mediterranean, the Flower Dome is very impressive. The Cloud Forest, where the 35-meter high Cloud Mountain is located, has even more surprises like the plants and flowers from around the world. The air temperature in different levels of the dome, where plants from South America, Australia, and South Africa are exhibited, is kept between 23-25 degree. Skyway, the aerial walkway, and the world’s highest indoor waterfall with a 35-meter of height are not to be missed seeing. The historical Singapore Botanic Gardens that hosts the National Orchid Gardens is near.