We’ve heard that many of our travelers have a passion for gardening. So while you’re off exploring the world, perhaps you’ll pop in to see a special garden or plan your trip around the seasonality of a country’s signature bloom.
One type of garden that gets a lot of traveler attention? Botanical gardens. So what exactly makes a garden a botanical garden? In the most general sense, it’s a garden or collection of plants labeled with their scientific names (think: Orchidaceae instead of orchid) and is usually backed by research goals. They often have rare plants or herbs, and in fact, the origins of botanical gardens can be traced back to medieval psychic gardens which cataloged herbs and plants for medicinal purposes. Here are a handful of destinations where you can find botanical gardens worth perusing for a dose of fragrant blooms and lush greenery.
Established in 1822, the Singapore Botanic Garden is now a center for runners, tai chi practitioners and families. One of the main draws of this sprawling garden is its diverse collection of orchids—there are over 1,000 species!
The Botanical Garden of Padua is noteworthy due to its place in history as the world’s first botanical garden. Established in 1545, the garden still maintains its original purpose of scientific research, as well as its initial layout. It solidified the important relationship between nature and culture and has made many scientific, medical and pharmaceutical contributions over the centuries.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sitting at the foot of the Corcovado Mountain (home to the Christ the Redeemer statue), Jardim Botânico is a sprawling Rio retreat that’s peaceful during the weekdays and abuzz with family-friendly activities on the weekends. The garden originated as a place to cultivate spices like cinnamon and pepper (brought back from the West Indies) and evolved into the diverse garden it is today.
The Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum is a treasure trove of exotic plants, whose grounds extend out over 100+ acres in Berlin. The garden was originally created to house diverse plants found in Germany’s colonies and today, it’s part of the Free University of Berlin.
While London’s famous parks offer visitors and residents plenty of bucolic charm, the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew is a very popular attraction, offering a more exotic and tropical taste of plant life. In fact, it’s the largest collection of living plants in the world.
The Royal Edinburgh Botanic Garden began as Scotland’s first psychic garden more than 300 years ago.While there are now four distinct sites of the garden, the Edinburgh campus is famous for its Rock Garden, bright flowers and large, robust glasshouses.
What botanical gardens have you visited while traveling? Tell us in the comments below!