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Gardens Blossoming Around The World

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

I love this time every week when I share some of the beautiful gardens, nature, and things green. It's been a time of self-reflection, appreciating natural beauty, and immersing yourself in nature. While at home and away, I love exploring gardens. Here are some you might like to visit and that you can enjoy from your armchair.

Pink Dogwood In Yosemite ©Kenny Karst

Gardens Blossoming Around The World

With the Annual Chelsea Flower Show going virtual this year we are bringing you a roundup of stunning gardens from around the world. Sit back and enjoy the hum of bees and insects roaming around in thriving gardens. Take in the colourful nature growing around us from gardens in Japan hosting private tea houses to secret gardens in Huntington Beach.

Denver Botanic Gardens - Colorado

You may remember I mentioned Denver Botanic Gardens in Five Ways To Put A Spring In Your Step Take back in March. Now you can take a virtual tour around one of the top five botanic gardens in the nation, Denver Botanic Gardens is an oasis in the heart of the city, offering year-round events, Mordecai Children’s Garden, lifelong learning opportunities and research to preserve Colorado’s precious natural resources. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Gardens’ living collections encompass specimens from the tropics to the tundra, showcasing a plant palette chosen to thrive in Colorado’s semi-arid climate. The Garden is a dynamic, 24-acre attraction, offering unforgettable opportunities to flourish with unique garden experiences for the whole family – as well as world-class education and plant conservation research programs.

Denver Botanic Gardens

Huntington Beach’s Secret Garden - California

The Secret Garden, created in 1992, is located in Huntington Beach’s expansive Central Park, right behind the library. The stunning garden is planted with drought-tolerant plants, as well as monarch butterfly and hummingbird-attracting plants. As a result, the gardens have become a mecca for migrating monarchs each year and for hummingbirds in the spring. Local resident gardener volunteers lovingly maintain the garden; it is a picturesque site that is perfect for bird watching.

Central Park - Huntington Beach

The 24th Annual Newport Beach Garden Tour - Newport Beach, California 

One of the biggest fundraisers presented by Sherman Library & Garden this year, the 24th Annual Newport Beach Garden Tour, will be taking place online on Saturday 9 May. P.J. Video, a full-service video production company based in Tustin, has been retained to capture compelling footage of each garden on this year’s Tour. Viewers will enjoy a video tour of all seven gardens, including Sherman Gardens along with stories from the homeowners will be woven throughout, where they’ll share interesting tidbits and disclose the inspiration for their gardens. The release date will be May 9th but you can watch whenever and where you want! Newport Beach Garden Tour ticket holders will receive an exclusive invitation to an extraordinary Summer Garden Party that will take place on Saturday 29 August at Sherman Library & Gardens. Tickets: $50 Friends / $60 Non-Member.

Newport Beach - Sherman Library and Gardens

Volunteer Park Conservatory - Seattle, Washington

Volunteer Park Conservatory is Seattle's historic greenhouse anchoring Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill since 1912. The Conservatory’s historic landmark status reflects the distinctive architectural characteristics of this Victorian glasshouse, a true jewel in the crown of Seattle Parks. The glass greenhouse is surrounded by beautiful scenery and elegant lawns of the celebrated Olmsted Park. Encompassing five distinct temperate houses the Conservatory showcases a vast variety of tropical and subtropical plant life. Virtually stroll through the stunning Palm, Seasonal, Cactus, Fern, and Bromeliad houses via their Facebook page to experience the curated horticultural displays.

Volunteer Park Conservatory - Seattle

Garden Valley Ranch - Sonoma County, California

Garden Valley Ranch is a historic landmark in Petaluma that traces its origins back to the late 1800s. This working rose farm cultivates 8,000 rose bushes over five acres of beautiful fields and gardens. The renowned garden roses bloom from May through to October. Landscaped plantings featuring roses on pergolas, columns, arches, and carefully selected perennials, annuals, and bulbs combine to create a truly magical setting. Garden Valley Ranch also enjoys a large koi pond, water fountains, and numerous special events and arts and entertainment throughout the year. It is a gorgeous and highly popular setting for weddings.

Garden Valley Ranch - Sonoma County

International Rose Test Garden - Portland, Oregon

Home to more than 200 parks and gardens, it's no wonder Portland is also known as the city amongst the trees. The International Rose Test Garden is found downtown in Washington Park and is the United States' oldest continuously operated public rose test garden with over 10,000 roses set within 4.5 acres of park. A unique part of the garden is the Shakespeare Garden which features herbs, trees, and flowers noted in his plays. With panoramic views of the city (and Mt Hood if you are lucky), this is one of the best gardens to enjoy in the city with a month-long festival dedicated to the colourful bloom in June.

International Rose Test Garden

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Opened in 1893, this 15-acre oasis includes a historic 14-room glasshouse and 23 individual gardens each showcasing a unique variety of plants from orchid and bonsai collections to an immersive tropical forest. The conservatory is one of the greenest buildings on earth and is LEED-certified. In addition to flowers, it is also home to a unique art collection of Grecian urns, Japanese lanterns, glass chandeliers, and sculptures. Located in Schenley Park, Phipps stands proud in the vibrant Oakland neighbourhood, which is also home to prestigious universities and museums.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden

Balboa Park Gardens - San Diego, California

San Diego is a botanical bonanza. The mild climate and ample sunshine make for very happy plants resulting in more biodiversity than in any other county in the US. Downton, Balboa Park hosts more than a dozen different gardens. The Lily Pond and Lagoon, and adjacent Botanical Building, one of the biggest lath buildings in the world is home to thousands of ferns, orchids, and bromeliads. The Japanese Friendship Garden located east of the park offers visitors a tranquil walk, with koi ponds, water features, and sand- and stone- artworks. The Spanish-style Alcazar Garden brims with fountains and colourful tiles, but nothing smells as sweet as the three-acre Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden, a thorny collection of 1,600 roses that bloom from March through December, peaking in April and May.

Balboa Park Lily Pond ©Joanne DiBona

Sunnylands Center and Gardens - Greater Palm Springs, California

Despite being located in the desert, there is much green space and lush parks and gardens to explore in the nine cities that make up Greater Palm Springs. Sunnylands, located in Rancho Mirage, is a 200-acre former estate, the artistic style unfolds in Sunnylands’ extensive gardens are landscaped in sweeping bands of colour to evoke Impressionist art. The garden is also home to 1.25 miles of garden paths and home to many local and migratory bird species.

Sunnylands Center and Gardens

Naples Botanical Garden - Florida’s Paradise Coast, Florida

Located on the southwest tip of Florida and looking out onto the Gulf of Mexico, Florida’s Paradise Coast really is its namesake. In the affluent area of Naples, visitors will find the Naples Botanical Garden combining cultivated tropical gardens with beautifully restored natural habitats. The Garden connects people and plants through display, education, conservation, and science and aims to be a community-gathering place as well as an exceptional venue for exploring the natural world. The garden holds annual special events, traveling exhibitions, and performances.

Naples Botanical Garden

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanical Garden - Santa Cruz, California

With plant collections from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, California Natives and world conifers; there is always something blooming at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanical Garden. With more than 300 plant families of Mediterranean climates across 135 acres, the garden maintains collections of rare and threatened plants of unusual scientific interest. Particular specialities are world conifers, primitive angiosperms, and bulb-forming plant families.

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum

The Vaipahi Gardens - The Islands of Tahiti

The Vaipahi Gardens, located along Tahiti's south coast in the district of Mataiea 49 kilometres (30 miles) from Papeete, are rich in cultural heritage and abundant in natural beauty. Restored and reopened in August 2007, the gardens include archaeological relics and legendary traditions. There are over 75 different species of vegetation, all kept fresh by water from Lake Vaihiria in the centre of the island, Tahiti's only freshwater lake. There are three walks available around the gardens, each lasting around 30 minutes. One of the most popular walks takes visitors along marked paths next to the river; passing by archaeological sites steeped in history, as well as shaded areas created by a pine tree forest - a rather surprising sight on The Island of Tahiti.

The Vaipahi Gardens

Aizu Wakamatsu Oyakuen garden - Fukushima, Japan

Originally used for the cultivation of ginseng by local samurai warlords, the garden was eventually opened up to private citizens to grow their own medicinal herbs. You can now find over 400 varieties of medicinal herbs in the garden. Designed to resemble nature in miniature form, there is a pond trembling the kanji word for ‘heart’, which gives reference to good health. Today, the gardens have a teahouse where you can pick and drink your own medicinal tea whilst overlooking the traditional gardens.

Aizu Wakamatsu Teahouse

Mono Lake - Mammoth Lakes, California 

Whilst not technically a garden, Mono Lake, located on Highway 395 close to the town of Mammoth Lakes, is one of the Eastern Sierra's most spectacular Californian natural wonders. Mono Lake is hauntingly beautiful, reflecting the snow-capped Sierra Nevada in its shimmering blue waters. An immense inland sea, this area is a natural wonderland surrounded by rugged, granite peak Sierra Nevada Mountains, nearby volcanoes, and ghost towns. Mono Lake is one of the oldest lakes in North America and has been dubbed ‘California's Dead Sea’ because it's 2 and 1/2 times as salty as the ocean. One of the most unique features of Mono Lake is its tufa towers - spires of porous ‘rock’ that looks like moon rock. They are formed when natural freshwater springs interact with the highly alkaline lake water and give Mono Lake its unique ‘landscape’.

Monolake by Mammoth Lakes

Mountain Dogwood bloom - Yosemite Mariposa County, California 

Yosemite National Park is home to some of the most stunning natural scenery in the world, but the Mountain Dogwood trees set Yosemite Valley alive from April to June and also give the park some of its brightest ‘fall’ colours. The trees you see blooming are usually 10 - 30 feet tall and the large flowers are typically three or four inches across - they bloom in bunches, making a flowering dogwood tree an arresting sight, especially with iconic structures like Half Dome in the background. Don’t forget to check out the magnificent wildflowers that are also blooming around Yosemite and Mariposa County - the vibrant orange of the California poppies are hard to miss!

Dogwood Blooms in Yosemite

The University of California Davis Arboretum and Public Garden - Sacramento, California

Close to the California state capital of Sacramento is the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, one of the Top 10 rated botanical gardens in the U.S. The Arboretum and Public Garden act as an outdoor living museum and laboratory connecting people with the beauty and value of plants. Visitors will not only enjoy the beauty of the gardens - including the California desert collection, the Hummingbird Garden, and Redwood Grove - but they'll also learn about being environmental leaders, climate change, and the importance of regionally appropriate landscaping. The garden also serves to demonstrate best practice for sustainable horticulture, as UC Davis is the most sustainable university in America and number three in the world.

UC Davis Arboretum

I hope you have enjoyed reading, inspired to virtually visit and plan your own future trip to one of these beautiful gardens.

Michelle x


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