There is something quite magical about botanical gardens. Whether its their fascinating collections of flora from around the world, the refined architecture of the buildings and conservatories, or the sheer ingenuity of delicate climate control that often predates modern technology – they are great places to visit. To give you some inspiration, here are a few botanical gardens from around the world.
Singapore Botanic Gardens – Singapore
The idea for Singapore’s national garden came from the country’s founding father himself – Sir Stamford Raffles, who was a keen naturalist. Today, the 183 acre gardens are most renowned for nurturing the world’s largest collection of orchids, as well as a specialist ginger garden. There is also a beautiful rainforest, complete with its own wonderful array of exotic creatures, plus many more areas to explore.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden – Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa is a place of extraordinary natural beauty and dramatic landscapes, and the National Botanical Garden celebrates it perfectly across 1,300 acres, right beneath the eastern foot of Table Mountain. Unlike many botanical gardens, Kirstenbosch has been devoted to the cultivation of indigenous flora, and around two-thirds of the plants of the Western Cape cannot be found anywhere else so this garden is particularly special.
Orto Botanico di Padova – Padua, Italy
The world’s oldest academic botanical garden resides in Padua, Italy. Established in 1545 by the Senate of the Venetian Republic, Orto Botanico di Padova is home to around 7,000 species of plants and specialises in medicinal botany. There are several gardens within the site including a Historical Garden and a Biodiversity Garden. The whole place was constructed over a natural hot spring which feeds the main fountain and keeps aquatic plants happy.
Chicago Botanic Garden – USA
The Chicago Botanic Garden is comprised of 26 display gardens on nine islands, surrounded by natural areas. Its unusual layout can be explored either on foot or by taking a tram tour, where you can marvel at the thousands of varieties of plants and trees. The Bonsai collection is one of the best in the world, outside of its native Asia, and the Children’s Garden gives little ones the chance to get their hands dirty whilst learning all about how to help things grow.
Kew Gardens – London, UK
One of the most revered botanic gardens in the world can be found here in the UK, at Kew. This historical place has long championed the power and importance of plants and fungi, dedicating its existence to continued research, education and conservation in all things flora. It boasts the world’s largest collection of living plants and an arboretum of more than 14,000 trees. Other attractions include the Treetop Walkway, and The Hive – a 17m tall multi-sensory experience which is all about the secret life of bees.