gardens of the world
From a zen garden in Japan to a palace garden in Russia, see the best of global gardening.
1. Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona
The Desert Botanical Garden is home to over 21,000 plants, including 139 species that are rare or endangered. The garden is spread out over five different trails, so visitors can see the large collection of cacti and succulents in their native habitat.
2. Ryoanji Temple Zen Garden in Kyoto, Japan
Ryoanji Temple was originally an aristocrat’s home during the Heian Period, but today it is home to Japan’s most famous rock garden. The garden’s rectangular plot is filled with small pebbles and 15 larger rocks which are adorned with moss. Their meaning is unclear, but an interesting feature is that at least one of the rocks is hidden from view at any vantage point in the garden.
3. Villa Borghese Garden in Rome, Italy
The Villa Borghese Park is the third largest park in Rome and home to several museums, a zoo, and a replica of the Globe Theatre. Originally vineyards, the land belonged to Cardinal Scipione Borghese who turned them into lavish gardens in 1605. For centuries, the park was informally open to the public, until the commune of Rome brought them in 1903 and opened them officially.
4. Peterhof Palace Gardens in Saint Petersburg, Russia
The Peterhof Palace and Gardens were built by Peter the Great in 1705 to be his summer palace. Inspired by French formal gardens, they feature impressive fountains and statues. Just be careful if you visit, since several of the fountains are designed to soak unsuspecting guests!
5. Tirta Gangga in Bali, Indonesia
These water gardens were built in 1948 by the royal Karangasem family, but were almost destroyed when the nearby Mount Agung volcano erupted in 1963. Since then, they’ve been rebuilt and feature many beautiful water fountains.
6. Butchart Gardens in British Columbia, Canada
Each year, over a million visitors come to the Butchart Gardens to see their impressive flowers and statuary. In the summer, many bands perform on the grounds, and during winter the plants are strung with lights and an ice skating rink is set up.
7. Kew Gardens in London, United Kingdom
Kew Gardens contains the world’s largest collection of living plants, with 300 acres of gardens, greenhouses, and statuary. The site serves as an important botanical research center, and even has its own police force.