Seeing new places and travelling the world is the dream for many Brits. But where can you visit new and unusual landscapes? In the UK, the average garden is 50ft. long with ten different kinds of flowers, a barbecue and a water feature — according to a report by Foxtons, an estate agent. Although this sounds great for the homeowner, it doesn’t pique our interest as a keen traveller and explorer of remarkable outdoor spaces.
Eager to see something new? Check out this list of the most extravagant and quirky gardens in the world — put together for CEO Today by Arbordeck, a retailer of composite decking boards.
The Gardens of the Palace of Versailles
For unparalleled majesty and grandeur, take a trip to the gardens of King Louis XIV in Versailles. Designed and renovated by André Le Nôtre in 1661, the monarch’s gardens surrounding the Palace of Versailles in France today offer some of the most striking landscapes in the world.
Le Nôtre had to design and create these gardens under the watch of the king, and worked alongside many architects and artists to get the job done. The renovation was a mammoth task consisting of creating canals, shifting soil and transporting trees from various regions in the country at a time when the logistics and construction industries were obviously nowhere near as advanced as today.
From marble sculptures and peaceful waterfalls to orange plants and palm trees, the Gardens of the Palace of Versailles is a top destination.
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is a truly remarkable destination that people of all tastes and ages will remember. A panoramic view of these gardens gives the impression of a grown-over city centuries from now, with huge towers, glassed domes, immaculate walkways, and immense water features surrounded by exotic trees and vivid plants.
A million plants are found in the 250-acre Gardens by the Bay. During your visit, see Flower Dome — the largest glass greenhouse in the world — or head to Supertree Grove, which is a network of illuminated, tree-shaped vertical gardens. The Cloud Forest section is a great place to learn about rare flowers and endangered plants, and you can experience memorable views from the 22-metre high aerial walkway of the entire area.
Boasting more than 40 million visitors to date, Gardens by the Bay is a popular spot for national and international tourists.
Located in Wisconsin, northern USA, Bookworm Garden was created to advocate literature and the outdoors.
Everything has been inspired by children’s books, which makes this destination an excellent one to visit for avid readers and children. Bookworm Gardens opened in 2010 as a non-profit organisation. Today, you can visit quirky buildings and characters from books such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit. With turkeys, owls, chipmunks and butterflies calling Bookworm Gardens home, it’s no surprise that the venue is a popular place.
About 33% of Brits get competitive when gardening — if we trust the Foxtons survey we mentioned earlier. This suggests that we have an affinity for aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces, rather than just area that we can grow vegetables or do DIY.
Kew Gardens in London is a jewel in the British crown of tourist destinations. According to the most recent report, Kew Gardens attracted 20% more people than the previous year. Clearly, it’s a destination worth considering if you’re planning an excursion.
So, what points of interest should you make sure you make time for if you visit? The iconic glasshouse at Kew Gardens is surrounded by a collection of rare plants and immaculately kept lawns. In the evening, the area is illuminated spectacularly and during the day, you can wander around a maze of water features, buildings — such as the 18th-century pagoda — and wildlife — from peacocks and robins, to ducks and Chinese water dragons. If you visit, makes sure to see The Hive — a 17-metre, multi-sensory construction that changes depending on bee activity.
Award-winning #KewHive opens to the public this Saturday. Inspired by research into the health of bees, it is linked to a real beehive using accelerometer technology, causing the lights and unique soundscape inside to change in response to the activity of the bee colony. Google Kew Hive to find out more, or click on the Kew.org link in our profile. #London #architecture #bees #kewgardens #lovekew #kewhive
Garden of Cosmic Speculation
From weird illusions to intriguing brainteasers, the Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a must-see for lovers of gardens, exploring and puzzles. Found in Dumfries, Scotland, it’s 30 acres in size and was created by revered architect, Charles Jencks.
Every section of this exciting environment offers a new and unforgettable experience. There are terraces, sculptures, lakes, bridges, and a labyrinth of witty architectural works at Garden of Cosmic Speculation. Designed to detail the story of the universe and complexities of space and time, you can spend hours working out what Jencks meant by checked terraces, snail-formed mounds and zigzagging staircases.
More than a billion pounds are spent by Brits on shrubs and flowers for the garden, according to the Horticultural Trades Association. At the Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands, you have 32 hectares of land scattered with seven million flowers — including 800 varieties of the iconic Dutch tulip in hues and shapes you’ve never seen anywhere else.
The Keukenhof Gardens were designed in 1857, but you’ll have to plan your trip carefully if you decide to visit — it’s only open for two months a year. Despite this brief time-frame, it’s definitely worth it. Here, you’re treated to a blend of English and French horticultural designs filled with old beech trees and pretty ponds, and there’s also a petting zoo home to miniature pigs, giant rabbits and alpacas!
Sources: https://hta.org.uk/learn-develop/market-information/garden-industry-statistics.html https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3692942/british-garden-research-gnome-bbq-sheds-summer/ https://www.kew.org/sites/default/files/RBG%20Kew%2016-17%20Annual%20Report%20and%20Accounts.pdf https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens/attractions/the-hive http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/gardens http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/attractions/ocbc-skyway.html https://keukenhof.nl/en/#discover-the-park https://www.travelwisconsin.com/arts-and-culture/bookworm-gardens-208647 http://www.bookwormgardens.org/ http://scotlandsgardens.org/portrack-the-garden-of-cosmic-speculation/ https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/garden-of-cosmic-speculation