Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
Photo: My Modern Met

For us, nothing says spring and summer quite like fresh flowers. No wonder we’ve been daydreaming of botanical gardens lately. Of course, these scenic sanctuaries aren’t limited to vibrant blooms. Some spotlight indigenous plants, while others showcase exotic greenery. Add to that fanciful topiary, meandering paths, graceful fountains and more. From Jardin Majorelle to Giardini Botanici Villa Taranto, these are the most majestic gardens around the world.

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, United States

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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On the outskirts of the quiet town of Kennett Square lies the 1,077-acre Longwood Gardens. The beginnings of the garden date back to 1906 when industrialist Pierre du Pont purchased a small farm in order to preserve a collection of historic trees. More than a century later, Longwood Gardens continues to be a leader in horticulture research with educational programs across its woodlands, meadows, and green spaces.

Butchart Gardens in British Columbia, Canada

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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Once the site of a cement quarry, Robert Pim and Jenni Butchart transformed the old limestone deposits into the beginning of the garden’s most well-known attraction the Sunken Garden in 1904. Today, Butchart Gardens stretch over 55 acres with 900 bedding plant varieties including a Mediterranean garden and 26 greenhouses. With nearly a million visitors each year, the gardens have been designated as a National Historic Site of Canada.

The New York Botanical Garden in Bronx, New York, United States

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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The New York Botanical Garden offers a 250-acre peaceful getaway for city dwellers in the heart of the Bronx. The Victorian-era Enid A. Haupt Conservatory allows visitors to discover indoor deserts, waterfalls, and a tropical landscape that includes the world's largest collection of indoor palm trees. One of the 50 distinct gardens, the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden houses more than 650 varieties of fragrant roses.

Limahuli Garden & Preserve in Kauai, Hawaii, United States

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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Nestled in a 2,000-foot-deep valley on the Garden Isle, the tropic forest and riparian habitat of Limahui Garden & Preserve spans over 1,000 acres. The American Horticultural Society named the tropical expanse the best natural botanical gardens in the United States with its conservation of rare Hawaiian flora and culturally significant plants such as native hibiscus and breadfruit. The spectacular taro terraces above the preservation’s visitor center feature an ancient irrigation system that dates back centuries.

Keukenhof in Lisse, Netherlands

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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The South Holland landmark contains an impressive 7 million flower bulbs planted across 79 acres of land, making it the largest flower garden in the world. The grounds were formerly a fruit and vegetable garden for the kitchen of Teylingen Castle before Keukenhof Castle was built in 1649. In 1949, a group of leading flower growers created a spring-flowering exhibit, establishing the beginning of the tulip gardens and spring park.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town, South Africa

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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Located at the slope of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden became the first botanic garden in the world committed to native flora in 1913. One of the main attractions, the steel and timber canopy walkway winds through and over the trees of the Arboretum while offering serene views of the surrounding mountains and Cape Flats. Kirstenbosch also houses an expansive conservatory that exhibits plants indigenous to different biomes of South Africa including savanna, fynbos, and karoo.

Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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The birth of the Royal Botanic Gardens dates back to 1759 when Princess Augusta, mother of King George III, founded a nine-acre botanic garden within the Greater London area of Kew. Throughout the years, the Kew Gardens expanded to now span more than 300 acres of gardens and greenhouses and boasts the largest botanical and mycological collections in the world. A high treetop walkway offers impressive views of the grounds including the Palm House, which houses the lush indoor rainforest.

The Master-of-Nets in Suzhou, China

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, the Master-of-Nets Garden illustrates classical Suzhou design and establishes a relationship between art and nature. The quaint residential green space, designed during the Song dynasty, includes pavilions, halls music rooms, ponds, and alluring bamboo groves all within one acre of land. The Metropolitan Museum of Art modeled their Astor Court after the scholar’s courtyard within the Master-of-Nets.

Nongnooch Tropical Garden in Pattaya, Thailand

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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Stretching over 500 acres in the coastal city of Pattaya, the Nongnooch Tropical Garden contains more than 670 native plant species and quirky exhibitions including a miniature replica of Stonehenge and an ant tower. Pisit and Nongnooch Tansacha first purchased the land in 1954 with the intention to turn the space into a fruit plantation, but later opened the space to the public in 1980 as a tropical flower and plant conservation. Apart from the perfectly manicured gardens, visitors can also enjoy Thai cultural shows, a car museum, a fishing pond, and elephant shows.

Claude Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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The house and gardens of Claude Monet allow art enthusiasts to explore the landscapes and ponds that inspired the French Impressionist’s most iconic pieces of works like The Water Lily Pond and The Artist's Garden at Giverny.

Taken by the quaint village in northern France, Monet settled into his pink stucco cottage in 1883, where he would spend the rest of his life and build his well-known front garden “Clos Normand” and water lily pond “Jardin d’Eau.” Climbing rose arbors frame the path to stunning weeping willows, blooming fruit trees, and a Japanese bridge.

Kenroku-en Garden in Kanazawa, Japan

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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Touted as one of the “Three Great Gardens of Japan,” Kenroku-en reflects harmony with nature in its simplistic yet meticulously planned landscapes. Construction of the serene splendor started in the middle of the 17th century by the Maeda clan and lasted for almost 200 years.

Kenroku-en directly translates to “Garden of the Six Sublimities”, referencing the essential attributes to a perfect garden in Chinese landscape theory: artifice, seclusion, panorama, antiquity, waterways and spaciousness. Much of the garden's history can be seen in its charming ponds, quaint tea and rest houses, and islands of native flora.

Mirabell Palace and Gardens in Salzburg, Austria

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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In 1606, Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich commissioned the construction of the Mirabell Palace and gardens as place for his beloved Salome Alt and him to escape to away from the stressful life at court. The romantic Baroque-style gardens as they are known today were later designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach in 1690 with mythology-themed statues sprinkled throughout.

The botanical wonder even made it to the silver screen in the The Sound of Music, where Maria and the von Trapp children dance around the Pegasus Fountain and on Rose Hill.

Gardens of Villandry in Villandry, France

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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Jean Le Breton, Minister of Finance for François I, had visions of grandeur when he acquired the land and former ancient fortress in which Château de Villandry stands today. Breton drew upon his own architectural skills and interest in gardening to develop a carefully laid, ornamental garden that connected seamlessly to the chateau’s interiors.

However, as the property switch owners, the verdant oasis underwent many drastic changes. It wasn’t until 1906 when new owner Joachim Carvallo pour time and effort into that the gardens finally returned to their Renaissance roots.

Las Pozas in Xilitla, Mexico

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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Nestled in the heart of the Huasteca region lies an eccentric display of sculptures hidden amongst the lush jungle vegetation and vibrant orchids. Las Pozas origins date back to 1962 when English poet and artist Edward James began building Surrealist-style elements inspired by many of his plants which were destroyed by frost.

The gardens feature nine flowing pools and more than 30 structures—some resembling plants, staircases, and cathedral screens, and others looking almost incomplete. Though, it’s believed that may have been the quirky artist’s intent after all.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens in Singapore

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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With the nickname of “City in a Garden,” it’s no surprise Singapore boasts an impressive collection of gardens and parks sprinkled throughout the city-state’s innovative architecture and skyscrapers. Arguably the most famous green space in Singapore, the Botanic Gardens boast an impressive collection of flowering splendors over 60 acres and serves as a leading tropical botanical institute.

The idea of a national garden in Singapore can be traced back to 1822 when Sir Stamford Raffels began developing an “experimental garden” at Fort Canning. Over the centuries, the garden further expanded, hugging the city and developing a unique collection of tropical vegetation.

Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou, China

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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Originally built in 1509 during the Ming Dynasty, the Humble Administrator's Garden started as a private garden for the Imperial Envoy and poet Wang Xianchen. The legend goes that Wang longed to retire from the stresses of official life, and the garden served as the perfect place for him to create a new quiet life.

Built upon the ruins of the Dahong Temple, the expansive landscape contains 48 different buildings with 101 tablets, 40 steles, 21 precious old trees, and over 700 Suzhou-style penjing. Not only is it considered by many Chinese horticulturists as one of the finest gardens in all of southern China, the verdant escape was also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, Ireland

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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In an effort to commemorate his reign and leadership, Richard Wingfield, 1st Viscount Powerscourt, commissioned the German-born architect Richard Castle to build a 68-room mansion resembling a great Italian Renaissance villa in 1730.

The gardens, developed to complement the Palladian architecture, were created over two main periods. The formal plan for the gardens was laid shortly after the estate was finished, but the design was not implemented until the 1840s.

From thriving wall gardens to unique Japanese planting to the enchanting Tower Valley, the lush wonder exhibits the best in landscape design with breathtaking views of Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Aswan Botanical Garden in Aswan, Egypt

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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Covering over 16 acres with hundreds of species of flora and beautiful birds, the Aswan Botanical Garden constitutes the entirety of Kitchener’s Island in the Nile.

The island was given to Lord Horatio Kitchener in the 1890s after serving as commander of the Egyptian army. Kitchener utilized his knowledge of exotic palms and plants to transform the island into a global display of rare blooms from East Asia, India and other parts of Africa.

Mauritius National Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses, Mauritius

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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Formally known as Sir Seewoosagur Botanic Garden, the lush wonder, located in Pamplemousse, is the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere.

The origins of the can be traced to 1735 when a private garden by the French Governor of Mauritius, François Mahé de Labourdonnais. Since then, the botanical garden grew house more than 650 varieties of plants and 86 different varieties of palm trees from across the world.

Pukekura Park in New Plymouth, New Zealand

Top 20 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World
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Set at the center of the breezy coastal city of New Plymouth, Pukekura Park stretches over 128 acres with alluring formal gardens, stunning waterfalls, and expansive greenhouses of ferns and indoor plants. The botanical marvel was established in 1876 as a place for visitors to discover through native and exotic plantings and stroll along two lakes. A number events are held at the park including the famed Festival of Lights during the holiday season.

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