“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need,” were apparently the powerful words of famous Roman, Cicero. But, while browsing bookshelves can indeed fulfilling, there’s not much that really compares to a garden’s natural beauty.
The UK’s average garden is 50ft. long and plays home to 10 different types of flowers, a barbecue and a water feature — according to estate agents Foxtons’ report. But what about the most luxurious, expensive and extravagant gardens across the planet?
Take a look at this list of extravagant and luxurious gardens from across the globe in our outdoor guide by Arbordeck — a leading supplier of plastic decking.
England: Kew Gardens
When it comes to gardening, 33% of the British public are competitive, according to the earlier-mentioned Foxtons survey. This suggests that we have an affinity for aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces, rather than just area to grow your own vegetables, or do DIY.
A very popular tourist attraction is Kew Gardens. According to the most recent report, Kew Gardens attracted 20% more visitors than the previous year, implying that our love of attractive gardens is growing. The iconic glasshouse 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. Planning a visit? Make time for The Hive — a 17-metre, multi-sensory construction that changes depending on bee activity.
France: The Gardens of the Palace of Versailles
King Louis XIV’s reign focused on wealth and beauty. 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.
The project was very time consuming. Across four decades, Le Nôtre worked with artists and architects to design the gardens — with each project being overseen by the monarch. The renovation consisted 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.
Today, it’s possible to enjoy the gardens’ orangery, or simply pass by the towering marble sculptures, peaceful waterfalls and beautiful parterres.
The Netherlands: Keukenhof Gardens
Covering 32-hectares, the Keukenhof Gardens is home to approximately seven million flowers — including 800 different varieties of tulip in all different shades and shapes. Perhaps it’s because Brits spend around £1.5 billion on garden plants every year, according to the Horticultural Trades Association, that this destination is popular.
Despite being a holiday hotspot, the Gardens is unfortunately only open for two months a year, so be sure to check before you visit! 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!
Singapore: Gardens by the Bay
Covering 250 acres, Gardens by the Bay consists of three waterfront areas which contain over a million plants. Into quirky venues and intrigued by what the years to come may look like? This futuristic-looking garden 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. Clearly, it’s a popular destination — Gardens by the Bay has attracted more than 40 million people to date and is even one of the top-20 checked-in places on Earth by Facebook users.
Visit the largest glass greenhouse in the world — the Flower Dome — or head to a network of illuminated, tree-shaped vertical gardens at Supertree Grove. At Gardens by the Bay, you can explore rare flowers and endangered plants. Plus, you can experience memorable views from the 22-metre high aerial walkway.
The USA: Bookworm Garden
Located in Wisconsin, Bookworm Gardens is a quirky, botanic environment which is based on our favourite childhood tales. With an aim to fuse a love of the outdoors with an affinity for books, Bookworm Gardens opened in 2010 as a non-profit organisation and now features fun 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 top place for families and schools.
Scotland: Garden of Cosmic Speculation
This spot in Dumfries is a popular destination for science geeks and puzzle fans. The 30-acre garden was made by architect, Charles Jencks, and offers visitors the chance to explore ideas, theories and global influences — from black holes to oriental landscaping! 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.