The world’s earliest gardens were planted to reap medicinal benefits and celebrate the gods. Over time, the purpose of gardens has expanded dramatically, with people growing gardens for a number of functional and not-so-functional reasons. Take a trip with us as we explore six mesmerizing gardens around the world, landing on almost every continent but Antarctica.
“With each garden, with each project we are going deeper into the understanding of ourselves. As in life, we take courage to move forward from our own image of what people think we are or in fact what we believe ourselves to be.”
1) Τhe Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Scotland
The garden was set up by Charles Jencks, together with his wife Maggie Keswick and is located at Portrack House, Scotland. It is inspired by science and mathematics, as Jencks uses landscape and design to shed light on the way we perceive the Universe. Using a central theme of snaking curves Jencks has created a “landscape of waves” with a repeated use of the spiral throughout the garden. The Garden is private, however it is open on one day each year through Scotland’s Gardens Scheme and raises money for the Maggie’s Centers, a cancer care charity .
2) The Rock Garden, Chandigarh, India
This sprawling amusement kingdom has been made completely from waste materials, industrial waste and throw-away items, The garden highlights the value of materials many people consider trash. The Rock Garden is a Sculpture garden in Chandigarh, India, also known as Nek Chand’s Rock Garden after its founder Nek Chand, a government official who started the garden secretly in his spare time in 1957. The Rock Garden Chandigarh is designed to look like a lost kingdom. Today it is spread over an area of forty-acres in large mosaic courtyards linked by walled paths and deep gorges the garden is built by transforming into art, discarded tube lights, rusting oil drums, broken tiles, shattered china and sanitary ware, glass bangles, unused building material, discarded street lights, burnt bricks, electrical fittings and wires, caps from bottles, bicycle handle bars, and other scrap. Doorways and archways constructed out of discarded bags of cement seem to characterize the theme, and the scale is larger than life. The rock garden is a complex labyrinth, with paths, gateways, steps, waterfalls, courtyards, porches and buildings. Much of the material that the Rock Garden is made out of is concrete and found objects.
3) Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Chonburi Province, Thailand
Thai Cultural Show and find the biggest and most beautiful botanical garden in Southeast Asia. More than 2,000 visitors from around the world visit our garden daily for their enjoyment. This 500-acre botanical garden opened to the public in 1980. The garden includes a french garden, European garden, Cactus & Succulent Garden, ant tower, butterfly hill, flower valley, orchid garden and more. Nong Nooch garden is also dedicated to education, preservation, research as well as the conservation of its vast palm collection and other tropical plants.
4) Sunken Alcove Garden, New Zealand
When it comes to inspirational gardens, you don’t get much more unique or exquisite than this design by landscape designer, Ben Hoyle. The garden was inspired by different cultures and the history of Akaroa and encompasses grass covered walkways which float over a black canvas. The beautiful design also features a lounge pit in the centre, which is filled with pillows and provides the perfect spot for visitors to relax and take in the stunning views.
5) United Arab Emirates: Dubai Miracle Garden
Take one look at photos of the Dubai Miracle Garden, and you might mistake the landscape for a still from the latest Alice in Wonderland film. With more than 45 million flowers on display, the Dubai Miracle garden has truly earned its place as the world’s largest garden. The Dubai Miracle Garden is unique in that it was essentially built on a desert. Head landscaper Akar says that the grounds are a great example of how it is possible to “green the desert” by reusing waste water. Designers took additional precautions to protect the beautiful garden arrangements from the environment. For instance, the garden’s perimeter is lined with trees that are used as windbreakers. Unlike most of the gardens around the world, the Dubai Miracle Garden closes during the summer due to severe weather conditions.
6) Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Located next to Marina Reservoir, Gardens by the Bay offers breath-taking waterfront views. This multi-award winning horticultural destination spans 101 hectares of reclaimed land, and is made up of two main areas – Bay South Garden and Bay East Garden. Bay South Garden is the largest of the gardens. Inspired by an orchid, the design resembles Singapore’s national flower, Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’. These tree-shaped vertical gardens are between nine to 16 storeys tall. Walk on the suspended walkway between two Supertrees to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the gardens. Head to Bay East Garden for the perfect picnic setting with lush lawns and tropical palm trees. From the waterfront promenade, you will see a picturesque view of the city skyline. The imposing trees have colossal concrete trunks weighing hundreds of tonnes. While thousands of thick wire rods have been used to create artificial branches and canopies.
7) Sky Garden, London
The Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street spans three floors and offers uninterrupted views across the City of London. Housed in a glass dome, is spread across three floors of exquisitely landscaped public gardens and London’s most exclusive social spaces, including observation decks and an open air terrace. Served by two express lifts, visitors arrive to a beautiful landscaped garden with a viewing area, terrace, café, bar and restaurant. The Sky Garden is a truly unique space and has been designed to create an open and vibrant place of leisure, offering visitors a rare chance to experience London from a different viewpoint. The designers opted for a series of richly planted terraces for Sky Garden and the planting is dominated by drought resistant Mediterranean and South African species.
8) Poison Gardens, England
The Poison Garden at England’s Alnwick Garden is home of killer plants kept behind black iron gates. This carefully curated garden contains about 100 legendary killers. Guides explain their deadly properties while enforcing the strict “No touching; no smelling” rules. Included in the gardens are narcotic plants like poppies, cannabis, magic mushrooms, and tobacco. Because of the danger posed by the flora (some can kill or sicken just through touch), some plants are caged, and the garden is secured each evening behind gates under a 24-hour security watch.
9) Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall, England
The award winning Lost Gardens of Heligan, asleep for more than seventy years, are the scene of the largest garden restoration project in Europe. The Gardens form part of the Heligan estate and include the popular mud sculptures of the Mud Maid and the Giant’s Head, colossal rhododendrons and camellias, a series of lakes fed by a ram pump over 100 years old, a wild area filled with subtropical tree ferns called “The Jungle” and Europe’s last pineapple pit. In the northern gardens are two and a half miles of footpaths, an Elizabethan mount, rockeries, summer houses, a crystal grotto, an Italian garden, a fine set of bee-boles, a wishing well and a superb collection of walled gardens. Remarkably much of the original plant collection has survived, sometimes to record sizes.