Top 10 Gardens to Visit while Traveling

sedum37(Z5 MA)March 24, 2013

I saw this link and wondered what gardens you have visited from this list. Do you make travel plans to include a visit to a garden?

I've been to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

The 2013 Garden Awards âÂÂTop 10 North American Gardens Worth Travelling Forâ include:

â¢Atlanta Botanical Garden. Atlanta, Georgia
â¢The Butchart Gardens. Brentwood Bay (Victoria), British Columbia
â¢Chanticleer. Wayne, Pennsylvania
â¢Filoli Gardens. Woodside, California
â¢Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Richmond, Virginia
â¢Missouri Botanical Garden. St. Louis, Missouri
â¢Montreal Botanical Garden. Montreal, Quebec.
â¢Portland Japanese Garden. Portland, Oregon
â¢Springs Preserve. Las Vegas, Nevada
â¢Vallarta Botanical Gardens. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Here is a link that might be useful: Top 10 Gardens to Visit

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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Sedum, thanks for posting this list. I'm always interested in traveling to see great gardens. I'm so glad to see Chanticleer on this list. One of the BEST gardens I've ever been to and will definitely go back at some point.

Also been to Atlanta. Wasn't all that impressed, but I think in fairness my expectations were probably too high, and it was Oct. Although I went to the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Oct, and felt that much more interesting than Atlanta.

What did you think of Lewis Ginter?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:20PM
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molie(z6 CT)

I agree with T2D that the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay, Maine, is wonderful. Because it was designed to the topography of a wooded hillside that slopes down to water, the garden contains elements that can be adapted by a regular homeowner. The staff is onsite and very informative, and the planting areas have an educational perspective. We plan to return.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 7:54AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I visited Atlanta in June and was pleasantly surprised. I didn't expect palms in that climate but they are there. The gardens were very nice. I was in Butchart in September and it was beautiful. I was in Portland's Rose and Japanese gardens in May and it was perfect, despite the rainy day. The Japanese garden setting is gorgeous, hilly and with so many hidden areas, it's just beyond perfect. I was in Montreal in July many years ago and I enjoyed it immensely.

Although not on this list, I also visited the Denver Botanical Garden, Longwood Gardens, Bellingrath Gardens, Fairchild Tropical Garden and Marie Selby Gardens, all of which I enjoyed very much. In Europe, I've seen Kew Gardens and RHS Wisley in England, Jardin des Tuilleries in Paris, and Gardens of the Villa Borghese in Rome and the Augustus Garden on the isle of Capri in Italy. All of them are beautiful.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:46AM
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Thanks for posting this list! I haven't been to ANY of those gardens, but I always visit public gardens when I travel. Not sure if this list is just a way for the association of public gardens (or whatever the organization is called) to honor its members on a rotating basis, or if these gardens are really stand-outs.

Personally, I LOVE Longwood Gardens and the Scott Arboretum outside of Philly, Polly Hill Arboretum on the Vineyard, NYBG and Wave Hill (both in Bronx, NY), Hortus Botanicus in Leiden (Netherlands), and Jardin des Plantes in Paris, which is a research garden but has funky plantings that are fun to wander around in. When I travel for work I'm often on my own, and I find that spending time in a garden makes me feel like I belong - wherever I happen to be.

This year I'm definitely going to get up to Portland to see the Coastal Maine garden, and I hear the new garden in Providence might be worth a trip. And it's probably *about time* to get to the Arnold, not just a walk through with non-gardener family members, but a real garden crawl.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 8:00PM
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Hi - I'm a former New Englander, so I check in here periodically - Huntsville (AL) has a nice botanical garden - the herb garden area is especially nicely set up. Good place to spend some quiet moments.

Across the pond, one of my best experiences EVER was spending a full day at midsummer - about 8 am - 9 pm - in the Royal Botanical Gardens in London. Even a day isn't enough, but allot a full day if you are traveling there.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:26AM
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Hi drippy! Huntsville is one I've been to - I had a meeting there, maybe 5 years ago, and arrived a day early. It was either very new when I visited, or was just undergoing a rehab. It was really a nice place to spend a half day, though - some lovely vistas and a lot of well laid-out paths, plus several interesting water features. It's zone 7, I think, so most of the plants there were things that would grow here.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 10:47PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

DTD, what new garden in Providence are you referring to?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 5:09AM
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The Botanical Center, at Roger WiIliams Park; it's supported by URI (for horticultural programs) and mainly consists of 2 big greenhouses. Their website says

Our outdoor garden displays include our Perennial Garden, Pine & Hosta Dell, the Winter Garden (located along the main path into the Center), Wooded Hillside Garden, Overlook Terrace and the gorgeous Rose Maze.

It wasn't open yet when my son lived in PVD, and I've never been there - but it's so close, it's definitely on my list.

Here is a link that might be useful: Botanical Center

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 7:56PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

OK I have been there a few times. I think it's worth waiting until May when everything outside will be in bloom too. Roger Williams Park has always been really nice. The greenhouses are much bigger than the previous ones and have some nice specimens. The Japanese garden is nice too. I don't know if you're interested in zoos, but the zoo there is quite nice.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 5:10AM
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I wouldn't call this list a top ten by any means. I have been to Chanticleer, Filoli, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden on the list. The first two are definitely must-see gardens.

A true botanical garden is focused on botany which means it is educational but not necessarily beautiful. Botanical gardens are interesting to visit and often have beautiful sections but I don't usually find them beautiful overall.

A beautiful garden is usually the result of passion and knowledge, horticultural skill and artistic gifts. Organizations or committees don't usually produce beautiful gardens--I'm being very opinionated here, I admit. Almost always, a single creative force creates a beautiful garden--one person, whether they have help or not, sometimes an owner with a designer and/or a head gardener.

But a beautiful garden can be tiny and tended by one person. The glory of the art of gardening is that it is open to anyone with the love of it.

I made a top-ten list once, from seeing hundreds of gardens in the US and Europe. Then I tossed it. Too many worthy candidates.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 7:51PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

An interesting point of view, Ginny. Not having had the opportunity to visit many botanical gardens, I haven't any personal experience to draw on, but the idea that one person with a passion who creates a garden with their own vision, no matter the style or size, would make the most fascinating to visit, makes a lot of sense to me. A garden is really very personal. And I find it very interesting to hear that you attempted to make the list and tossed it, due to too many gardens to choose from.

And hello to Drippy! Nice to see you drop in. I hope you are having a great time in your new gardening space. Would love to see photos!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:10PM
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sedum37(Z5 MA)

Another top 10 Garden list go through from Trip Advisor.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trip Advisor Top 10 Gardens

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 4:46PM
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