Archive: Gardens of Europe 2005-2010
From private gardens at Lake Como Villas and the over-the-top gardens of Versailles to the lavender fields in Provence and tulip fields in Holland, gardeners seek out the greener side of Europe in their travels. Share your experiences and tips.
Gardens of Europe
The Poldertuin in the town of Anna Paulowna in North Holland is a must-see.
Cincinnati, OH USA 04/07/2010
Normandy — Jardins du Pays d'Auge
The most pleasant surprise on our trip to Normandy was a suggestion by our B&B owner (Mylene at the terrific Le Mas Normand in Ver-sur-mer) that we visit the Jardins du Pays d'Auge at Cambremer. It is a large, well-laid-out series of formal and informal gardens, following a trail from beginning to end.
Eagan, MN USA Mon 06/29/2009
The Dingle - Shrewsbury
It wasn't the biggest garden that I saw over there, but this converted quarry was quite lush and was full of flowers. Apparently there are even more later in the summer, but it was still worth it. It is also surrounded by a great large park-like lawn that sits right by the River Severn and beside St. Chad's.
Rapid City, SD USA Wed 06/24/2009
Palmengarten in Frankfurt
The Palmengarten in Frankfurt is beautiful. It has many different houses with the different climates of the world, gorgeous grounds, pond with rowboats, rock gardens, playgrounds for the kids including waterplay, a little train, lots of open space for relaxing or a picnic and a wonderful glass and iron building dating from the late 1800's. Well worth a visit any time of the year. They also have a rose and candle festival in June that is a photographers dream.
Frankfurt, Germany Sun 01/11/2009
Scotland's Contemporary Masterpieces
Scotland has two gardens which, though little known, are innovative and yet classical somehow. They are within 60 miles of each other, too, to do then in a day is impossible.
Charles and Maggie Jencks' "Garden of Cosmic Specualtion" and Ian Hamilton Finlay's "Little Sparta" are fabulous spaces in the true sense of the word. The Jencks' garden depicts the laws of physics but in a garden form, while Hamilton Finlay's is a vehicle for poetry which is often very witty but which always has beauty as a central element.
Both are heavy on the architectural aspects but both make bold, (post-)modern and uniquely beautiful, eloquent statements.
The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is only open to the public one day per year in support of the Maggie's Centres - usually in May.
Little Sparta is open May-September - consult their website for exact days as it is now run by a trust manned by volunteers. www.littlesparta.co.uk
Edinburgh, Midlot UK Wed 10/01/2008
Gardens in Scotland
I love the gardens of the north. I have visited Scotland's gardens in late August and early September and they are lovely. My favorites include The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. You can travel on your own or take a tour. The Explorers' Garden in Pitlochry was my newest find. This new garden celebrates the explorers who went around the world finding all the plants that now populate the beautiful gardens of the UK. A little further north I thought that the gardens at Cawdor Castle outside Inverness were beautiful. On the west coast its wonderful to visit Inverewe Gardens are fascinating. The trails through the garden make for a wonderful visit. Further south on Mull I liked the sculptures in Torosay Castle's gardens. And lastly the walled garden at Balfour Castle on Shapinsay is delightful. It's a quiet, practical garden with vegetables as well as flowers.
Madison, Wi USA Mon 09/01/2008
We toured Bodnant Gardens in Wales just south of Conwy and highly recommend seeing them. Even though it was in October everything was still very beautiful. It was a highlight of our visit to wonderful Wales — under visited IMO.
Atlanta, USA Mon 07/21/2008
Ravello- Villa Cimbrone
On a trip to the Amalfi Coast last month my husband and I stayed in Ravello. We had the chance to visit Villa Cimbrone and it was so lovely. It is a beautiful villa and the expansive gardens are so peaceful. We allowed about 2 hours and that seemed sufficient. The vistas are simply breathtaking. They also hold weddings there, in addition to the main house being a very expensive hotel.
Vancouver, WA USA Thu 07/03/2008
Gardens - Cornwall
Was in Penzance for three days in early September and enjoyed getting a sandwich, crisps and a drink and sitting in Morab Gardens and watching the world go by as I rested my feet, then walking around looking at the trees and plants. I also visited Trengwainton Gardens in Madron. It was beautiful. I was so pleased to walk out of the Penzance Train Station to see a palm tree. I loved Penzance and Cornwall and hope to get back there.
Canada Wed 09/19/2007
Topiary roundabout-Biot, French Riveria
Not exactly a garden but 2 weeks ago I was driving in Biot, France and came across an outstanding roundabout beautifully landscaped with huge musical instrument floral topiaries. It was gorgeous.
USA Tue 08/28/2007
Monet's house & gardens in Giverny
Just got home from 2 weeks in London and Paris and one of the highlights was a day trip to Giverny to see Claude Monet's house and gardens. More beautiful than I had even imagined!! Standing on the green Japanese bridge gazing at the water lilys will be something I'll never forget. It's an easy trip from Paris by train to Vernon (about 45 minutes), then either take the shuttle bus the 4 miles to Giverny, or if it's a nice day I highly recommend renting a bike (by the train station) and riding through the beautiful country! Take food with you if you can and picnic along the way by the stream - no food allowed in the gardens.
Tallahassee, FL USA Sun 08/19/2007
Tivoli Gardens Rome
the Gardens at Tivoli are a must and should be seen with a guide before spending time alone there. We had our tour with Laura from skytoursrome, she was the cheapest and was well worth the euros, she even traveled with us to get there, I imagine trying to find your there alone could be a real pain. Bt well worth the visit. Cant be missed. Oliver
USA Sat 07/28/2007
Keukenhof and Insel Mainau
Keukenhof Gardens in Holland are simply magical and the best place in the world to be in the spring. The gardens on Insel Mainau in the Bodensee near Konstanz are magnificent in almost any season.
Casper, WY USA Mon 06/11/2007
Brussels, King's Greenhouses
The King's greenhouses in Laeken, near the Atomium, are only open for 2 weeks at the end of April and early May. If you happen to be in Brussels then, be sure to visit the extraordinary collection of flowers and ornamental plants. Easily reached by Metro.
Sacramento, CA USA Mon 05/21/2007
Water Chateau surrounded by beautiful Garden
You may have to open this website thru Babelfish but this water chateau is one of the most beautiful in Europe - and it comes with a giant garden designed by 21st century gardening techniques, standards... What a unique and breathtaking experience! It's located almost half-way between Cologne and Düsseldorf on Western side of the Rhine valley, also very accessible from the Netherlands! (http://www.stiftung-schloss-dyck.de/)
Frankfurt/M., Germany Tue 05/08/2007
The most interesting garden in Europe is Wallenstein in Prague's Little Quarter. Gory, violent and bizarre but still beautiful in a strange way.
USA Tue 04/17/2007
Douro Valley vineyards-Portugal
Not exactly a garden but the vineyards are stunning. Steep hillsides planted with grapes for port wine. The valley has an incredible picturesque drive or river cruise thru a very windy gorge-like vista. An excellent detour from Porto city.
USA Sun 12/10/2006
Skip this garden and italian-make believe sight espec in Fall/winter. It costs plenty to see little off season. If you have been to Italy also it may be a little disappointing even during peak season. There is no substitute for the real Italian landscape.
USA Sun 12/10/2006
While I attended a semester of university in England, I took a horticulture course. Although gardens look best in late spring and summer, the British know how to make lovely winter/early spring gardens. Many large manors/castles have great gardens. I would recommend Chatsworth & Newstead Abbey. The two famous English gardens (Kew & Sissinghurst) are wonderful. Sissinghurst is good if you have a car. Without a car you have to take a train, bus, & finally walk (plus the train & bus schedules don't correspond).
Ohio USA Sat 11/04/2006
I have to agree with the previous post - the Keukenhof in Lisse, Holland in the Spring when the tulips are in full bloom is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Incredible.
Dallas, TX USA Wed 11/01/2006
The Mirabell Garden in Salzburg is a gem and a photographer's delight especially when all the flowers are in bloom.
Lockport, NY USA Wed 09/06/2006
Gardens of Europe-Rome
My favorite garden is the Villa d'Este, in the Roman suburb of Tivoli. Intrepid travellers can view Renaissance statues and hundreds of fountains that play amid green terraced avenues sculpted into an ancient mountain. During a Roman heatwave, it was the coolest place above ground. Rows and rows of cypress and pine trees offer cool shade, the spray of the fountains refresh the skin, and the amazing colors refresh the eyes. It was a perfect daytrip.
Brooklyn, NY USA Sat 07/08/2006
The Most Beautiful Place-Holland
After travelling to many different countries, I have found the most beautiful place on earth. The Keukenhof in Lisse, Holland has everything from flowers to sculptures and even a windmill you can go up in, plus a labyrinth and children's play area. Be aware it's only open in the spring and early summer. It's not just tulips, trust me!
Ramstein, Germany Sat 04/08/2006
Kew Gardens, London
Kew Gardens in London are a wonderful break in our trip whenever we are there. We have been in both winter and summer and love it. Sometimes we go and just visit the shop- they have marvelous seeds and gifts AND they let you do that free if you stay less than 30 min.!!!! You can spend a few hours, a day — - a lifetime — getting to know Kew. Just take the Tube and walk down. Things are always changing and the peacful atmosphere is soothing to the soul.
Charlotte, NC USA Sat 03/25/2006
If you are in Verona please take time to go see the Guisti Gardens. The Guisti gardens are beautiful hedge and statue gardens.
Seattle, WA USA Sun 03/19/2006
Garden Museum in London
The Museum Of Garden History on Lambeth Palace Rd London is a place not to be missed by anyone interested in gardening. It has a wonderful collection of tools and ephemera, including handwritten letters of Gertrude Jekyll. There is a knot garden and the tombs of the 17th C. Plant hunters: John Tradescants.A lovely cafe open 7 days a week and a good gift shop. Don't miss it!
Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada Thu 03/09/2006
Boboli Gardens, Florence
The Boboli Gardens in Florence were so beautiful and serene. I was there in November and the foliage was beautiful and we spent a few hours walking down so many different paths. It was so peaceful and beautiful and I felt as though I was miles outside of the city.
Dighton, MA USA Sun 02/19/2006
Gardens:England & Bavaria
If you happen to be near Bournemouth or Poole in Dorset, southern England, don't miss Compton Acres. Here's their website: http://www.comptonacres.co.uk/
Other gardens in Europe that are worth visiting:
1) the grounds near Warwick Castle in the midlands
2) Kew Botanic Gardens, just outside London
3) Regent's Park, central London
4) St James Park, central London
5) the grounds of Schloss Linderhof, southern Bavaria (go there in autumn!)
Singapore, na Singapore Fri 02/17/2006
My favorite garden of Europe is a tiny little garden in the middle of Florence with an ancient iron gate and a sign that says in English, "Please be so kind not to lock the bike here, otherwise we are not able to go inside the little garden." My photo of this reminds me to take care in how I handle difficult situations with others.
Florida USA Tue 02/07/2006
Gardens are not always gardesn
sometimes... great gardens are not gardens. for instance if you like statuary gardens, I highly recommend the Memorial Cemetary of Milan
va USA Mon 01/16/2006
Monet's Gardens at Giverny can't be topped! The best time to go is June-Sept when things are in bloom. There is a huge variety of plants and the place is just breath-taking! I used at least one roll of film there.
Tallahassee, FL USA Mon 01/02/2006
Lovers of gardens might take a look at "Manchester Language School" which offers garden tours all around England and also in Ireland and Italy.... The owners of the school are avid gardeners and great people.
USA Mon 01/02/2006
Chelsea Physic Garden in London
Visitors to London who are interested in the history of horticulture or herbal medicine should check out the Chelsea Physic Garden. It's a fascinating little place that was founded in 1673 by the Royal Society of Apothecaries. It's only open April - October on Sunday and Wednesday afternoons. The guided tour was well done and very interesting. Directions, hours, etc. at www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk
Eugene, OR USA Sun 01/01/2006
Many Mediterranean plants do very well in the Pacific Northwest. Both areas have winter rain and hot, dry summers. Recent garden shows in Seattle and Portland have included all-Med gardens. I have many such plants in my garden in WA and they do very well. So, I would not rule out "collecting" from other regions than France and England.
Vancouver, WA USA Mon 12/12/2005
In the charming, worldly Munchen, Germany I saw quite a few monumental scale gardens that were wonderful. Two of these were in the center of the city, near Odeonsplatz, at Ludwigstrasse and Gabelsbergerstrasse, called the Finanzgarten and Hofgarten. The Englisher garten (more of a park than a garden) is nearby, very large, and has quite a few interesting trees if that's your kind of thing.
In artful Vienna I saw the spectacular Schloss Schonbrunn. In college I studied the French gardens at Versaille and Veux Le Vicompte, and though I have never visited either, I believe Schonbrunn to be at least their equal. I spent an entire day there wandering around and still did not see everything. The sheer size of the place is staggering, as is the discipline with which the complex patterns of grass, flowers and shrubs are maintained to form a perfect tapestry of color in giant plots on the ground.
Albuquerque, NM USA Wed 11/09/2005
Gardens of Europe: guide books
There is an excellent series of guide books, The Garden Lovers Guide To...(Italy, Great Britain, France) The books are divided by chapters covering the regions of each country while each chapter has an introductory section with a regional map and list of gardens, followed by entries on each of the gardens. The authors, Penelope Hobhouse and Patrick Taylor are experts in their field.
Seattle , WA USA Wed 11/02/2005
England and France
If you live in the moderate climates of the USA (like the Pacific Northwest) and want to learn about garden plants that would work in the USA, I would visit the gardens of Normandy in France or anywhere in England. For those of us in the Seattle area, it would not be as productive to go to a hot, dry climate such as the south of France as many of those trees, shrubs and perennials won't do well in the wetter climates. If you live in Southern California or other dry, hot areas of the USA, try the south of France or Italy or even Spain. Of course each home garden has its own micro-climate and a variety of growing conditions to be considered.
For Normandy and Paris, you could go to Giverney (Monet's garden), Miromesnil and Chateau de Canon. See Rick's book, "Paris 2005," for information about Giverney. Also, Le Bois des Moutiers is in an idyllic spot overlooking the sea near Dieppe. The garden, in part influenced by the English designer Gertrude Jekyll, is full of charm. This garden is open mid-March till mid-November by phone 02-35-85-10-02 to pre-arrange a tour. It is absolutely lovely.
The finest garden in all of France is said to be the garden of Princess Sturdza at Le Vasterival. Tended by the Princess since 1958 this 7-acre garden is maintained to perfectionist standards. Here you will find one of the finest plant collections in France. Check tours at http://www.lland.demon.co.uk/Bright/mo1.html.
In England, there are literally hundreds of gardens that are worth spending years visiting! You'll find lots of information in gardening books and on the internet. Search the National Gardens Scheme's database for information about the gardens that open for charity. Also try http://www.gardenvisit.com/ or www.elsiefromengland.com.
Some of the best are: Beth Chatto's garden - Her special expertise is her familiarity with plants' suitability to varying soils and conditions, her own garden being a transformation of several acres of swampland from her husband's fruit farm. She has divided the garden in its natural variations to suit widely differing plants from a water-garden to a dry gravelly Mediterranean-type garden.
Sissinghurst Castle Sissinghurst, 2 m NE Cranbrook, Kent, on A262, National Trust, open April-mid October Tues.-Fri. 1-6:30, Sat., Sun. and Good Fri. 10-5:30, Tel. 01580 712850 Fax 01580 713911One of the outstanding gardens of the world, created by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson as a series of separate gardens within the larger garden. Climb the tower of the Elizabethan house to appreciate the garden as a whole. Colour schemes throughout, as in the orange and yellow garden and the white garden. Rose garden with many old varieties, thyme lawn leading down to the herb garden. Beware : due to its popularity, Sissinghurst is extremely crowded on weekends and in the afternoons. Best in: April, September, October, and Wed.-Fri. after 4pm due to crowds. Don't miss Sissinghurst.
Great Dixter Dixter Road, Northiam, East Sussex, off A28, open April-mid October daily excepy Mon. 2-5, open 11am on Sundays in August, Tel. 0797 253160A series of gardens around a 15th century house, including a sunken garden, topiary, mixed borders, rose gardens, and flower/vegetable garden, all with wild flowers sprinkled thoughout. Best in: spring.
Wisley (Surrey) - The 240 acre flagship of the Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley features a Rock Garden, scientific trial grounds, the Model Garden, and enormous flower beds among mature trees.
Stourhead Stourton, Wiltshire, off B3092, NT, open daily 9-7 or sunset, Tel. 01747 841152, recorded information 0891 335205Stourhead is reason enough to visit England all by itself. It is a brilliant Arcadian design begun by Henry Hoare, incorporating ever changing vistas around a lake, replete with temples to Apollo and Flora, a rock bridge, a cascade, a pantheon, a thatched cottage, and a grotto. Hoare's vision did not run to the rhododendrons, added by a descendant, which are one of the main reasons people flock to Stourhead today. Best in: spring for rhododendrons, early summer for azaleas, and anytime for a truly wonderful landscape garden experience.
Hidcote Manor Hidcote Bartrim, 4 m NE Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, on B4632, NT, open April-end September daily except Tues. and Fri. 11-7, open Tues. in June and July, October and 1November daily except Tues. and Fri. 11-6, Tel. 01386 438333 Fax 01386 438817One of the truly great English gardens, created by Major Lawrence Johnston as a series of outdoor "rooms", each with its own character, separated by hedges and walls. Rare trees and shrubs, herbaceous borders. Best in: year round.
Kiftsgate Court 3 m NE Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, open end March-September, Wed., Thurs., Sun., 2-6, Tel. 0386 438777 Web site: http://www.kiftsgate.co.uk/ E-mal: firstname.lastname@example.org Next-door-neighbour to the more well-known Hidcote, this 20th century garden is blessed with colour and an informal atmosphere. Sunken garden with bulbs best in spring, roses peak in June and July. Large hydrangea, Japanese maples, bluebell wood. Best in: spring and early summer.
Also see Barnsley House in the Cotswolds area (Rosemary Verey's garden). http://www.cotswolds-calling.com/houses-gardens/barnsley.htm or http://www.gardenvisit.com/g/barn5.htm.
Go to: http://www.britainexpress.com/Where_to_go_in_Britain/Gardens/finder.htm to find the gardens.
Check at Barnes & Noble, Borders or other local bookstores for many, many books about French and English gardens.
Woodinville, WA USA Mon 10/31/2005