Wow! There are some really great recommendations on here. I just wanted to shout my hometown’s botanical gardens, mainly because you wouldn’t expect such a vast collection to be in little ol’ Columbia, S.C. The photos on their website do not do it justice, but you can check it out here.
Love the concept of a bog and shade garden like they have according to the website , I dont think I’ve ever seen a botanical garden with these
The US Botanic Gardens are a little oasis in the National Mall area in DC. There’s an annual holiday collection of DC landmarks made out of plant materials called Season’s Greenings and a model train runs through a collection of buildings that are also made of plant materials.
It certainly is a beautiful place; we’ve been there a number of times when visiting my parents who used to live on Vancouver Island. Did you kinow Epcot at Disney World has a replica of the Gardens in the Canada section?
I love this topic so much. I visit botanical gardens everywhere I go, but University of California, Berkeley’s garden is my favorite. It’s like a mini-botanical trip around the world, with great views of the San Francisco Bay at the same time, while providing more information about the plants than I usually see in gardens. If I were planning a wedding, I’d have it there … but not when the notoriously stinky Corpse Flower comes into its rare bloom.
My local ABQ Botanic Garden has already been mentioned, but farther afield, I’d like to mention a couple that I’ve stumbled across in my travels. Glanleam House & Gardens on Valentia Island in County Kerry, Ireland is an unexpected charm with far more tropical plants than you’d expect from this far north. In Scotland, I can recommend the lovely An Cala Garden (Isle of Seil Argyll, Oban, UK). Very much off the beaten path. And while you’re in Scotland, don’t miss the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh with its 13 huge glass houses and acres of plantings.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Glanleam House & Garden
Thank you for your comment and your brilliant photos Travelschlepp ! These gardens look incredible places to explore.
The Edinburgh pics remind me that many years ago , I spent a month living with some extended family in that city , but although I visited the zoo up there a number of times I never visited the botanical garden. I absolutely love that city and Scotland in general and have wanted to go back up there at some point , maybe I’ll head up there again someday.
These are great! I can’t find any of my ABQ garden pictures, do you have any? I wish I could remember the grounds better!
Over in Atlas Obscura’s Community forums, one of our most active readers, Monsieur_Mictlan, recently asked people to post about their favorite botanical gardens from around the world, and the replies just burst into bloom.
Sometimes you just need to harvest the low hanging fruit.
Others have mentioned it, but…i grew up in suburban Philadelphia so Longwood Gardens is a great place to visit and worth a bit of a drive.
Further afield, in visiting my sister who moved to AZ, i have been to the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix a few times and always enjoy it. Maybe the desert has a little less color than some other ecosystems, but it is fascinating to see the different plants (and visiting animals), that somehow thrive there.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is nearby but i still havent made it there yet.
I haven’t been in years, but I have 3 botanic gardens that are dear to my heart. Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, Maryland, are not an actual botanic garden, but they are unique and quite lovely and I highly recommend them! An old photography instructor took us there on field trips years ago and I still recall the beauty of the place vividly. Also, Denver Botanic Gardens, which is quite impressive in size, but had a lovely Japanese garden among other things. I spent a great deal of time there - they have a lovely library too! And of course, the US Botanic Gardens in DC - I loved sitting under the most ginormous fig tree with such lovely leaves! Go when they have something special exhibiting, like an orchid show - you won’t regret it!
My favorite botanical garden is the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. I am from the midwest, and when I visited Arizona for the first time last January I had to see as many cacti as possible. They have a wide variety of not only cacti, but succulents, trees, and a super amazing light show at night called the Electric Desert. I would highly recommend going there if you’re ever in the area.
This was the top of a 20-foot tall saguaro cactus that is more than 100 years old.
That picture is awesome!
The Missouri Botanic Garden is amazing! That is one that is definitely worth checking out. The Boboli Garden in Florence, Italy is opulent, grand, and breathtaking. The view from the gardens looking down into the city is one you won’t forget. I haven’t been to the Monster Garden in Bomante, Italy but I’d love to visit it.
That Saguaro is incredible !! I bet its ancient too
The Norfolk Botanic Garden has over 60 different gardens to wander through, and give narrated boat tours of the Garden as seen from the canals. We saw eagles, among other birds and animals, and I have to say, after walking the gardens, the boat ride was a nice respite! Lovely place for kids and adults alike.
The Elizabethan Gardens in Monteo, NC, are a tribute to the first English colonists in the New World, so there is a lot of historical content, including statues of Queen Elizabeth I and Virginia Dare (and info on the Lost Colony). They have an Ancient Live Oak which had tree ring borings taken that date it to the mid-1500’s. The Gardens are also part of the NC Birding Trail. Stop by on your way to the beaches.
Just to clarify , do you mean Norfolk in the UK ?
So sorry, I meant Norfolk, Virginia, in the US! The arrogance of Americans…I do apologize.