As I watch the hyacinths in my yard sprout up through the cold earth, it makes me think of all the beautiful gardens I have seen in my travels. Here are some of my favorites:
Monet’s House and Gardens at Giverny, France
Claude Monet was the leading light of the Impressionist movement and he
revolutionized painting in the 1870s. His “open-air” painting concept was unorthodox and resulted in many paintings of landscapes, seascapes, ladies with parasols, family picnics —all in bright, basic colors. Monet spent his last 40 years and most creative years cultivating his garden and his art at Giverny. This is a popular excursion for river boats that cruise the Seine on their 7 night Normandy itineraries. Or, you can take a half day locally guided tour from Paris. Hint: There is a Giverny Museum of Impressionisms just a short walk down Rue Claude Monet. Also, the Musee Marmottan Monet in Paris is well worth a visit. They have the largest Claude Monet collection in the world.
Keukenhof Gardens Lisse, The Netherlands
Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe, is one of the world’s largest flower gardens and considered one of the most beautiful spring gardens. More than 7 million tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths fill the 32 hectares with color and fragrance. I visited on an excursion while on a Tulip in Springtime River Cruise. Or, you can visit on a day trip from Amsterdam. These gardens along with the endless tulip fields are a lasting colorful memory.
Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia
The Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens
created on the estate of Robert Butchart, a cement manufacturer, and his wife Jennie who was the inspiration behind it all, Having already commissioned a Japanese Garden, when their limestone quarry was exhausted she turned the space into a sunken garden. She then went on to turn their tennis courts into an Italian garden and their kitchen vegetable garden into a large rose garden. When you visit, you can enjoy a lovely meal in the original family residence. You can either plan to stay in Victoria on Vancouver Island or take a long, but worth it, day trip from Vancouver by motor coach and ferry.
If you have been to a garden in your travels that merits visiting, I would love to know about it.