Since 1871, the Kenrokuen gardens an attraction in Japan. The name literally means Garden of the six sublimities, referring to spaciousness, seclusion, artificiality, antiquity, abundant water and expansive views, according to Chinese landscape theory the six essential characteristics for the perfect garden. One of the special trees is the Karasaki Pine, famous for its spreading branches. To protect it against heavy snowfall in winter, an age-old rope construction is used, which at the same time gives the trees a particularly elegant and artistic appearance.
Chateau de Villandy, France
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Chateau de Villandry dating back to the early 16th century, has seen many different faces over the centuries. Doctor Joachim Carvallo made it his life’s work from 1906 on to restore the castle on the Loire with its accompanying gardens in the original Renaissance style. With success: the castle and its breathtaking 16th-century gardens are now part of France’s historical heritage.
Dream of a lady
Butchart Gardens, Canada
What was once a cement quarry was transformed into one of Canada’s most beautiful gardens by the Canadian couple Butchart in the early 20th century. Jennie Butchart dreamed of a beautiful place for herself and for others to visit. The ‘Sunken Garden’ is the most famous attraction of the Butchart Gardens, built on the old limestone deposits of the quarry. The garden extends over 55 hectares and is home to millions of bedding plants in more than 900 varieties. Fifty gardeners are working full-time to maintain the garden, which includes a Japanese and a Mediterranean garden.
Millions of bulbs
Keukenhof Castle already had a grand estate in the 17th century. The animals, plants and herbs of the area were used to feed the court, hence the name. In 1857 the garden was designed by the famous architect Zocher, also responsible for the Amsterdam Vondelpark. The Keukenhof in its current form dates from 1949 when a flower bulb exhibition was set up. Every year there are 7 million bulbous plants on display.
Oasis in the city
Jardin Majorelle, Marrakesh
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Cobalt blue buildings and 300 exotic plant species characterize the special Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh. The painter Jacques Majorelle worked for almost forty years on the landscape garden with plants from five continents such as cacti, jasmine, coconut palms and bougainvillea. After Majorelle’s death in 1980, the garden fell into disrepair, but French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent saved the house and gardens where he lived until his death in 2008. The garden is now under a foundation and is still open to the public.
Villa d’Este, Italy
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The 16th century Renaissance gardens of Villa d’Este in the Italian Tivoli are one of the first giardini delle merviglia; Gardens of Miracles. More than a hundred (!) Fountains and elegant statues form the basis of the dazzling green opulence. A river was even diverted to provide the garden with all its fountains with sufficient water. Villa d’Este served as a model for the development of many European gardens.
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