Flowers, with their purity, fragrance, and beauty, inspire us to be better human beings. We sow them, enjoy, admire, and give as gifts to friends and lovers. And sometimes we also give them to those who do not appreciate us. As the Cuban poet and patriot José Martí wrote: “I grow a white rose in June as in January… for the sincere friend who gives me his frank hand… and for the cruel one who rips out my heart so I live neither thistle nor caterpillar… I grow a White Rose.”
Every spring, when the flowers are at their peak, I love to visit at least one garden to enjoy a moment of relaxation, recreating my senses with the color, aroma and touch of the blossoms full of promises of beauty. Here are four dream gardens that are among my favorites after frequent visits over the years:
The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival at Disney World
Presenting through July 5, this annual event features beautiful topiaries with whimsical touches embodying beloved Disney characters including princesses, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck, the Seven Dwarfs and many more – among the newest this year. there are the popular characters from “Encanto”, Mirabel, Antonio, Isabel and Luisa–. In addition to the popular and photogenic topiaries, there are floating gardens, a beautiful Butterfly House dedicated to this precious insect (I never miss it!), flowers everywhere, special food and drinks, gardening workshops, activities for children and live entertainment. Many of the events are included in park admission.
Butchart Gardens, Victoria, Canada
On Vancouver Island, near the city of Victoria, in the beautiful province of British Columbia where it is customary for residents to go out to count the flowers each spring (and the total is in billions; 22 billion in 2022), is this beautiful 55-acre garden established 118 years ago. A peaceful and world-famous place of great beauty (it receives more than a million visitors each year) it has 900 varieties of flowering plants that can be admired in beautiful outdoor stretches and in 26 greenhouses.
Keukenhof Gardens, The Netherlands
Located near Amsterdam, in Lisse, the Netherlands, this garden dedicated to tulips is the largest flower park in Europe, open from March 23 to May 14 this year. Each spring, more than 7 million tulip bulbs bloom in a divine spectacle, blooming in every color but black (although they’re trying to create a black tulip too!) in gardens and fields that stretch to the horizon. Among the themed gardens, the “Red Romance Garden” is considered one of the most romantic places in the Netherlands with red and white flowers, and no one leaves without taking one or more photos of the garden with the picturesque and iconic windmill.
Gardens By The Bay, Singapore
One of the icons of Singapore, a city-state in Asia, this spectacular 249-acre garden is located in the Marina Bay Waterfront area, in the heart of the city. Among my favorite attractions are the “Supertree Grove” (the Super-trees), an impressive group of vertical gardens in the form of trees from 25 to 50 meters high. At night in the Super-trees section there is a memorable light and music show. Another must-see is the Flower Dome, the largest glass greenhouse in the world according to Guinness World Records in 2015 and with thousands of plants and trees from five continents including orchids and magnolias. In addition to these Gardens By The attractions Bay has themed gardens and conservatories.