Europe is littered with the most fabulous botanic gardens. A botanic garden tour is therefore a real must-do for any plant lover. If you just want to see plants from all over the world, head to Berlin. Here the botanic garden is laid out like a map of the world. Almost every step takes you to a different country where you can discover something new. You can enjoy all the beauty that has almost disappeared in the wild; in nature.
What’s so special about a botanic garden?
A botanic garden gives us a clear insight into the world of plants. We can see which plants form forests or steppes or meadows. We can see all the wonderful diversity that plants manifest across the globe. And yes, we can also easily visit the tropics.
Plenty of enjoyment and scientific research
Botanic gardens are about two important things: enjoyment and scientific research. For many people this is not an obvious combination. You can visit the botanic garden to relax and leave the stress of the city and everyday life behind you for a while. It’s a delight to enjoy the unusual flora in this oasis of vegetation and calm.
The garden is a source of knowledge for research into the use of plants. In addition, plants are still being discovered which have not yet been described. The botanic garden in Berlin also seeks to pass on knowledge.
Europe’s botanical treasures
Because the botanic garden in Berlin replicates the world, it really offers a ‘one-stop shop’ when it comes to enjoying all the different types of plants. But you can also find fabulous gardens in the rest of Europe, and anyone who considers themselves to be a plant lover should have a few on their bucket list. And if you’re going to Italy, for example, then why not include a trip to enjoy some plants? Pack your suitcase, replace your green fingers with itchy feet, and travel to Europe’s most remarkable plant gardens.
1. Botanischer Garten Berlin / Berlin-Dahlem
The Botanischer Garten Berlin is naturally top of the list. Allow a day to enjoy this remarkable garden, compare it to your own garden, and it will make it look like a postage stamp in comparrison. The exceptional collection of plants covers an area of some 43 hectares, making it one of the world’s largest collections. The garden was established in 1679, and a number of important botanists have worked there, including Carl Willdenow and Adolf Engler. The latter had the brilliant idea of replicating the globe. There are now some 20,000 plants desperate to show you their finery.
2. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London
The designer of the London Eye has designed a footbridge that literally raises you above everything. This remarkable garden offers the most fantastic garden view. The Royal Botanic Gardens also regularly feature fun exhibitions and special themes.
3. I Giardini di Castel Trauttmansdorff, Merano, Italy
The botanic gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle bring together nature and art. In Italy they like to combine beauty with even more beauty. The garden contains more than 80 landscapes with plants from all over the world. The garden was declared “the most beautiful garden in Italy” in 2005, and it was the ‘International Garden of the Year 2013’.
4. Eden Project, based in Cornwall in South West England
You can travel to the West of England for impressive waterfalls and bananas, since it is home to the world’s largest jungle. Yes, that’s not a typo - although we do mean an indoor jungle. Other attractions include a giant sculpture made from rubbish.
5. Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam
Amsterdam has one of the world’s oldest botanic gardens. Some of the highlights date from the 17th and 18th century, such as the 300-year-old Eastern Cape bread tree. Definitely try to fool your children into thinking that this tree is the source of sliced bread! It is also home to the world’s oldest sago palm.
6. Jardin des plantes, Montpellier, France
Bonjour world of unusual plants! Visit the first official botanic garden (1593) in France in Montpellier. It’s a ‘monument historique’ in an original and special location in the city centre. The university garden was one of the first to create different habitats for the plants. Hence you can find sun, shade, sand, rock and exotic plants. This best-kept secret of a garden is not very well-known, but is certainly worth a visit!
Transform your whole garden
All that travelling is fun, but once you’ve seen all the gardens, you may want to avoid to going out, and instead, stay at home in your own garden for a bit of botanical pleasure. Luckily you will have gained enough inspiration to start building, planting and digging yourself. Transform your whole garden! If you need some help, read the article about a botanic garden at home and create your own plant paradise!