What better way for an avid gardener to spend their vacation the visiting some of the most lush gardens around the world? Millions of Americans share this sentiment. Per 2012 data from the market research firm Scarborough, 49 percent of homeowners had gardened in the last 12 months.
Considering the incredible benefits this pastime offers, it's no wonder so many people enjoy planting flowers. Beyond adding brilliant colors to a yard, gardening can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and contribute to a positive mood, according to research in the Journal of Health Psychology. Plus, it serves as a form of exercise as you move about the yard, push wheelbarrows and dig in the dirt.
Those who've given a green thumbs up to this activity may enjoy seeing some of the famous gardens across the world. Here are five places to put on your travel agenda:
1. Butchart Gardens, British Columbia
Even during winter, Canada's British Columbia experiences temperate weather, which has earned Victoria, the locale's capital, the nickname "The Garden City," according to Destination BC Corp. Those who enjoy landscaping would certainly appreciate the beauty of Butchart Gardens, which calls British Columbia home.
In the early 1900s, pioneer Jennie Butchart transformed an abandoned quarry into a sunken garden. Over the next century, Butchart and her husband continued to add onto the scenery, and their work was carried on by succeeding family members. Today, it is a most spectacular view of gardens boasting themes from Japanese to the Mediterranean and is a National Historic Site of Canada. The locale's beauty earned Butchart Garden's a spot on National Geographic's top 10 gardens across the world.
2. Hamilton Gardens, New Zealand
If you can't decide which style of garden you like best, discover them all by heading to Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand. The locale has dedicated its 133-plus acres of land to telling each plant's story and its cultural relevance, showcasing species from countries like India, Japan and China to name a few. With five different collections of 21 themed gardens, visitors come from all over the world to spend hours wandering through the colorful pathways that line the area's scenic Waikato River. In fact, Hamilton Gardens was awarded the 2014's "International Garden Tourism Award' from the International Garden Tourism Network.
Wander through the pathways of a spectacular garden on your next vacation.
3. The Majorelle Garden, Morocco
Expanding over two acres, the Majorelle Garden is nothing short of a masterpiece. Artist Jacques Majorelle spent 40 years constructing the botanical garden situated in the city of Marrakech. It's a true treat for all the senses, with eye-catching water lilies, floral fragrance wafting through the air and the sound of babbling streams throughout the locale's winding paths. Visitors can expect to see bamboo, cacti and exotic plants among other forms of nature's beauty. Plus, the Majorelle Garden features plenty of man-made pieces like the Yves Saint Laurent Memorial to honor the late artist and a pavilion inspired by Arab-Andalucian architecture.
4. Gardens of the Villa Éphrussi de Rothschild, France
Located on the southeast coast of France right on the French Riviera, the Gardens of the Villa Éphrussi de Rothschild are just as beautiful as their surroundings. Lined with both gravel walkways and paved pathways, visitors get an exciting mix of the Venice-style villa's early 20th-century roots and modern influences.
Each of the seven Gardens of the Villa Éphrussi de Rothschild has its own theme, ranging from Florentine style to a creative stone garden. According to National Geographic, the French gardens are the focal point of the landscape, and they offer pools of lily pads and a romantic Trianon at Versaille replica called the Temple of Love.
You can always create a scenic space right in your backyard!
5. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Australia
There's something quite regal about a magnificent garden, and this landscape in Australia even earned Queen Elizabeth II's seal of approval. Her Majesty added the prefix "Royal" in 1958, and it has not lost any of its splendor since then. Unlike the intimate settings of the other gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne are more open, characterized by sweeping green lawns and expansive waterways.
However, the locale is not short on variety. Within this sprawling space lives 50,000 plants from 8,500 species from various parts of the world. Together, the bits of nature create an inviting green landscape fit for a romantic picnic or afternoon spent with a good book.
Of course, you don't have to travel to experience all the beauty a well-designed garden has to offer. Whether you're a fan of rose bushes or koi ponds, channel some of the themes from these famous places into your own yard.