Top 5 Garden Travel Destinations

August 1, 2013

Are you traveling this month?  I hope so – we all need a break every once in a while.

I’m giving August a theme this year (this is a new thing….what do you think about every month having a theme?).  The theme is traveling and I will have lots of posts related to garden visits, hotel gardens, vacations, outdoor lifestyle while on the move, and anything else that I can tie in.  Fun, right?

To kick it off, I reworked this old post that I did some time ago — it is my personal top 5 garden adventures.  I would love to hear some of the places you have been that have stayed with you as some of the best places for garden lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to visit? 

garden lights at tivoli gardens in copenhagen denmark

Travel at its best is all about adventure…setting out with the sole intention to experience something new, try something different, get inspired, or challenge yourself.  Garden travel doesn’t have to be exotic to be a good adventure and my most memorable adventures are those places where the magic of the place intersected with the mood, the details, and the memories of the day.  This post, I think, it a perfect excuse to share some of my favorite garden places with you.

1) Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen Denmark — unlike any normal amusement park that I had visited before, this place felt like a magical throwback to another time.  The vast variety of lights that warm this place in the evening provides as much excitement as the rides, the wonderful restaurants, and convivial atmosphere.  All garden lighting since has been compared to this standard.

Lime walk at Sissinghurst castle. by tim entwisle via

2) Sissinghurst Castle, England– Ok, this is easily the most cliche garden visit place ever, and I have to admit, I wanted to cross it off my list for that reason alone.  But to not tell you about the amazing arrangement of spring bulbs under the Lime Walk would be a shame.  It stopped me in my tracks, it’s a forever garden memory and I strive for this genius in bulb planting. (note this really great picture does not show the bulbs….I wish I had something other than my minds eye to share the scene with you…but try to imagine…)

3) Clock Barn Garden, Carlisle, MA.   Opened for only a day on the Garden Conservancy tour, this private garden is the epitome of what I want to create at my home.  A beautiful mix of vegetables, chickens, water, glasshouses, experimental planting beds, flower drying sheds, gorgeous barns and every single thing I could ever possibly want in my own garden.  I am so hopeful that it is open again soon…I need to wander in wonder again.

Northcourt B&B on Isle of Wight via

4) NorthCourt, Isle of Wight, England. The B&B is nice – your typical Jacobean pile with a pretty English garden.  But the garden is made so much more wonderful because down a sweet path, through some trees, and around some hedges is suddenly a wonderful pub.  The magic of walking through a garden to a cozy place where friends gather for good food and cheer is one of my all time best travel memories.  Now I think every great garden should have a pub at the end of a path.

5)  The wildflowers of the Colorado Rockies are amongst the most astoundingly beautiful things I will ever enjoy.  I have enjoyed picking them as a child, receiving them as gifts, carrying them down the aisle and trying to recreate them in gardens that I have cultivated.  If you want to see the best of them….check out the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival….or just go for a walk in the Colorado woods in July.

 These are the gardens and landscapes that have etched a place in my heart and psyche as I have traveled.  I am wondering what adventures you have had in the garden and the landscape that you might want to share?

images from Tivoli Garden Lights public domain,  The Lime walk  from Tim Entwisle of Talking Plants, and NorthCourt

Want more Garden Travel inspiration? Check out these posts of my GDRT compatriots.


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  1. Desert Dweller / David C. says:

    I could talk about garden travels all day long, too. Though that might get in the way of applying my inspiration! Funny, but I don’t see anything in your featured gardens as “cliche”…maybe like Susan, all are refreshing. Well, maybe not as much as a pub at the end of each garden’s path…

    • rochelle says:

      David — perhaps my time in England left me a little Sissinghurst weary….it is a beautiful place no doubt,– I love it and worth a visit — but it always seemed to be everyone’s ideal of a garden….and ultimately (to me) the notion of it being ‘the best garden ever’ became a little cliche…. a little like the way some of our most famous US gardens are championed to such an extreme. It makes you wonder if people just don’t know of any others….

  2. commonweeder says:

    I love this month’s Gardeners Roundtable. I’m remembering some wonderful garden visits, without camera alas, and making up new touring lists. Love the Tivioli, and love all allees.

  3. After writing my own succulent-filled post, then reading about Genevieve’s trip to Flora Grubb and seeing more succulents in the Zaterre garden Rebecca profiled, your lovely photos provide a wonderful garden contrast. I particularly enjoyed the photos when I clicked through on Clock Barn garden. Thanks for sharing some of your favorites!

  4. Jenn says:

    Images of the lime walk in spring can be found online – I went and satisfied my curiosity with this site. It really looks awesome, and so different from the calm summer shot Steven Orr has captured.

  5. Wow. A few new gardens to visit for my bucket list. Of these I’ve only seen Tivoli & Sissunghurst.

  6. Debora Aldo says:

    Tried in vain to find the clockbarn garden tour. Got none to far.
    Perhaps they are not on the tour this year.
    Tivoli Gardens is indeed a magical place. Was there many years ago and
    remember it fondly.

  7. Bmerry says:

    The gardens at Monet’s house in France are beautiful.

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