Top botanic gardens

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Plants are great. They’re all colourful and pungent, and sometimes they eat flies. It’s a shame that they’re so spread out all over the place, making flower fans tired as they walk hundreds of miles for a peek at each variety. Luckily, some innovative bright spark realised it would be a sensible idea to recreate ideal conditions for rare flowers and then put them all in one big space so that people could enjoy them. These spaces were originally called “plant zoos”, then “leaf meet and greets”, and even the ungainly “these flowers are on holiday, just like what people do” for a while, until finally the title of “botanic garden” was settled on. Here are just some of the top botanic gardens in the world.

Nong Nooch – Chonburi Province, Thailand

This huge immaculately-arranged garden takes up around 500 acres, and still has another 100 to fill. The collection concentrates mainly on cycads and contains an important genebank of the many varieties, but the enchanting colourful scenes here will make any visitor forget about the science stuff, as will the shows featuring martial arts and elephants.

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Nong Nooch view. Photo by Sergey
Nong Nooch view. Photo by Sergey
Nong Nooch, Thailand. Photo by sluj78
Nong Nooch, Thailand. Photo by sluj78
Nong Nooch, Thailand. Photo by Mika Stetsovski
Nong Nooch, Thailand. Photo by Mika Stetsovski
Nong Nooch, Thailand. Photo by Scott Zona
Nong Nooch, Thailand. Photo by Scott Zona
Nong Nooch, Thailand. Photo by Scott Zona
Nong Nooch, Thailand. Photo by Scott Zona
Nong Nooch, Thailand. Photo by Scott Zona
Nong Nooch, Thailand. Photo by Scott Zona

Kew Gardens – London, England

The 300-acre Kew Gardens is home to the biggest collection of living plants in the world (over 30,000 varieties). The famous Palm House is the largest surviving example of Victorian glass architecture in existence, while the gardens also feature one of the largest compost heaps in Europe. Not to be sniffed at. On top of all that, Kew hosts concerts and art from time to time, such as 28 beguiling Henry Moore sculptures back in 2008.

Tulips, Kew Gardens, London. Photo by Marcus Holland-Moritz
Tulips, Kew Gardens, London. Photo by Marcus Holland-Moritz
Glory of the Snow, Kew Gardens, London. Photo by Laura Nolte
Glory of the Snow, Kew Gardens, London. Photo by Laura Nolte
Crocuses, Kew Gardens, London. Photo by Laura Nolte
Crocuses, Kew Gardens, London. Photo by Laura Nolte
Kew Gardens, London. Photo by David Barrie
Kew Gardens, London. Photo by David Barrie
Kew Gardens, London. Photo by Katy Ereira
Kew Gardens, London. Photo by Katy Ereira
Kew Gardens, London. Photo by Heather Cowper
Kew Gardens, London. Photo by Heather Cowper
Henry Moore's Large Reclining Figure, Kew Gardens, London. Photo by Jim Linwood
Henry Moore’s Large Reclining Figure, Kew Gardens, London. Photo by Jim Linwood
Pagoda at Kew Gardens, London. Photo by William Warby
Pagoda at Kew Gardens, London. Photo by William Warby

Singapore Botanic Gardens – Singapore

Among the many parks of Singapore, the botanic gardens stand out by being free and open to the public from 5am until midnight – that is except for one section: the National Orchid Garden. The largest collection of orchids in the world contains over 60,000 orchids over three stunning hectares and is well worth the extra fee.

Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋)
Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋)
Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by Eric Pesik
Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by Eric Pesik
Olive-backed Sunbird, Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by Lip Kee Yap
Olive-backed Sunbird, Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by Lip Kee Yap
Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by Zhao !
Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by Zhao !
Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by Barry Peters`
Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by Barry Peters`
Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by Geoffrey Rhodes
Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by Geoffrey Rhodes
Golden Shower, Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by alantankenghoe
Golden Shower, Singapore Botanic Gardens. Photo by alantankenghoe

Main image: Nong Nooch, Thailand. Photo by Mika Stetsovski

Top botanic gardens was last modified: September 18th, 2015 by Adam Zulawski
Author: Adam Zulawski (249 posts)

I'm a freelance writer and Polish-to-English translator. I blog about travel for Cheapflights and run TranslatingMarek.com. Download my free e-book about Poland's capital after it was almost completely destroyed by the Nazis: 'In the Shadow of the Mechanised Apocalypse: Warsaw 1946'