Ryoan-ji Zen Garden, Kyoto, Japan Ryoan-ji Zen Garden, Kyoto, Japan – Image courtesy of content.time.com

Top 10 Most Beautiful Gardens in the World

Be inspired by the colours, scents and symmetry of the world’s best gardens – a showcase of nature’s glory – then take away fresh ideas to enhance your own personal landscape.

Discover 10 of the world's most beautiful gardens created by a combination of man and nature…

Kew Gardens, Surrey, England

Royal Botanic Gardens, Surrey, England

The Royal Botanic Gardens – more commonly known as Kew Gardens – contains the largest collection of plants in the world – around seven million specimens – with tropical and sub-tropical plants displayed in magnificent Victorian glasshouses.

Explore a contrast of formal gardens, terraces and lawns laid out around tall and mature trees.

Location: River Thames near Richmond, Surrey, about 10km southwest of London.

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Wisley Garden, Surrey, England

Wisley Garden, Surrey, England

Maintained by the Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley Garden offers a world famous collection of plants that have inspired English gardeners for more than 100 years.

Explore numerous formal and informal decorative gardens with displays of rhododendron, azalea and heather, as well as the Alpine meadow and the rock garden featuring pools and water-loving plants.

Location: RHS Wisley Garden is located 32km southwest of London in Woking, Surrey.

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Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent, England

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent, England

Sissinghurst is one of the most visited gardens in England and offers a series of 10 small and distinct ‘garden rooms’ that are divided by high-clipped hedges and pink brick walls within the grounds of an Elizabethan mansion and medieval ruins.

Each garden is styled with a different colour and/or theme in a profusion of rare plants that merge with traditional English garden flowers to provide year-round colourful displays.

Location: Sissinghurst is 3km northeast of Cranbrook, Maidstone, Kent.

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Monet's Garden, Giverny, Normandy, France

Monet's Garden, Giverny, Normandy, France

Walk in the footsteps of the great Impressionist painter, Claude Monet, who created this colourful and atmospheric garden so that he could paint nature ‘on the spot’.

The garden is divided into two parts: a flower garden in front of the house and a Japanese-inspired water garden across the road, which is accessed by a tunnel. Today, these are one of the most popular gardens to visit in France.

Location: Giverny sits on the ‘Right Bank’ of the River Seine, 75km from Paris, in the region of Haute-Normandie.

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Katsura Imperial Palace Garden, Kyoto

Katsura Imperial Palace Garden, Kyoto, Japan

Katsura is Japan’s oldest surviving stroll garden; here each turn of the path reveals a progressively unfolding view of contrasting scenes.

Surrounding the Katsura Imperial Villa, the garden setting is considered to be the finest integration example of Japanese architecture with nature.

Katsura Imperial Palace Garden is located in Kamigyo-ku in the western suburbs of Kyoto.

Location: Kamigyo-ku in the western suburbs of Kyoto, Japan.

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Ryoan-ji Zen Garden, Kyoto, Japan

Ryoan-ji Zen Garden, Kyoto, Japan

Discover Japan's most famous Zen Buddhist rock garden, created at the end of the 15th century.

The karesansui (dry garden) consists of 15 moss-covered boulders set amid raked quartz pebbles and arranged in three groupings of seven, five and three in such a way that, when looking at the garden from any angle (other than from above), only 14 of the boulders are visible at one time.

Location: 13 Goryoshita-machi, Ryoan-ji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto.

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Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, The Netherlands

Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, The Netherlands

Discover the world's largest flower garden in the annual showcase of tulips, hyacinths, lilies, crocus, narcissi and daffodils that total around 7 million flowers. The garden is open for only two months each year to coincide with the flowering of these colourful blooms.

Alongside bulbs, cut flowers and plants, you can also admire orchids displayed in the Beatrix Pavilion.

Locatio: The garden is located southwest of Amsterdam between the towns of Hillegom and Lisse.

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Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou, China

Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou, China

Explore the largest classical garden in Suzhou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and generally considered one of four great gardens in China.

Much of the garden is taken up by ponds and lakes, around which stand numerous pavilions.

Location: 178 Dongbei Street, Suzhou, which is around 110km west of Shanghai, about 45 minutes by train.

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Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, Victoria, Canada

Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, Victoria, Canada

Created from a former limestone quarry near Tod Inlet on Vancouver Island by Robert and Jennie Butchart, this colourful garden generates year-round floral displays and is still owned by family descendants.

The internationally acclaimed gardens offer 700 varieties of flowers arranged in several areas, including a sunken garden, rose garden, Italian garden and Japanese garden.

Location: 800 Benvenuto Avenue, Brentwood Bay, Vancouver Island, 21km north of Victoria.

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Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Western Cape, South Africa

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Newlands, South Africa

Stroll through a showcase of South African flora set on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and overlooking Cape Town.

Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 to preserve the local flora and, even today, almost all the species grown are indigenous, including fynbos plants such as proteas, ericas and restios.

Location: Rhodes Drive, Newlands, 13km from Cape Town CBD.

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Latest update: Most Beautiful Gardens in the World: 4 April, 2019

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