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5 Favorite Gardens in North America

April 16, 2010

There’s a reason the expression “Stop and smell the roses” is repeated by millions. Slowing down to appreciate the beauty of nature can offer inspiration, calm frazzled nerves, and simply give joy to our busy lives. If you find yourself in the area, give yourself a gift and spend a day in these five favorite gardens of North America.   

Biltmore Rose Garden, courtesy Biltmore Estate


Biltmore Gardens, Asheville, NC –  These exquisite gardens encompass acres of formal and informal gardens on the 8,000 acre Biltmore estate of George Vanderbilt. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the gardens are in their 120th year. Themed gardens areas include the Azalea, Italian, Rose, Spring, Shrub, Walled, and Winter Gardens. The 25th annual Celebration of Flowers takes place through May 16, 2010 and includes live music daily in the Winter Garden and horticulture Q&A in the Walled Garden.   

Sundial Garden, courtesy Winterthur, photo by Jeannette Lindvigen


Winterthur Museum & Country Estate, Brandywine Valley, DE – Located just southwest of Philadelphia, this 1,000 acre estate of hills, streams, meadows, and forests is a rolling succession of blooms from January through November. Founded by Henry Francis du Pont to share his love of nature with the public, some of the garden highlights include a reflecting pool and the Enchanted Woods.   

Colonial Williamsburg governor's Palace Garden, courtesy Colonial Williamsburg Foundation


Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, VA – The historical colonial capital was first settled in 1633 and restored by John D Rockefeller beginning in the late 1920s. The gardens throughout the historic area are recreations of the Dutch Renaissance style with clipped hedges, rectangular parterres, and 18th century plantings. In addition to the expansive grounds of the Governor’s Palace, 25 smaller gardens around historic buildings are open to the public, and 75 more are available by appointment.  All together there are about 90 acres of garden design to stroll.   

Buchart Gardens Sunken Garden in Summer


Buchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, British Columbia – Originally created to disguise the abandoned quarry pit of the Buchart family cement factory, this garden has grown to a premier display garden with international acclaim. The original quarry that became home to the famous Sunken Garden was joined by a Japanese, an Italian, and a Rose Garden. The many beds are designed to bloom through five growing seasons, so there is always something beautiful to see year round.   

Jardins de Métis


Jardins de Métis/ Reford Gardens, Grand Métis, Quebec – Located 220 miles northeast of Quebec City, these gardens were lovingly designed, planted, and coaxed out of a fishing camp by Elsie Reford in the summer of 1926 and the next three decades. Over 3,000 varieties of plants survive and thrive away from their natural environment in this Nordic climate. Eighteen distinct gardens meander over 20 acres, along stream and sea, blooming from June through October.

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