Glossy Gardens: The Most Instagrammable Gardens Around The World

With the influence of social media and the Instagramability of destinations becoming a deciding factor on where we visit, Penny McCormick selects the top ten gardens …

Villa d’Este, Tivoli, Italy : Marco Rubino/

Built in the 16th century by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este as a vanity project – this garden is considered a blueprint for Mannerist designs and has been much copied. Built on a slope, it contains references to mythical heroes, Ovid’s Metamorphosis, with fountains, nymphs, grottoes and water features still inciting awe.

Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech, Morocco : Balate Dorin/

Formerly the home of artist Jacques Majorelle, this is one of the most visited places in Morocco where you’ll find cacti, shady palms, an Islamic Art Museum, a Berber Museum and the Musée Yves Saint Laurent. The French fashion designer bought the property with his partner Pierre Berge.

Gardens by The Bay, Singapore : S-F/

“Super trees”, light and music shows, and over 40 varieties of roses including Angèle Pernet, Princess Anne and the Lady of Shalott are some of the highlights in this theatrical garden created on reclaimed land, which is the most Instagrammed in the world. Its steel-framed tree plantation is the backdrop to many visitor Instagram posts.

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom : elRoce/

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew is home to some 50,000 different species of plants. At present the glasswork of Dale Chihuly is exhibited in the space (until October 27) – a marriage of art, science and beauty.

Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands : Nickolay Antonov/

Also known as the “kitchen garden” or garden of Europe, more than seven million bulbs are planted at Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands, which in addition to an annual exhibit of tulips, houses different garden styles. From English landscaping to an historical walled garden and Japanese country garden, for horticulturalists this is a must-visit.

Jardim Botanico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil : Alexandre Rotenburg/

In Rio’s southern zone, this 54-hectare space showcases the diversity of Brazilian flora and also the friendliness of its resident bird population. Over 6,000 species of plants are to be found here in addition to an orchid house, research centre and botanical library.

Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, USA: James Kirkikis/

From naturalistic to landscaped, with 20 indoor gardens and extensive greenhouses, Longwood is much more than an inspiring place to visit. It also offers a tuition-free two-year school of professional horticulture, a graduate programme, and extensive internships, as well as many horticultural and performing arts events each year – its Festival of Fountains is currently on until September 29.

Eden Project, Cornwall, United Kingdom : Francesco Carruci/

The educational charity is known for its massive biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity. The aim of the project is “connection” and how to work towards a better future.  Stunning plants, contemporary gardens, summer concerts and an exciting programme of events make this one of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK.

Summer Palace, Beijing, China : Danita Delmont/

Dating from the Qing dynasty in the 18th century, this collection of lakes, gardens, pavilions and palaces epitomises Chinese garden design and is called “Nourishing Peace Garden” in the Chinese language. It is best seen in summer, but comfortable walking shoes are recommended such is its vastness. Special points of interest include Kunming Lake, The Long Corridor, Longevity Hill and The Garden of Virtue and Harmony.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town, South Africa : EcoPrint/

On the slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch houses a fragrance garden, a medicinal garden, a Protea garden (especially pretty in spring), a braille trail and a cycad amphitheatre. There are also life-sized sculptures of dinosaurs throughout the garden alongside African stone sculptures and bronze animals by Dylan Lewis. As a picnic location in Cape Town this is second to none.

The research for this feature was carried out by Faraway Furniture who analysed the number of times botanic gardens have been shared on Instagram and their hashtags.

Penny McCormick

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