10 Virtual Garden Tours That Are Drop-Dead Gorgeous
While there’s nothing quite like the fresh smell of spring flowers, now is a great time to feast your eyes on the blooming Boboli or Monet gardens. Tons of incredible green spaces around the world are delivering their lush views online, which means you can traipse through medieval Italian flower beds, French chateaux and Hawaiian ravines from the comfort of your living room. Here, ten of the most gorgeous virtual garden tours to bring a little springtime into your home.
1. BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN (BROOKLYN, NEW YORK)
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is keeping watch on cherry blossoms, and you can follow along as the petal pink flowers go from pre-bloom, first bloom, peak bloom and post-peak bloom. You can also virtually stroll the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and the Cherry Esplanade and Cherry Walk, for additional cherry blossom content.
2. KEUKENHOF (LISSE, NETHERLANDS)
You’ve always wanted to catch a glimpse of those famous Holland tulips, haven’t you? Well, now you can, with a 360-degree guided tour of the gardens. Dating back to the 15th century, Keukenhof has become synonymous with spring bulbs, and the annual event brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. In this case, we get to skip the lines and fly by tourists with this three-minute video.
3. LONGWOOD GARDENS (KENNETT SQUARE, PENNSYLVANIA)
With over 1,083 acres of manicured lawns, forests, meadows and greenhouses, these gardens are most definitely worth a field trip IRL. But in the meantime, the garden’s “Look and Breathe” program composed of video and photos allows you to bring a little springtime into your own home.
4. BUTCHART GARDENS (BRENTWOOD BAY, BRITISH COLUMBIA)
A century ago, the area where Buchart Gardens now stands was actually a limestone quarry. The empty pit has since been completely transformed into lavish gardens, complete with a hand-carved carousel. And while a trip to see the real thing will have to wait, you can currently experience their lo-fi virtual garden tour that’s composed of photos.
5. GIARDINI BOTANICI VILLA TARANTO (VERBANIA, ITALY)
South of the Alps and north of Milan, Giardini Botanici Villa Taranto sits on the shore of Lake Maggiore where herbaceous eucalyptus and giant Amazon lilies grow alongside Japanese maples. Clicking on their interactive garden map will take you from the terraced gardens to the dahlias. Pour yourself a glass of Italian wine and choose your own adventure.
6. GARDENS OF VILLANDRY (VILLANDRY, FRANCE)
The Villandry is one of the great chateaux built on the banks of the Loire during the Renaissance, but its gardens, for the history alone, are a worth a peruse in their own right. The vast landscape includes water gardens, a hedge maze, two ornamentals gardens, a kitchen garden and so much more. Take yourself a on a self-guided tour and waste away an entire afternoon. À bientôt!
7. THE HAWAII TROPICAL BOTANIC GARDEN (PAPAIKOU, HAWAII)
This lush slice of paradise located in Onomea Valley on the Big Island is not your average flower bed. An elevated boardwalk winds down the narrow Kahalii ravine where visitors can explore exotic tropical growth like giant bamboo, banana trees, ginger plants, orchids and heliconias. And this is Hawaii, people, so of course there are waterfalls, rambling streams and views of the ocean.
8. WADDESDON MANOR (WADDESDON, ENGLAND)
Built between 1874 and 1885, Waddesdon Manor was originally constructed by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to display his collection of art. In 1959, the estate opened to the public (yes, even dogs!). In addition to the building and art collection, the grounds and gardens are a breathtaking example of Victorian horticulture, including formal gardens, trees and walks. What was originally designed for Baron Rothschild’s fancy guests can be viewed from your couch—no formal attire required.
9. GIARDINO DI BOBOLI (FLORENCE, ITALY)
The Giardino di Boboli, constructed by the Medici family (aka the Kardashians of the Renaissance), became the model for Italian garden styles—vast green expanses, grottos and fountains. You won’t find another garden replete with such architectural wonders as this one—which also happens to include a rare Tuscan example of Rococo architecture. You can explore the fascinating architecture and design as well as the botany and sculpture on the property with the simple click of a link.
10. CLAUDE MONET GIVERNY GARDEN (GIVERNY, FRANCE)
Whether you’re an impressionist enthusiast or budding botanist, the gardens at Claude Monet’s house in the French village of Giverny are breathtaking. There are two gardens to peruse, the Clos Normand in front of the house where Monet (yep, the painter himself was a passionate gardener) mixed a sweeping array flowers to create a harmonious display of different colors, heights and volumes, and the Japanese-inspired water garden brimming with water lilies, weeping willows and wisteria-covered bridges that may look familiar to any Monet lover.