Top Five Gardens In Europe

Europe is a hugely varied continent, famous for history and culture. It has also played a huge part in shaping the history of gardening, and the famous gardens are just as varied as the continent itself. From historic country gardens in the UK to wild, decadent and extravagant gardens on the mainland, there is something to suit every taste. Gardens in Europe are a sight to behold.

Giverny – France

Monet made Giverny his home in 1883. The garden is in two sections. Clos Normand, the flower garden, is situated in front of the house. The Japanese inspired water garden on the other side of the road is perhaps the most famous. The gardens are full of perspectives, symmetries, and colours. A tour of Claude Monet’s gardens makes it easy to understand how he was so influenced by nature as seen in his paintings. The almost ethereal atmosphere of the garden is like something out of a dream. The infamous lake from his Water lilies painting is so placid it serves as a mirror of the surrounding trees. This is truly a garden for all seasons.

The Eden Project – UK

Opened to the public in 2001, the Eden Project in Cornwall displays a vast array of plants from all around the world in two distinctive biomes. The Eden Project is unique in its overriding message of the importance of environmental conservation, as many of the plants in the biomes are either endangered or threatened by the effects of human development. A must visit for any gardening enthusiast, the Eden Project is a real eye opener.

Park Guell – Spain

Another work by a famous artist, Park Guell was designed and built from 1900 – 1914 by Antonio Gaudi. There are complex architectural elements, and the park is dotted with Gaudi’s signature mosaics. Located on a steep hillside overlooking the capital of Catalonia – Barcelona, the views of the city and distant sea are complimented by a variety of plants and trees with winding pathways, seating areas, and sloping lawns. There are usually numerous musical performers who add to the ambiance of the park.

Ninfa –Italy

Many people list Ninfa as their favourite garden in Europe, and it is easy to see why. It has a unique atmosphere influenced by the way it came into being. Ninfa was once I small town which sprung up in Roman times, and it has an ancient layout of bridges and lanes that are still in use. Ninfa was sacked in 1832 after the head of the family defied the Pope. Still owned by the same family today, Ninfa was left to ruin until the early 1900s when the family returned and regenerated the gardens, converting the town hall into a house and planting trees, plants and shrubs.

Het Loo Garden – Netherlands

A classic example of Dutch Baroque, this garden is a beautiful specimen of the fashionable Baroque formula of the period, displaying perfect symmetry with radiating gravel walks, and parterres with fountains, basins and statues. As valuable historically as it is culturally, the Baroque period represents a huge step in the evolution of landscape gardening. Het Loo is a model of this period of gardening.

David Marten is a keen gardener with a passion for historic and period landscape design. He travels widely to take in as many garden influences as possible, and likes to visit for the latest modern gardening ideas.

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