Preparing for Your Gardens / Botanical Trip
Try to read as much as you can about the garden and the plant species you expect to find before you set off. There are a wide variety of books available that will help you identify species or may even be destination specific and contain detailed guides to the area.
A level of fitness will be required for the walking and exploring of gardens and parks. If you are not already walking or exercising regularly make sure you start a regime of up to 30 minutes per day several times a week.
To get nice close ups of plants and flowers you will need an understanding of macro photography. Study your camera functions before you set out or undertake a course to give you some insights.
Gear Requirements/Packing lists
You should always travel light no matter where you are going and what your itinerary involves. Lugging around a lot of stuff is not much fun on the road. Garden travel usually requires a substantial amount of walking, so good walking shoes are absolutely essential and good thick socks.
When you are out touring the gardens, bring a fanny pack or backpack in lieu of a heavy purse – it’s far more comfortable when you are walking. You may even be able to purchase plants as you go or store some clippings; also best in a backpack.
If you enjoy bird life add a pair of binoculars to your luggage. A camera that has a macro photography function for close ups on plants and flowers is also ideal. However you won’t want a lot of bulky or heavy camera gear to lug around in the gardens so leave the long lenses at home. A good guidebook for identifying flora is advisable. You may like to throw in a notepad to jot down the species you see or even take a little sketchpad for copying the more interesting scenes and flora.
Garden tours are a rain or shine event. Don’t be put off by poor weather as it can add to the atmosphere, encourage visiting fauna and still be incredibly enjoyable. Always pack an umbrella and raincoat and a spare set of clothes if you do get wet.
A bottle of water and snacks are handy to take with you. You will find the walking an appetite-building activity and food and snacks may either not be available in the garden or be rather expensive.