The basics

Garden visits allow you into some of the most beautiful, natural and hidden parts of the world seldom seen by tourists. You can join a tour group and get behind the scenes access to private gardens, meeting the wealthy owners themselves or the head gardeners. Public gardens are plentiful, and many offer free entry. Some, such as Central Park in New York, are an essential component of the city and popular amongst locals and tourists alike. While others such as those in Tokyo or Bejing, contain real historical elements of the nation’s past.

Options for beginners

Beginners might not want to base an entire vacation around visiting gardens. For example you could simply spend part of your next city visit touring the local gardens. So when you go to Melbourne wander over to the fine Royal Botanic Gardens or escape Bangkok’s bedlam and admire the Thai architecture and natural settings of the Royal Palace. In other places you might find the garden is one of the city’s main attractions, like the Summer Palace in Beijing.

Garden tours can last a day, a week or even longer. If you’re unsure if it’s really your thing experience the shorter options before going further a field. Or settle on a tour that includes plenty of time away from gardens as well.

If you really want to be taken care of, tours are a good option as they do all the research and legwork for you. Many make use of the best hotels, country inns and restaurants. The drivers know the scenic routes and their contacts enable you to gain entrance into gardens and stately homes that may never open to the public. Plus the expert tour leaders will help you understand and appreciate what you see.

Options for advanced

If you’re a real lover of gardens you will want to base an entire travel itinerary around the world’s green wonders. If you have a particular interest in certain kinds of flowers or plants consider visiting gardens that host those. Or choose a theme on which to base your next travels. If you particularly like the Moorish over tones tour the delights of southern Spain, Morocco or Iran. If manor estates or cottage gardens are your thing England is the ideal location.

There are plenty of guidebooks available to help you choose an itinerary, and some even detail garden walks. Alternatively do a search online and see what other traveler’s recommend.