Show of hands: Is anyone not ready to come out of hibernation yet? The frozen winter is drawing to a close, and soon the sun’s going to peek out and thaw the land. And to get you ready, here’s a gallery of gorgeous gardens throughout the Western Hemisphere that will burst into bloom from now through June.
Great Dixter House, Sussex
Heather Buckley, RHS Photographer of the Year (2013), knows what viewers need in a flower close-up: pink petals, happy bees, and the beautiful blue sky. This photo of foxgloves goes a long way toward shrugging off winter doldrums.
V. Sattui, Napa Valley
Napa Valley is known for its gold-and-purple harvest scenescapes, but springtime in the Valley looks just as gorgeous, in a totally different palette. The picnic area at V. Sattui in St. Helena is a gorgeous hangout spot and one of the few in Napa Valley where visitors can enjoy a casual alfresco meal.
Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, Coral Gables
This is what the winter gardens look like up-close and full-color in greater Miami. Tropical, vibrant, glowing in the sunshine. Ready to invest in that South Florida vacation condo yet? If not, you’re just plain stubborn.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn
You’ve got to love New York’s abilities to rejuvenate. After 15+ snowstorms, the city faces forward, ready to welcome spring in all its surprising beauty. Case in point: cherry blossom season at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Tourists who can’t believe New York City’s gorgeous springtime potential should book a “Cherry Blossom Immersion” at Kitano New York. Revel in the blooms, drink the sake, ride in the limo, and fall in love with the city. This is the best season to feel like you’re starring in your own rom-com.
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Cayman Islands
Although East coasters often escape winter in the Caribbean, it’s not like they’re often flying off to some lush garden of Eden. There are only a couple such succulent hideaways, and one is on Grand Cayman: Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. This not-so-hidden gem comes on like a cruise ship tourist-trap, but as you go wandering through its lush fields and tiny pathways, you can’t help but be spellbound by the gorgeousness.
Chelsea Flower Show, London
Speaking of royals, here’s a snap of the Queen Regent at the mother of all floral shows, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Love the red hat amidst all the yellows.
Keukenhof Gardens, Holland
Of all the spring flowers, there’s maybe nothing cuter and more cheerful than the tulip. The stems aren’t pricy, and they’re oh-so-colorful, round and cheerful. Just one bouquet makes the day brighter. A full field of tulips can be seen at Keukenhof Gardens through Viking River Cruises’ “Tulips & Windmills” itinerary. This is definitely the antidote to a hundred (or was it a thousand?) days of winter.
Garden Harlow Carr, Yorkshire
Tour company Collette recently partnered with Royal Horticultural Society on an RHS Garden Holidays program. In the greenest and most beautiful months, the itineraries showcase the Eternal Gardens of Rome, pretty-as-a-painting Yorkshire, and various other verdant landmarks. This photo captures the daffodil borders in spring at Harlow Carr.
Gothenburg Botanical Garden, Sweden
A magical green retreat in the middle of a bustling Swedish city, the Tradgarden (in its native language) is a total surprise—and such a pleasant one when the sun comes beaming happily out around mid-May. Locals kiss off work to lounge on the river banks, take their dogs to the grassy knoll or hang out in the cafes. As they should, since sunny days in Scandinavia are precious.
RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey UK
RHS Garden Wisley is the last word for British green thumbs. During the winter months, the UK may be dreary and gray, but in the spring, Wisley is carpeted with crocuses, rhododendrons, begonias and other beloved blooms. The Laboratory (pictured) is the flagship garden, renowned for its Glasshouse and voluptuous rose gardens.
Lena Katz is the author of the Travel Temptations series (SIP, SUN, SNOW), published by Globe Pequot Press in 2009. Lena is also a travel expert for Celebrations/1800FLOWERS and WEtv (online and on-air). She contributes to the South China Morning Post and ABC News online. Lena is a former Orbitz Travel blogger and former columnist for the LA Times. She's been published in Brides Magazine, Robb Rep...(Read More)