Top 7 gardens to visit

Garden walkway
One of the many beautiful paths at Spindletree gardens

For some people, the thought of spending time in a garden would be a yawnfest.

Even if you don’t like gardening, spending time in a garden can be cathartic. I’ve always found gardens to be peaceful, inspirational places where the wonders and beauty of nature unfold and transform from season to season.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit two spectacular gardens this year: numbers 1 and 7 on the list. For those of you in Eastern Ontario, I’d highly recommend you visit Spindletree Gardens in Tamworth—it is truly a treasure in our own backyard and one of my all-time favourite gardens. They also serve a great lunch.

Here is my top list of favourite gardens to visit and spend time in:

  1. Longwood Gardens, in Pennsylvania: we visited this garden in July. I loved the fountain show and the conservatory, which had one of the largest pipe organs I’ve ever seen
  2. Larkwhistle, the home of garden authors Patrick Lima and John Scanlan’s on the Bruce Peninsula—simply stunning but you may be too late—when we visited it last summer we heard it may be the last season they open to the public
  3. The Rideau canal in Ottawa in May during the Canadian tulip festival
  4. The gardens at Chatsworth Hall, in Bakewell, England: 105 acres of formal traditional gardens and where they filmed my favourite version of Pride and Prejudice
  5. Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens—beautiful in the spring when the cherry and apple trees are in full bloom
  6. The garden atrium and conversatory at the Opryland hotel in Nashville–nine acres of inside oasis
  7. Spindletree gardens and tea room in Tamworth: a gem in our own backyard

This week’s #HappyAct is to spend time in a garden. Find a quiet bench to sit on then look around you. You never know what you may find and where your thoughts will take you.

Flowers in a conservatory
The conservatory at Longwood
Flowers in bloom
My garden

4 thoughts on “Top 7 gardens to visit

    1. I’m not sure what those flowers are, Mark. They look like some sort of fritillaria to me, although they were in the conservatory so they could be some kind of exotic. They were beautiful though. Love your post, Matt, and agree some time the tiniest of gardens are the most beautiful!

  1. I would agree with you Laurie, that most gardens are quiet and peaceful places. A wonderful place to have a moment to think, connect with nature and Mother Earth. I know I always feel refreshed and renewed after spending some time in a well kept, blooming, half hidden garden away from the hustle and bustle of life.
    And yet, I feel just as revived after spending half as much time in my small garden in the backyard. A garden, not so well manicured, loud and full of intruding kids, but still, full of life and energy of a different kind. There is something very fulfilling about growing plants that satisfies the soul, isn’t there? I really need to do an update, but, here is my latest garden blog post from about a month ago

  2. Pingback: Nominate an amazing place | Happy Act

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