As spring begins to blossom, here are some beautiful properties from around the globe with unique gardens for travel inspiration - or to motivate travelers to begin growing their very own garden at home:
Hotel Eden Roc
Hotel Eden Roc is known for its prime waterfront location on Lake Maggiore in Ascona. The stunning property sprawls over three buildings, complete with a private beach, yachting marina and veritable Garden of Eden. With a strong focus on local Ticino flowers and nature, the Garden of Eden draws on the surrounding beauty of the mountains and lake to create a summer oasis at the hotel. The garden offers guests plenty of space to unwind by the water while enjoying a cocktail, book, or leisurely nap alongside breathtaking views - making it the place to be for relaxation on Lake Maggiore.
The world famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town served as inspiration behind the gardens at Ellerman House. The botanists shared their advice, and plants, to help transform the garden into an indigenous oasis. The property’s gardens showcase incredibly rare species from the Cape Floral Kingdom as well as iconic South African species from all over the country. Various plants, synonymous with other regions of South Africa, like statuesque aloes (typical of the Eastern Cape) and succulents from the Karoo compliment the impressive architectural features and blend seamlessly into the garden. The major benefit of having indigenous species is that these plants are well suited to the Cape’s hot, dry summers and are therefore extremely water wise. The gardens are at their prettiest in spring when many of the species are in flower, while in summer late-flowering proteas create a dramatic display against the backdrop of the ocean.
Monkey Island Estate
Located on a private island on the River Thames with a history dating back 800 years, Monkey Island Estate has been the haunt of monks, royalty, aristocrats, and a host of famous writers and performers looking for a secluded getaway away from the city. The property is accessible only by footbridge, boat or helicopter and surrounded by elegant gardens and seven acres of land that are a sensory feast of mature trees, shrubs and an impressive variety of British plants. Reflective of the property's checkered past, the gardens of Monkey Island Estate feature various forms of planting styles in different places. For example, elegant prairie planting is underpinned with a core of rhododendrons to extend its season, while the planting around the Spa Barge incorporates herbs and medicinal plants to riff of the healing elements of the island's monastic roots.
The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa
Located in the tranquil, tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst, within minutes of Johannesburg's world-class shopping and business hub, the Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, is an exclusive 5-star, all suite-hotel situated on 10 acres of magnificent indigenous gardens. The expansive enclosed gardens and property was originally designed as a luxurious, private residential retreat, and was later developed into the ultimate boutique hotel destination of choice for some of the world’s most celebrated personalities. The lush and rolling landscaped garden setting of the hotel spans across the entire 10 acre property and features all indigenous plants, greenery and flora to South Africa in respect to the country’s heritage and natural resources.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge
With its rich volcanic soil, cool temperatures and mossy cloud forests, Rwanda is a prime habitat for one of the world’s most beautiful and fragile flowering plant species: the orchid. The Singita Kwitonda Lodge Orchid Project at Singita Volcanoes National Park is dedicated to preserving this eye-catching flora as part of the broader reforestation program that aims to expand the Park to its original size for the benefit of the endangered mountain gorillas who find sanctuary there.
Working alongside internationally-renowned orchid specialists and supported by the Rwandan Government, the Singita Kwitonda Lodge Orchid Project is developing a comprehensive database for orchid selection, propagation and replanting artificially propagated orchids that will leave a lasting legacy. An initial search-and-rescue project by orchid specialists at the 178-acre site of Singita Volcanoes National Park secured 5,300 specimens of the vibrant purple-pink cynorkis anacamptoides orchids before the construction of the lodge commenced. These rescued plants were potted and stored in a temporary shade house until the completion of Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House in August 2019 and replanted in the landscape. Within six months of the opening, several hundred orchids could be seen flowering around the lodge. The orchid collection forms part of the Akarabo Nursery & Garden, meaning the “Little Flower,” and is home to hundreds of thousands of saplings that were replanted across the property to support the reforestation of the landscape and increase the endemic species of the region, including the endangered mountain gorillas - whose survival is no less fragile than that of these delicate flowers.
Fregate Island Private
One of the most revered hideaways in the Seychelles, newly reopened Fregate Island Private is home to an extensive hydroponic irrigation system and garden. The largest of its kind in the Seychelles, the complex gardening system produces food for guests and staff, and sells to the main island Mahè. The garden is completely organic, as there is no use of weed killers, pesticides or fungicides at all. Some of the produce grown includes pumpkin, eggplant, different varieties of bananas and plenty of other organic fruits and veggies.
For those looking for garden inspiration and farm vibes in the heart of Napa Valley, Villa Calistoga, available via luxury travel and property club, THIRDHOME offers a spectacular retreat nestled in four-acres of secluded rose gardens and wine vines. Designed for outdoor living, the 8-bed/7-bath estate contains 12 sets of French doors extending the living space of the house out onto thousands of square-feet of balconies and patios across the estate. The panoramic views overlook the spectacular gardens on the property and the nearby vineyards, olive trees, Palisade mountains and Mount St. Helena.