Garden celebrations and admirations
This week is National Gardening Week, 13th to 19th April 2015. Spring has arrived and gardens are coming into bloom, many will be out this week visiting beautiful gardens all across the UK.
Here at Questor Insurance we thought we would do some research and find some beautiful and perhaps unusual gardens to visit over the summer. One week of celebrations is not enough! So as we are a friendly bunch we thought we’d share our interesting finds with you.
Bookworm Gardens, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA
Inspired by outside play and reconnecting with nature, this garden was designed with the idea of bringing children, parents and grandparents together to enjoy cleverly created garden combining children’s literature with botanical wonders. The project cost $2.8 million and opened its doors in 2010. The money was raised entirely through donations and is organized around designs that incorporate trees, flowers and vegetable gardens entwined with over 70 children’s literary titles.
The stories are said to come alive through visual, touch, smell and taste experiences combined with utterly beautiful gardens.
The Garden of Cosmic Speculation – Scotland
This garden is only open to the public one day a year. Its takes its inspiration from math and science, and was created by Charles Jencks and his late wife Maggie Keswick, at their house Portrack House near Dumfries in 1989.
Versailles – France
Built for Louis XIV and designed by Andre Le Notre, this is probably one of the world’s most famous gardens. The garden is expansive, but when first created the `manpower` needed was intense, the earth was transported using wheelbarrows and the trees were bought in from different provinces by carts. Literally thousands of people were involved in the creation of this historical triumph.
Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale – Paris, France
This garden has evolved over time, and now is not perhaps a ‘typical’ beauty. However the history behind what it evolved into is certainly a strange story and certainly has a place in the history books.
The garden was established in 1899, and its original purpose was to cultivate plants that could take root and flourish across the French Colonial Empire. The garden was designed with destinations in mind, such as a Tunisian, Congo and Indochine zone.
However during the summer of 1907, plans suddenly changed about exporting the plants to the empire, and instead the French government imported native people from the said colonies and made them residents in the corresponding ‘zoned’ gardens.
The garden had in fact become a human zoo, where you could visit and see ‘natives’ living and working in the custom built villages. They were said to have been held in the ‘zoo garden’ for nearly 6 months and during this time the garden received almost 2 million visitors. Visitors were able to purchase indigenous goods and foodstuffs from the inhabitants and explore architectural differences between the different colonies.
The garden today is now a ruin, with what buildings remain crumbling and once landscaped paths overgrown and unpassable in some areas. A Chinese gate and Tunisian flag still remain as reminders of what the gardens were once used for, but as to what happened to the ‘natives’, it is unknown.
This garden is open and free to enter, should you wish to take a look.
Don’t forget if you are looking to take a summer holiday exploring any of these beautiful gardens relax knowing your holiday is protected with a Questor Insurance travel policy click here for more information. If you visit any of our suggestions we would love to hear about it @QuestorIns #GardenExplore
Date Created: 15 April 2015 by Sam Jordan