As with anything else, what was for the public relegated to a mere fascination, the wealthy could pursue as a full time hobby. A spell of “botanophilia” hypnotized high society, encouraged by a proliferation of botanical media, such as illustrated periodicals and plant dictionaries.
Today, of course, these spaces can be enjoyed by almost anyone, but the heritage traveler knows that half of the fun is the history. Roadside wildflowers may be a small marvel, but there’s an echo of the ancient past in the lines and proportions that define a formal garden. The orderliness is meant to be sacred, not stiff, and the functions it serves, from research to recreation, are remnants of the passing interests of humans over the course of thousands of years. Take this history with you and find a botanical garden nearby while the riot of color lasts.
The good news is you’re bound to see some roadside flowers on your way there.
Preview a selection of gardens below or access the map of botanical gardens and begin adding sites to your itinerary!