LUMIRA Travels / The Gardens That Inspired Il Giardino
“If we love flowers, are we not ‘born again’ every day?” wrote the poet and ardent gardener Emily Dickinson in a letter to a friend.
As Dickinson and millions like her know, gardens are where fresh beginnings are made possible; where we can spend an hour or an afternoon and emerge reinvigorated; where fruitful toil and aimless contemplation are equally rewarded.
Gardens everywhere – verdant, bursting with botanical life – were the starting point for our Il Giardino home fragrance collection. This fresh floral traces the scent of white jasmine, magnolia and gardenia, still damp with summer rain. Equally powerful is the emotion evoked by this symphony of notes – it’s a feeling of freedom, an escape from the everyday that’s laden with promise for a brighter tomorrow.
In honour of Il Giardino, we’ve compiled the following guide to some of our favourite gardens of the world.
Gardens in Australia
A true labour of love, Wendy’s Secret Garden in Lavender Bay has been shaped by artist Wendy Whiteley over more than two decades. With its vibrant mix of botanicals set against a backdrop of spectacular views over Sydney Harbour, it’s one of the city’s great gardens. And with little signage to show the way, it manages to retain an element of secrecy that makes it the perfect spot for a private picnic.
Also in Australia:
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, a trove of treasures that provides us with endless inspiration; the historic Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges outside of Melbourne; and the pristine McKell Park in Darling Point Reserve, Sydney.
Gardens in Europe
More than a century old and still regarded as one of the most romantic gardens in the world, Rome’s Garden of Ninfa occupies a rare place in horticultural history. The garden itself was created in 1921 in a typical English style and its setting among the remains of a mediaeval town only adds to its charm. Follow the river past decaying ruins and rambling rose bushes or simply find a spot beneath one of the ancient oak or cypress trees and marvel at the beauty of it all.
As esteemed horticulturalist and garden writer Charles Quest-Ritson has noted: “The site is one of sublime romantic beauty, where time seems to stand still.”
Also in Europe:
Claude Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France, is immortalised in dozens of the artist’s paintings and a visit to the property reveals even more of its majesty; the immaculately maintained Jardínes de Monforte in Valencia, Spain offer soothing respite on a baking hot day; while the Cadogan Place Gardens in London share a glimpse into the world of 19th century English society. Formerly a private park, it’s complete with ponds and ancient mulberry trees.
Gardens in the US
Kauai is known as the Garden Isle of Hawaii and the magnificent Limahuli Garden & Preserve is the jewel in its crown. Nestled high in the mountains, its rainforest setting is home to rare and endangered tropical plants, many of which are central to the region’s Indigenous heritage. Immerse yourself in the lush vegetation, marvel at the incredible stepped terraces or simply take a seat and be awed by the view.
Also in the US:
On the mainland United States, The Four Arts Botanical Gardens and Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden in Palm Beach, Florida, juxtapose the art of the natural world with stunning sculpture pieces from some of the world’s most accomplished artists. It’s a testimony to the diversity of plants in the region, with separate areas for palms, bromeliads, tropical species and fragrant flora.
Gardens in Asia
The world-renowned Singapore Botanic Gardens was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015, making it the first and only tropical botanic garden on the list. A true oasis in the middle of one of the world’s busiest cities, this garden invites you to slow down as you admire the stunning orchid garden or cross a footbridge to marvel at the ginger garden, home to more than 250 species of ginger submerged in their watery home.
Also in Asia:
An intrinsic part of Japanese culture and religion, gardens here are designed to promote quiet contemplation as they celebrate the natural world. There are dozens to explore, but Kenrokuen Garden is considered one of the finest all year round, from its blooming plum and cherry blossoms in spring to the golden foliage of autumn.
Written by Michelle Bateman