When it comes to your perfect holiday itinerary, the first things you may look to add are beaches, good restaurants, and perhaps some water activities, especially if you’ve got kids. Unless gardening is your passion, then you’re unlikely to know the location of any botanical gardens or consider them as part of your must-see list.
But visiting natural spots around the world can give you a newfound sense of wonder and appreciation for what the planet has to offer, as well as giving you something to do. Besides the plants, botanical gardens often have open spaces for kids to run around, playing hide and seek as they soak in the benefits of the great outdoors.
Are you convinced yet? Read on to find out three great reasons why you should include a botanical garden visit on your next holiday.
Get inspiration for your own garden
If you have a garden at home, it can be easy to just stick the same plants in it and leave it to grow year after year. But why not mix things up a little? Going on holiday and seeing new styles of planting, new plants, or even just small elements like a pond can give you ideas that will really freshen up your space.
Make sure to take plenty of photographs and note down the names of any particular species that you’re interested in. Remember, do your research before you go home and order these new plants to put straight in the ground – what works in a mild climate in dry soil won’t necessarily work in a garden with heavy clay and regular rainfall. You’ll need to understand your garden to know what will grow in it.
Learn about the country you’re visiting
Exploring a botanical garden can be a good way to learn more about the country that you’re visiting – you’re seeing a local beauty spot, rather than just the inside of your resort and the tourist areas. Not only can you learn about the plants that grow there, and therefore the environment, but some gardens will also have some information about the history and culture of the area.
If the garden offers an audio tour in a language you’re comfortable in, it’s well worth doing this – escorted tour operators may also offer a local guide to show you around. You’ll have a more interactive experience, be able to ask questions and you’ll come away with a wealth of knowledge.
Support local conservation work
Botanical gardens do more than just provide something pretty to look at – many of them also complete vital conservation work. From ensuring rare plant species survive, to learning about how they’re impacted by climate change, your entry fee will likely support essential work on some level. Additionally, attractions like this provide employment opportunities for local people, many of whom share their home with tourists throughout the year – so you’ll be giving back to the community too.
Exploring your holiday destination
Wherever you go, taking in a local botanical garden as part of your holiday itinerary will be a fun, educational experience, whether you’re an amateur enthusiast or a green-fingered pro.