Sunday, April 13, 2008

Best Spring Gardens and Garden Tours

Colorful spring flowers and flowering shrubs and plants. What better way to enjoy green travel than visiting some of the world's best gardens.

Garden tours are an adventure of color and shape, for nature lovers, photographers, and, of course, gardeners, who combine green thumbs with green travels.

Perhaps the most famous spring garden is Keukenhof Gardens, one hour from Amsterdam, that blooms with more than seven million tulips, in nearly as many colors. Some of these blooms are rarely seen outside the garden's gates. Seven million tulips. It boggles the mind.

As much as the Dutch celebrate tulips, there are nationwide festivities on April 30th, which is celebrated as the birthday of Queen Beatrix. It is known as Queen's Day. There are parties and parades everywhere, most especially in Amsterdam, where the city turns into a giant street fair.

Back to the flower festivals -- pardon the pun, but they are blooming everywhere in botanical gardens. Nearly every city of any size has one.

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is famous for its Japanese cherry trees, all pink and white and fluttery in the spring air. This may be the only world-famous garden with a subway stop at its doorstep. And the Brooklyn Museum is across the street.

As its name implies, The Huntington Library, Art Galleries and Botanical Gardens is more than just a walk in the park. Although you can sit and have traditional British tea here, too. Plan to spend the day in this lovely spot just outside Los Angeles.

The Denver Botanic Gardens offer a glimpse of the snow-capped Front Range of the Rockies in the distance, and orchids and other exotic blooms up close.

Ah, the flowers that bloom in the spring. Tra la. Definitely great green travel.