Here is a selection of gardens world-wide that were commissioned by kings, popes, sultans and industrialists. Places where the history of art of gardens was made. They are ‘must see’ on any garden lovers list, and cover many centuries in 20 countries. They were often show cases for a rich and powerful class that wanted to mark their territory and rule nature, it was only in the late 19th century that gardens were intended for community use. It is fascinating to see in this section how garden design changed and the wide range of spectacular art works like sculptures and fountains that were included. Many of these historical gardens have been passed down from father to son through the centuries and all of them are dearly loved and cared for. Over the centuries every country influenced another, spreading culture across borders, introducing new ideas. This cultural stratification is our heritage to which we can turn to find inspiration or even only for pure joy.
Discover these great gardens of the world
Islands of Brissago
Immersed in the waters of Lake Maggiore, which accumulate heat during the summer and return it to the atmosphere in the winter, the Islands enjoy a subtropical climate.
Schwetzingen Palace and Garden
Schwetzingen Palace reached the height of splendour under the Prince Elector Carl Theodor. He instructed the leading landscape architects of the age to design the gardens, including Nicolas de Pigage and later Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell, with assistance from many renowned artists.
Newby Hall and Gardens
Newby Hall and Gardens is one of Yorkshire’s best family attractions. The late 17th century house is full of treasures; Adam interiors, art, tapestries, Chippendale furniture and classical sculpture. The 25 acres of award-winning gardens are full of rare and beautiful plants, with Newby’s famous double herbaceous border sloping gently from the house to the tranquil River Ure.
Villa Melzi d’Eril
The neoclassical villa was finished in 1810 and owes part of its fascination to the park bordering the lake as well as the devices adopted to optically increase the limited space, squeezed between the bottom of the hill and the lake.
Dating back to the 13th century, Powerscourt is a vast country estate noted for its magnificent Palladian style mansion and 47 acres (190,000 m2) of formal landscaped gardens in the picturesque village of Enniskerry, County Wicklow.
Peradeniya Botanical Gardens
The gardens are home to a large and diverse variety of plants especially including endemics and species extinct in the wild. This 60 ha land at an elevation of 460 m above sea level in Peradeniya includes 4000 plant species. The gardens occupy a horse- shoes shapes peninsula around which flows the chief and longest river of Sri Lanka the Mahawali River.
Garden Castle of Herberstein
The “Garden Castle of Herberstein” is located in the east of Styria in the municipality of Stubenberg am See. The fortified castle stands high on an east-west-facing rock. Not visible from distance, in the middle of a nature reserve.
Located in the Loire Valley, France, you can discover Chateau de Chambord and its impressive French gardens. They have been restorated in 2017 according to a drawing completed in 1734.
Isola Bella, together with the nearby Isola Madre, has contributed to making Stresa one of the Grand Tour destinations. Even today no tourist can escape the seduction of these places built on the water. The bulk of Palazzo Borromeo, baroque in style, the true “royal palace” of the little village once inhabited by fishermen, dominates the island.
Gardens of Villandry
Villandry is a Renaissance Chateau in a beautiful setting among three tiers of terraced gardens. It was the last of the great Renaissance chateaux to be built on the banks of the Loire, and its architecture combines with gardens laid out on three levels, its best-known feature, in a happy marriage of beauty, diversity, and harmony.
Located in the heights of Sarlat-la-Canéda in the Dordogne, Eyrignac and its gardens full of greenery, water and flowers charm visitors all year round. The gardens of Eyrignac have not always been the subtle blend of French rigour and bucolic sweetness we discover today when wandering the grass lawn paths.
Apart from the collections of flowers, important Roman remains and Goethe’s monumental cypress, the garden conserves all the original sixteenth century structures intact: fountains, acoustic grottoes, pergolas, Italian style clipped box, mythological statues and a small complicated maze, one of the oldest in Europe.
The Royal Gardens in Hanover Herrenhausen are considered to be one of the most beautiful garden parks in Europe. Originating back more than 300 years, they are an expression of garden art in its finest form.
Cawdor Castle & Gardens
Uniquely, for a Scottish castle Cawdor boasts three very different gardens. Each with their own history that generations of owners have over the years, transformed and extended. As a result these ideas are represented by the Walled Garden, the Flower Garden and the Wild Garden.
Wilton House has been the seat of the Herbert family, Earls of Pembroke, since the buildings of Wilton Abbey were granted in 1544 by Henry VIII to Sir William Herbert, together with extensive land across Wiltshire.
From Palma, the road to the Sierra Norte or Serra de Tramuntana begins by crossing an open, sunny plain. The valley slowly closes
in until it runs into the southern side of the Coll de Sóller (Sóller Pass). At this point, an hour’s ride from Palma, is the house, sheltered
by the surrounding mountains, hence the Arabic name of Alfàbia (vat). However, midday offers a splendid view of Palma’s bay.
Levens Hall has grown from a stark, imposing Pele Tower built c1250-1300, into a warm and welcoming family home. It is home to the world’s oldest topiary gardens and centre of a thriving 9,500-acre agricultural estate.
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac
Marqueyssac’s romantic and picturesque gardens – a listed National Historical Monument that surrounds an early 19th century château with its flagstone roof, known as lauze – offer over six kilometres of pathways amongst 150,000 century-old, hand-pruned Boxwoods.
Vaux le Vicomte
Vaux-le-Vicomte’s garden is the seminal expression of the Jardin à la française, the French aesthetic of formal gardens that swept Europe in the 17th century. From 1641, Nicolas Fouquet gave full rein to the genius of the renowned landscape gardener André Le Nôtre who used the latest technical, scientific and artistic knowledge of his era.
The park draws its special charm from a multitude of rare trees, the lake with its fountain, an artistic grotto and much more.
Domaine de Courson
A romantic English-style garden, the grounds at Courson offer splendid vantage points to walkers exploring its numerous pathways. Almost 3,000 recently-planted trees and shrubs grow alongside clusters of one-hundred-year-old trees, offering magnificent picturesque views that change with each season.
Château de La Ballue
Le Château de La Ballue is 17th century château, on the border between Brittany and Normandy. This French monument and its gardens date back to 1615.
Much has been written about Palácio and Quinta da Bacalhôa, but the conclusion is always the same: it’s a Masterpiece. The Quinta da Bacalhôa estate, formerly belonging to the Portuguese royal family, dates back to the first half of the XV Century, and is considered to be the most beautiful Portuguese estate from this era still in existence today.
Storico Giardino Garzoni
The villa and garden are an extraordinary example of eighteenth century Tuscan taste and culture. The Garzonis were a powerful family from Pescia, of Ghibelline stock, who had suffered the confiscation of their property, banishment and exile.
Weikersheim Palace and Garden
Weikersheim Palace is widely regarded as the most beautiful palace in the Hohenlohe region. And the glorious Baroque garden, with its colourful cast of statues, is sure to enchant and delight.
Villa Bologna was built by Fabrizio Grech as a gift for his daughter, Maria Teresa, on the occasion of her marriage to Nicola Perdicomati Bologna in 1745. In the 1920’s Lady Strickland called on her friend, Giuseppe Teuma Castelletti to help with the landscaping of an Edwardian garden in the fields behind the villa.
Drummond Castle Garden
Drummond has all the characteristics of a courtly, 17th century Scottish Renaissance garden. It is a composite garden, restructured in early Victorian times and renewed again in the 20th century when the garden framework and the exceptional interest of the original 19th century design were carefully preserved.
Peterhof State Museum Reserve
Peterhof is located on the southern coastland of the Gulf of Finland. The seaside paradise was built, as a grandiose triumphal memorial glorifying the grandeur of Russia, in conquering the much needed and desired access to the Baltic Sea, during the Great Northern War.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
First notice about the place where now stands Shinjuku Garden dates back to 1590. Formerly a private mansion, owned by a feudal lord, Shinjuku Gyoen was then completed in 1906 as an imperial garden. After Second World War the garden was re-designated as a national park.
Hakgala Botanic Gardens
This garden was established in 1861 for the purpose of experimentation and promotion of Cinchona cultivation in Sri Lanka and subsequently Tea cultivation. Today it stands as a fine masterpiece of natural landscape with many features providing educational opportunities, especially on hill country landscape gardening, floriculture and montane flora.
With 1,000 acres of parkland to explore, Castle Howard is a haven of peace and tranquility with extensive woodland walks, temples, lakes and fountains. The monumental landscape offers breathtaking views at every turn, taking in the countryside of the Howardian Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Tsarskoe Selo State Museum and Heritage Site
The Tsarskoe Selo State Museum and Heritage Site is a superb monument of world-ranking architecture and landscape design dating from the 18th to the early 20th century.
Helmingham Gardens Hall
Helmingham Hall with its wide moat and ancient deer park has been the home of the Tollemache family since it was built in 1487. The gardens were laid out in 1510, with the walls introduced in 1740. The garden moat, of Saxon origin, encloses the entire formal garden.
Domaine de Chaumont sur Loire
Overlooking the river and surrounded by greenery, the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire is at the heart of the cultural landscape of the Loire Valley, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site
The Villa Reale in Marlia
The Villa Reale in Marlia, with early medieval origins, was the residence of noble families and great art patrons who made it a true masterpiece of landscape over the centuries.
The villa, built on a grassy terrace, overlooks the parterre, featuring a sophisticated double fan motif, a unique design of its kind in Italy.
Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Coimbra
The role of botanical gardens has undergone transformations over the centuries, and the Botanic Garden of the University of Coimbra is also an example of this. The creation of the Botanic Garden was rooted on the taxonomic collections used by the University for the study and documentation of plants. Find out more.
Château de Breteuil
The château de Breteuil was built at the beginning of the 17th century and was originally surrounded
by English gardens. A the end of the 19th century, French gardens have been created by Henri and
Achille Duchêne (landscape architects of the gardens at Blenheim Palace, UK).
Château de Vullierens
Château de Vullierens architecture, magnificent gardens and sculpture park form one of Switzerland’s most remarkable heritage sites with an incomparable 180° degree view of the Alps, Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva.
Pazo de Oca
The essence of the garden of the Pazo de Oca resides in the inseparable unity of water, stone and vegetation. Although built very far from the Court, the reference in its design was the Baroque court garden, characteristics that explain why it is known with the hyperbolic metaphors of “Galician Versailles” or “northern Generalife”.
Extraordinary gardens nurtured by Baroness Christiane Ramsay Scicluna behind the home so lovingly rebuilt and extended by her great-grandfather between 1900 and 1906.
Iford Manor Gardens
Tucked away at the bottom of a tranquil valley, a visit to the romantic, award-winning, Grade 1 listed Iford Manor Garden is like no other. Famed Edwardian landscape designer Harold Peto designed the unique, Italiante, Grade 1 listed gardens when Iford Manor was his home, from 1899-1933.
Landgoed De Wiersse
Away from the world, surrounded by its farmland and woods, lies the moated manor house of De Wiersse. With 38 acres of garden and 74 acres of landscape park, the house and its surroundings have been lived in, designed and managed by the family since 1678. In this historic garden a sequence of surprises awaits the visitor – avenues and pergolas, fountains and statues, meadows and formal parterres, bridges over a gently flowing stream and a serpentine tunnel of beech.
Drottningholm Palace Garden
Drottningholm Palace, a royal residence since the 1660s, stands on surroundings exceptionally well-preserved. The Park is open all year round. Garden voyeurs will explore a formal baroque garden, an idyllic English garden, and intimate arbours at the eye-popping Chinese Pavilion.
Las Dueñas Palace, considered a great historical garden, is home to the richness offered by the Andalusian soil to a variety of floral species. Plants and trees have been brought here from all over the world, and now make up the lovely garden we can contemplate here.